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Renewable energy and sustainability in Scottish football

Date: 19th November 2014


In football, sustainability is an increasingly important issue. Whether it is the clubs themselves or supporters’ trusts, everyone has an interest in ensuring that the sport they love and the clubs they support thrive over the long-term future. The potential revenue streams in Scottish football are arguably scarcer than ever and the challenge for many clubs and supporters trusts is to find alternate ways of raising revenue, after exhausting the traditional avenues.

One area that some supporters’ trusts and clubs are starting to explore is that of renewable energy. This provides means that could potentially address both of the aforementioned concerns, as well as promoting a greener and more sustainable approach to their respective operations. One source of renewable energy available to both clubs and trusts is that of solar panels; providing a source of energy that can be used for stadiums. There are four primary benefits in turning to renewable energy;

– A means of generating additional income
– A way of reducing a stadium’s carbon emissions
– Achieving a decrease in energy costs
– Enjoying the government-backed guaranteed return on your investment

Not only that, but clubs and trusts who decided to turn to renewable energy and solar panels as a means of reducing costs and generating additional income, would be doing so ahead of other clubs. Due to the limited financial resources in Scottish football; any competitive edge that can be gained is vitally important.

One of the areas in which Supporters Direct Scotland can assist trusts is in helping them with the financial burden of investing in solar panels as a renewable energy source. One of the ways in which this can be done is through Community Shares. Community Shares are a means of raising finance by offering shares in a co-operative, legal form, most commonly as Community Benefit Societies (CBS). Shares in a CBS are different to ‘normal’ shares in a company in that their value doesn’t rise or fall, nor do they give extra voting rights to larger investors. You can find out more about Community Shares by visiting the Supporters Direct YouTube channel.

In a previous article on, we looked at how many Scottish clubs are getting themselves out of debt and moving towards a financially stable future. Incorporating renewable energy measures at a club’s stadium can help in ensuring that clubs no longer have to rely on borrowing and incurring debt to provide means of finance. Finding themselves on sound financial ground should encourage clubs to explore non-traditional revenue streams, not only in a bid to improve their on-pitch success, but also to ensure that they enjoy a long-term and prosperous future.

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