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Supporters Direct Scotland Welcome New SPFL Board Directors’ Vow To Increase Engagement With Supporters And Progress Scottish Football

Date: 21st July 2016

Supporters Direct Scotland have welcomed the new SPFL Board Directors’ desire to improve attendances in Scottish football through better communication and engagement with supporters.

Since their formation in 2003, SDS have been at the forefront of pushing the implementation of structured relationships and dialogue between supporters and clubs. This has resulted in 16 Supporters Trusts gaining representation on the board’s of SPFL clubs since and are now working in partnership with the Scottish FA to develop UEFA’s Supporter Liaison Officer role.

SDS, the supporters representative within the Scottish FA’s Congress, are offering to help implement initiatives that increase engagement and subsequently attendances.

Head of Supporters Direct Scotland Andrew Jenkin said “We’ve seen and know good structured dialogue with supporters can improve football for everyone and in a number of areas.

When fans feel close to the ownership, governance and decision making of a club, they’re more likely to buy tickets and merchandise, crowd disorder decreases and there is generally a better atmosphere for all.

In England we’ve seen football league clubs have been recommended by the Government to meet twice annually with their democratic supporters trusts and we’ve also witnessed the benefits further fan involvement in decision making can make, for example AFC Wimbledon recently took the step to increase season ticket prices following a consultation with supporters as the supporters recognised a requirement to strengthen the playing squad through an increased budget.

We agree that improved communication and engagement with fans will result in better attendances and through the SPFL Board’s vow to increase engagement, we would like to see a greater commitment to the Supporter Liaison Officer role within Scottish football – set up originally to increase attendances through better dialogue with fans – and more supporter representatives welcomed onto the board of clubs.

We know many clubs do engage and consult with supporters very well, but collectively, football can always do more. We welcome any steps to improve and formalise the relationships between recognised and constituted supporter groups and the clubs they wish to see succeed and stand ready to help the football authorities and SPFL clubs implement these initiatives by offering examples of best practice and support.

We’re continually working to improve the structure through which supporters are represented within the game and through our recent Scottish Football Supporters Survey will be working with the authorities to implement key supporter asks taken from analysis of the survey”

Editors’ Notes:

  • Supporters Direct help fans to set up democratic cooperatives (known as supporters’ trusts) to gain influence in the running and ownership of their clubs.
  • Supporters Direct Scotland are the supporters representative upon the Scottish FA’s Congress
  • Results of the Scottish Football Supporters Survey will come out in September 2016 and be presented to members of the Scottish FA’s Congress.
  • Supporters Direct Scotland work in partnership with the Scottish FA to develop the Supporter Liaison Officer role in Scotland
  • Supporters Direct Scotland manage the Scottish Supporters Network, offering supporters the chance to have their say on the game’s key issues –
  • SD and SD Scotland represent over 200 supporters’ trusts and similar organisations in England, Scotland and across Europe, with over 750,000 members.
  • 39  clubs  in  the  UK  are  owned  by  their  supporters, with three in the Scottish Professional Football League; four in the English Football League; and three in the top three divisions of English Rugby League

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