Scottish Football Supporters Association

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Scottish Fans Take On The Blazers

Date: 20th July 2017




20 July 2017:  The first independent evaluation of Scottish football governance has been launched today by The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) at an event at the Scottish Parliament.

The SFSA’s nationwide survey will assess, for the first time, supporters’ views on the current position of the game, including the performance of the game’s governing bodies in Scotland.  The research will become an annual benchmarking & reporting exercise looking at all aspects of the game.

The SFSA’s online survey has been created in partnership with Prof. Dr. Axel Faix and Dr. Joachim Lammert, two experienced German academics who have undertaken similar evaluations on a national level in Germany and on a European level on topics including 50+1 (German football’s rules that a parent club must own at least 50% plus one share of the football company) and Financial Fair Play.  Their research has been backed by Football Supporters Europe and by German fans organisation, Unsere Kurve.

Dr Lammert is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Leipzig and a member of the European football fan research network doing research on the organisation and regulation of sport leagues and investment in and governance of football clubs and Prof. Dr. Axel Faix is from the University of Applied Science and Arts in Dortmund.

Fans will also be able to provide comment on their own club’s performance.

The SFSA, whose board includes former First Minister Henry McLeish; former MP and MSP Cathy Jamieson and Maureen McGonigle, Founder of Scottish Women in Sport and first female Scottish FA Council Member, has over 68,000 members supporting clubs across Scotland.

The SFSA is Scotland’s fans’ representative in The Football Supporters Europe network (FSE), an independent, representative and democratically organised grass-roots network of football fans’ in Europe with members in currently 48 countries across the continent.

The online survey will run until the 20th of August with everyone involved in the Scottish game being urged to contribute to set the most significant independent analysis of the Scottish game’s governance ever.

The survey can be found here:

Simon Barrow, Chairman of the SFSA said: “The Scottish game has had a governing body for 144 years and in that time its performance has never been publically evaluated.  Unlike most industries there is no watchdog, no independent evaluation or review of performance on how the game is run.  There are many issues within the game that fans have real concerns about but as it stands the governance rules within the game mean that no-one outside knows if a good job is being done by the SFA and the SPFL or not.

“This new research project, which has been created by and evaluated by academics with experience in undertaking this kind of work, will for the first time set a benchmark that will be used to measure changes in how the governing bodies are performing for the good of the game.”

Henry McLeish said: “It is often said, and said for a reason, that football would be nothing without fans.  The game, and how it is delivered and consumed, has changed markedly in the past couple of decades yet little seems to have been done to involve those same people into how the game is managed and how decisions are made.”

Dr Joachim Lammert said: “Having undertaken many different surveys with football fans on a national level in Germany and on a European level we are very happy to contribute to making supporters’ views transparent in Scotland.  We are pleased to be part of the first independent survey being undertaken in Scotland with football fans and we think the crucial questions being asked will have huge relevance not only for football fans but also for the different stakeholders in football. We are already excited about the results.”

Richard Leonard MSP said:  “I am very happy to host the launch of this important research project in the Scottish Parliament. Football fans invest so much time and energy into supporting their clubs, it is only right that they should have a say in how they are run. The international expertise and experience involved in this survey fills me with confidence that the voices of supporters in Scotland will be heard loud and clear.”

View the video here:

The SFSA can be found on Twitter @scottishfsa and on Facebook.


Posted in: Campaign, Feature Story