Fan’s Awards 2018 Announced




17th December 2018:  The quest to find Scotland’s fans’ Player of the Year has been launched by the Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA), Scotland’s first independent national football supporters’ organisation.

The awards, which recognised Celtic and Scotland star Kieran Tierney as the fans’ Player of the Year in 2017, will recognise the best and worst in the beautiful game in 2018.  For the first time it will also ask the fans to vote on the best female Scottish player and the best manager in 2018.

Other award winners in 2017 included ‘Goal of the Year’ for Leigh Griffiths’ second goal against England at Hampden; Steven McLean as Scotland’s ‘Best Ref’ ; Aberdeen fans as the country’s top travelling fans and Hearts’ Tynecastle stadium the ground most away fans like to visit.

The SFSA, which has over 71,000 members across Scotland, has also announced a partnership with GambleAware, the leading charity in the UK committed to reducing gambling-related harms, which will see it as the awards’ partner.

Simon Barrow, chair of the SFSA, said: “Everyone football fan has an opinion about who the best players is, what the best goal was and even who the best ref is so the SFSA Fans Awards, voted for by Scotland’s football fans, will provide the answers.  Kieran Tierney was a well-deserved Player of the Year last year so it will be interesting to see if he holds onto his crown.

“We were delighted when GambleAware approached us as we have for some time felt that it is essential to promote safe and responsible gambling behaviour in a game that is very top heavy with gambling sponsorships. We look forward to working in partnership with them in the years ahead to promote the charity’s aim to reduce gambling-related harms.”

Iain Corby from GambleAware said: “Across Scotland there are over 230,000 people who are classed as either problem gamblers, or at risk of becoming so, and many of these are football fans. GambleAware wanted to find a way to ensure they are aware of the risks of gambling, and know they can come to us for free help and confidential advice if they are worried about gambling. By being the SFSA’s charity partner for these prestigious awards, we also hope we can encourage discussion about the relationship between football and betting in Scotland.”

Voting starts today (17th December 2018) and ends at midnight on 13th January 2018.  Votes can be cast by visiting

The full list of awards are:

  • Player of the year
  • Women’s Player of the year
  • Best away fans to visit your ground
  • Best away ground  for atmosphere
  • Best club for the whole match day experience?
  • Best Radio host /presenter/journalist/pundit
  • Best Football Blog / Blogger
  • Fan of the year
  • Mascot of the year
  • Best club for kids/family
  • Best Goal
  • Best /Worst Referee
  • Player of the year
  • Best Match programme
  • Manager of the year
  • Lifetime achievement Award

Further information can be found by visiting the SFSA website at

The SFSA can be found on Twitter @scottishfsa or through #reclaimthegame and on Facebook.


For further information on the SFSA and the Fans Awards, please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702-252519.


Notes to editors:

GambleAware is the leading charity in the UK committed to reducing gambling-related harms. As an independent national charity funded by donations from the gambling industry, GambleAware funds education, prevention and treatment services and commissions research to broaden public understanding of gambling-related harm. The aim is to stop people getting into problems with their gambling, and ensure that those that do develop problems receive fast and effective treatment and support.

GambleAware has launched #CanWeHaveOurBallBack, a new social media initiative that seeks to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the relationship between football and betting. The film-led initiative is designed to generate conversation and prompt reflection about the impact of betting on football.  The film can be viewed here


Female Fans Survey Begins!

Survey Link




WHEN: 21 August 2018 at Hampden Park at 10am
WHERE: Hampden Park – pitchside photo and interview opportunities
WHO Alana Watson from the Scottish Football Supporters Association; Jacqui Low, chairman of Partick Thistle; Cathy Jamieson, director of Kilmarnock FC; Hattie Chandler from Heart of Midlothian FC.

The first independent research project into women in Scottish football will be launched by The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA).

The SFSA’s nationwide survey will assess, for the first time, female supporters’ views and attitudes on the current position of the Scottish game. 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 academic researchers Prof. Dr. Axel Faix and Dr. Joachim Lammert from FanQ who have undertaken similar evaluations on a national level in Germany and on a European level including the first independent evaluation of Scottish football governance conducted in 2017.

The online survey, which will run until the 16th of September, is expected to provide important and essential information to assess how the game is currently viewed by females and importantly to provide valuable insight into the future of the game to governing bodies and to individual clubs.

The SFSA, which has over 71,000 members supporting clubs across Scotland, 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.


For further information on The SFSA please contact Alana Watson on 07447 414133 or Paul Goodwin on 07702-252519

Have Your Say Now

Today we launched the Scottish Football Benchmarking and Evaluation 2017 survey, giving fans a voice that cannot be ignored any longer.

Take the survey here. To coincide with the survey’s launch, we have produced a special video available on YouTube.

Don’t miss your opportunity to tell us what you think is important. Using this survey, the SFSA will have a blueprint going forward which helps us address the issues that matter to fans.

Please share the survey with your football supporting friends and family. The bigger the response, the bigger the voice!

Remember, if you want to get involved in our movement please get in touch. We have also launched a JustGiving crowdfunding effort too to help ensure our long term sustainability.

SFSA Benchmark 2017 Survey Results Announced!

View the full results here: SFSA Evaluation 2017





7 November 2017: The results of the first independent evaluation of how football governance is seen in Scotland have been released today by the Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA).

The results highlight a growing disconnect between supporters and the game’s national and international governing bodies; improving relationships with individual clubs; and the stark reality that many fans could end up leaving the game for good unless change comes.

The research shows that all stakeholders want Scottish parliamentarians to pressure the Scottish governing bodies to improve, and that a majority rate the SPFL and the SFA lower than UEFA and FIFA in terms of their openness, honesty and trustworthiness.

The survey, which saw over 16,000 people participate during September, was carried out by the SFSA in partnership with Professor Dr Axel Faix and Dr Joachim Lammert, two respected German sports academics from the University of Applied Science and Arts in Dortmund and the University of Leipzig. Both have significant experience in carrying out similar evaluations in Germany and on a European level.


Key findings from the survey include:


  • Stakeholders are very dissatisfied with the leadership of both the SFA & SPFL across a range of activities
  • 73% believe their own club is committed to the good of football
  • 65% believe their own clubs are open and honest
  • 93% believe that Scottish football should be overseen by an independent watchdog
  • 95% of fans believe it is essential to have an independent national fans body
  • 90% feel that the Scottish Government should put pressure on football authorities to improve
  • 60.5% said that they could lose interest in football in the future
  • 32.5% attend fewer than 10 games a season
  • 24.5% said they never attend away games
  • 60.7% said they attend between just 1 and 10 away games a season
  • 92.5% say football is important to them
  • 13.5% don’t think football is more important than their other leisure activities
  • 93.8% want more supporter influence in the SPFL
  • 94.1% want more supporter influence in the SFA
  • There is little difference between the key stakeholders’ opinions (players, managers, coaches, club officials , referees and supporters) throughout the research


Unsurprisingly, there is also a growing concern about the performance of the national game, and what that reflects about the health of Scottish football as a whole.

Henry McLeish, a board member of the SFSA, commented: “This challenging independent research into how Scottish football governance is seen has uncovered some very concerning issues, but also provides a real opportunity for change. Robust research can form a platform for positive action for the future. The results of this survey are a healthy wake-up call for Scotland’s game.”

He continued: “The fact that over 60% of fans say that they could end up leaving the game in the future rings a major alarm bell, as does the knowledge that almost a quarter say they never attend away games.  Trust in the game’s governing structures is worryingly low, so much so that a significant number now believe that the Scottish Government should be stepping in to help address the problem.

“On a positive note, individual clubs seem to be making progress towards improving relationships with fans through greater engagement and transparency.  The difference in the view fans have of their clubs compared to attitudes towards the governing bodies is noticeable.

“What we appear to have is a big disconnect between the football authorities at Hampden Park and those who are essential to the flourishing of the game at a hands-on – supporters certainly, but also players, coaches, managers and volunteers. Many key stakeholders have no real input into how their game is run at present. Greater involvement of those who love, resource and pay for the game is crucial in helping to turn it around.”

Simon Barrow, chair of the SFSA, said: “This is the first fully independent, professional research into perceptions of how the Scottish game is run in 144 years. It highlights many areas of concern, but equally indicates that the time is ripe for change and supporter engagement. Rather than ignoring the worrying gulf between fans and governing bodies, we see this as an opportunity for them to build bridges with us.

“Whether it’s commercial aspects of the game, the performance of our national sides or overall governance and transparency, this is a challenge and chance to listen more carefully to what fans, who remain the game’s vital customers, have to say and to offer. Played the right way, it could be football’s democratic moment.”

The intention of the SFSA is to run out this benchmarking exercise on a regular basis, so that a culture of engagement and continuous improvement can be developed.

SFSA chair Simon Barrow explained: “We would like to do that through helping to build new partnerships, to bridge the gap between grassroots and governance. What we are looking for is a ‘big conversation’ on the future of Scottish football, its ability to contribute to community wellbeing and its role as a key cultural industry for Scotland.

“We are kick-starting this process through some practical work in three areas:  governance, promoting the game, and performance. This will draw on creative minds and well-known figures across Scottish football. We will be inviting the governing authorities to engage positively with fans through our networks, and to consider reform in the way the game is run, promoted and developed.

After further digestion of the results of the new survey, the Scottish Football Supporters Association will be proceeding with short-life working parties comprised of former players, managers, coaches, referees and supporters, focussed on to alterative plans for some of the big issues the game is struggling with.

The SFSA’s board includes former First Minister Henry McLeish; former MP and MSP Cathy Jamieson, and until recently Maureen McGonigle, founder of Scottish Women in Sport and the first female Scottish FA Council Member. The organisation has over 70,000 members and affiliates 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.


– Ends –


For further information on The SFSA please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702-252519 or Simon Barrow on 07850-120413



The Scottish Football Supporters Association is an independent organisation founded in April 2015 to provide a platform for ordinary Scottish football fans to have a say in the running of the game in Scotland.  To date it has over 70,000 members and affiliates across the country.

SFSA is a voluntary organisation funded by donations from fans and from others who believe that supporter engagement is essential for the flourishing of the game. We work to ensure that that clubs and football governance are accountable to fans as key stakeholders in Scottish football.