December Fan’s Meeting, with Ian Blackford (Summary)

Date: 18th December 2020

On Friday 18th of December, the SFSA hosted its second Fan’s Zoom Meeting, with guest Ian Blackford MP. The hour-long meeting was constructive and thought provoking and it really highlighted the common understanding that fans bring across our game and the acceptance that something needs to change, particularly with the governance and the need for fan involvement in that process.

Mr Blackford was genuinely concerned and has long been shocked at the way Scottish football is being run. The lack of any desire for input from fans is a constant reminder of why we are doing what we do.
Our chairman Andy Smith poignantly emphasised the fundamental understanding for the need of common good among fans and that despite our disagreements and rivalries, fans know that only through united efforts can we bring about change.

We were able to discuss a wide range of topics within the hour which is a credit to everyone on the call and our host Bill Young for chairing the meeting brilliantly.

Below is a list of topical points that were discussed:

  • Pantomimic end to last season and current state of mistrust.
  • Common good is the focus fans can see but authorities and clubs can’t
  • SFSA Press release regarding the financial problems of clubs in press.
  • Problems of secrecy within Scottish football, particularly JRG which damages its effectiveness and credibility.
  • Problems with communication and trust among Scottish government and football authorities and need for improved relationships, with fans being the catalyst for that.
  • The needs to build on the progress made by the national team but the lack of evidential change.
  • Cuts on youth development being proposed right now and the implications this will have.
  • The desire by clubs to have fans back despite the financial implications with evidenced from the Tier 1 north.
  • The potential damage to season ticket sales next season due to lack of the product sold for this year failing to deliver as promised.
  • A deep seated need for a review into the governance of the game in Scotland.
  • The lack of understanding of fans from the football authorities and lack of desire to engage in any way.
  • Covid restrictions and the possibility for smaller clubs to be covid compliant to get fans being low down on JRG agenda.
  • Need to learn from experience from fans in highland clubs who have had fans back and where 300 is viable.
  • The football authorities lack of dialogue with fans should be a concern to the Scottish government due to the value that fans bring to communities and therefore the country.
  • The improvements within the Woman’s game that needs to be maintained post pandemic.

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