Make your voice heard

Date: 16th May 2015

WHILE the 2015 General Election was a stramash of differing voices elsewhere in the UK, the Scottish voice was remarkably clear, writes Ben Ramage.

While the Tory government faces a backlash on the streets of London, thanks to the formation of a ‘majority’ government despite only gaining 36.9% of the overall UK vote share, the scene in Scotland is comparatively calm.

The SNP stormed the 2015 Election in Scotland. They are now meeting at Westminster to fight for what they believe will be best for Scotland’s interests.

And what was their key message and promise, which led them to so comprehensively winning 56 out of the possible 59 Scottish seats at Westminster? Make Scotland’s voice heard.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want? To feel like our opinions matter. That they’re heeded, that what we know can be heard to effect change for the better. Sport is already devolved to the Scottish Government and we want to make sure that the democratic voice of the fans is heard loud and clear.

That’s what we at the SFSA stand for. That’s our ultimate goal. Not every Scottish citizen voted SNP on the 7th of May, but the majority did. And no matter what party you voted for, the democratic principle remains the same. Whoever you voted for, you made your voice heard, and that’s what matters.

For too long fans of all football teams have been overlooked and as we have seen at Livingston, Hearts, Dunfermline and Rangers have been taken for granted and had their loyalty exploited. Never again should this be allowed to happen, which is why all of our volunteers have given so much time to get this movement for change established.

We promise to make your voice heard. Because fans are the only stakeholders in the game in a position to judge whether how the game is being run at every level is actually working. They pay to watch their teams, so they are the lifeblood of the game.

Whether it’s to the SPFL about introducing safe-standing zones that remind you of how you used to stand on the terraces as a child to cheer on your side.

Whether it’s to the SFA about ticket prices that keep you away from seeing your country play the game you love, simply because you can’t afford it.

Whether it’s to the government about the re-introduction of the safe consumption of alcohol in football stadiums, which could enhance the atmosphere and attract the new supporters many clubs desperately need.

Whether you’re disaffected with how your club is being run, with a chairman’s eye on profit rather than on-pitch success.

Whatever you believe, that’s our mission.

But we need you to make this a reality, because without your voice we are just a microphone without a speaker. Tell us what to say, and we’ll say it for you, to those who really can effect change.

There has never been a better time to make change. The debate about the future of the nation last year was re-energising for Scotland. The SNP’s recent rise shows the power that coming together can wield.

The same can be true for Scottish football. After years of dejection, this could be Scottish football’s democratic moment to finally fully involve the most important people in the game — the fans.

As supporting MSP Willie Rennie told us: ‘A voice for the fans is important, especially as it is their money and their support that underpins the future of clubs and the wider game.’

Despite being such a forward thinking, progressive country, Scotland is remarkably still the only country in Europe that does not have an independent fans’ organisation. Almost every other country has an organisation dedicated to hearing, transmitting and enacting the wishes of its football fans to those who govern their game.

For a country with football in its blood, this has to change. Football has long been a cultural cornerstone of Scotland, and for this passionate country to lack such an important and widespread amenity is inexcusable.

In the wake of arguably the biggest political coming together in Scotland’s history, let’s utilise this democratic period for the sake of Scottish football. Together we can and will make it happen.

Make your voice heard with us and reclaim your game.

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