March Fan’s Meeting, with Darryl Broadfoot (Summary)

Date: 5th March 2021

On Tuesday the 2nd of March, the SFSA held it’s fourth monthly fans meeting, with special guest Darryl Broadfoot. Darryl is former Head of Communication for the SFA and Chief Football Writer for the Herald who now runs his own PR company, which works with the SFA and UEFA.
Offering his insight and experience working with the football authorities and the media, his thoughts and opinions of the game sparked passionate conversation among our guests and members, often disagreeing on some of the topics.

The session was thought provoking and those on the call were well spoken on their thoughts on the game and how we can resolve the current issues. We would like to thank Darryl and those who participated on the call for their time and enjoyable 2 hours, with special thanks to Bill Young of The Max Radio for chairing another session effectively.

You can find a list of the key points of discussion below:

  • Overview of the situation in England in relation to the “Our Beautiful Game” Campaign: Our Beautiful Game

 

  • Update on SFSA activity: Recent partnership with Back Onside, future Euro-related projects, growth in volunteer programme

 

  • Summary of situation in Europe and behind the scenes news of European Super Leagues and what that could mean for the world of football and Scotland

 

  • The impact of the pandemic on Scottish football, particularly the lower leagues and the challenges faced by part-time clubs

 

  • How can we implement change and what needs to change within Scottish football.
    • This point led to debate on how change can be implemented with one view being that it is up to the clubs to implement change and they have the capacity to do so and so it is their responsibility to represent fans. Whereas there was an alternative view that there should be an external body which regulates the game as clubs are only going to protect their own self-interest and therefor change on a wide scale is unlikely.

 

  • Communication from the SFA and SPFL to fans
    • Most of the fans felt that there was too much secrecy and too many things done behind closed doors.
      • A point was made that statements are released and then sent to clubs to distribute.
      • There may then be a disconnect.
      • A discussion on whose responsibility it is to ensure fans are then informed.
      • SFA say they have no fans apart from the national sides.

 

  • Many on the call feel the communication from the governing bodies needs improvement, especially in relation to publishing meeting agendas and minutes when working with public money from the Scottish Government and to be more informative on who is in specific groups such as the Joint Response Group who were involved in the recent government cash distribution.

 

  • The importance of the women’s game and its opportunity to grow.

 

  • The need for investment in Scottish game and better promotion of the game as a product to bring that investment in.

 

  • The need for more transparency within the game and for Scottish football to stop operating behind closed doors.

 

  • Discussion on the government funding and the postponement of lower leagues.

 

  • Season ticket sales and the potential financial issues for clubs that may carry on to next season.

 

  • The need to encourage younger generation to get involved with Scottish football and the danger that younger fans will lose interest due to the availability of the top English and European teams on TV.

 

  • Community clubs at the heart of the game in Scotland.

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