Date: 16th November 2023
– FANS CALL FOR SCOTTISH FANS TO RISE UP, SIGN ON AT OUR CHANGE.ORG AND CONSIGN OUR INTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL PAYWALL TO THE BIN
– PAY PER VIEW IS NOT NORMAL ACROSS EUROPE AND IT DAMAGES OUR GAME’S PRESENT AND FUTURE
– SUPPORTERS WANT OPEN DISCUSSION AT HOLYROOD AND WESTMINSTER, THEN FAST CHANGE AND FUTURE PROTECTION
– SFSA THANK GAVIN NEWLANDS, MP & GILLIAN MACKAY MSP FOR FACILIATING STAKEHOLDER DISCUSSION AND GAINING CROSS PARTY SUPPORT FOR THIS IMPORTANT MOVEMENT
New SFSA research summarised below overwhelmingly supports a desire for change to ‘Paywalls’ like the current Viaplay deal.
They have somehow become ‘normalised’ in Scotland but simple research shows they are not normal across international football.
Paying to view national teams on TV only actually happens in 7 European countries including Scotland and Northern Ireland.
We understand that the Current SFA policy generates income but it also vastly reduces adult interactions and more importantly negatively affects the young who are the future Tartan Army and the future of football and football revenues.
Well-seasoned fans ask why our game is restricting its future long-term commercial revenues for short-term gain?
DATE: 17th November 2023
The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) and various Tartan Army Units, fan groups, and ordinary fans took part in research on supporting the Scotland National Team on TV.
The Scottish Football Association policy has resulted in Scotland Men’s National Team games currently being sold behind a Paywall to the highest bidder which happens to be Viaplay, a failing Scandinavian organisation.
If nothing changes in the future then it is likely our Women’s National Team games will also be sold the same way.
The SFSA research felt it important to ask fans for their views.
The research is statistically significant with circa 3000 checked responses from fans across all age groups, clubs, and locations.
Fans believe the research supports important and immediate policy change.
Change that will not only enhance all aspects of the game in the future but also make the commercial cake bigger for the SFA and the SWFA.
We accept that there will be issues and the SFA will fight to hold on to short term revenue but fans see the bigger picture and a richer future post change.
The key fan insight is that 99% think Scotland Men’s National Team Matches should be shown on Free-to-Air TV channels, as is the case in England and Wales and across most of Europe (we were shocked to find we were only one of just seven nations whose National Team games sit behind a paywall).
In addition the fact that currently in Scotland, we can watch all England National Team matches for free on Channel 4 (soon to be ITV), but not our own team is simply unacceptable to most fans.
99% of fans also think being able to watch all Scotland games on TV for free is collectively good for the mental health of the nation, even when we get beaten.
And there is a 97% consensus who believe that more children would participate in football up and down the land if they were able to regularly watch Scotland on TV.
Right now most can’t see their heroes.
Only 17% of respondents say they currently subscribe to Viaplay, and just 3% of all respondents believe the current price of a subscription is fair.
As a direct result a huge 84% of respondents admit to watching less Scotland games since they were put behind a paywall.
The research clearly shows how negative the current ViaPlay situation is for our game, present and future.
Gavin Newlands, MP, said: “Scotland is out of kilter with what is happening with National Team matches, not just across Europe but also next door. That will surprise many people and it is unfair. The SFSA survey shows huge appetite for change.
We ask all fans to combine on this one and work with us. Please fill in our Change.org Petition. Together we can win, and win for the better, for all”.
Rose Reilly, ex sine die ban, and trailblazer for women’s football and football in Scotland, said: “Everyone, women, men, girls, and boys wants to see Scotland games free on TV, as is the case in England, Wales, and all over Europe.
We’d like every child, boy or girl, who has a dream of one day pulling on our famous blue shirt to be able to watch their heroes every time they step onto the pitch, without any financial barriers. History tells us that football makes many mistakes. Well we can also judge those who run our game by how they address the mistakes they make, mistakes like this.
If you agree that Scotland matches should be free on TV go on line and sign ” Change.org
SFSA Chairman Andy Smith said: “I understand that the SFA have a constant requirement for revenues to be able to continue undertaking the good works they do, but restricting our games behind the Pay-Per-View barrier is curtailing the size of our game now and therefore reducing the game’s future commercial potential.
Scotland is in a minority, disenfranchised football group in Europe and we’re hurting families and kids who are facing enough financial pressure. Fans overwhelmingly don’t like what the SFA are doing because the result is the costs see many of our kids excluded.
That is plain wrong.
My biggest fear is instead building on the good work of Steve Clarke and his team, and looking forward with confidence we are managing a self-induced long-term decline.
Every fan should sign this petition to get this discussed and swept into the deepest bin we can find”
And the final word to Henry McLeish, former First Minister, and Tartan Army veteran:
“Scotland is OUR team, and it belongs to the nation.”
Visit the website here https://scotlandgamesfreeontv.org/
Link to Change petition: https://chng.it/jtnXXXsvV6
Additional info for Editors.
We would all like to watch our national sides like other kids and adults all over Europe.
The SFSA are a Union of Fans who research and represent the views of the key stakeholders (the fans) in Scottish Football.
Scottish football needs to listen more to its fans and change the focus from self-interest to common good.
Posted in: Latest News