Date: 12th November 2015
12 November 2015: Scotland’s largest, independent football supporters’ organisation has become the first Scottish fans group to join Fans Europe, the biggest democratic fans network in Europe.
Coinciding with their acceptance as full members of Fans Europe, the Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) has confirmed its membership numbers to have exceeded 45,000 just six months after launching.
The SFSA is a not-for-profit, members’ body open to everyone, whether they are individuals, supporters groups or affiliates. Its first ambassador is former Scotland captain Gary McAllister.
The SFSA was set up with a national advisory group with experts on football and governance matters including Henry McLeish (author of the McLeish Report), Maureen McGonigle (founder of Scottish Women in Sport and former executive of Scottish Women’s Football) and senior politicians from Scotland’s main political parties.
Paul Goodwin from the SFSA added: “Supporters voices are probably louder than they have ever been with opinions being expressed on numerous football subjects be it on the current FIFA saga, ticket pricing or on fixture scheduling. The recent ‘Twenty’s Plenty’ ticket campaign and the Bayern Munich’s fans’ protest at the cost of their recent game against Arsenal are just two examples of how fans are demonstrating their views.
“Until recently there wasn’t a fan organisation that represented all football supporters in Scotland and in a matter of just six months we have a membership that would fill many major grounds across Europe and we are sitting alongside fan groups from 45 countries across the continent.”
“The Minister for Sport’s call for wider consultation on supporter involvement is welcomed. Finding out more about supporters’ views is critical to shape the future of the game; fans’ opinions are at the heart of that.”
Minister for Sport Jamie Hepburn said: “The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring football supporters have the opportunity to be involved in the decision making and running of their football club wherever possible. I know some clubs already engage well with their fans, but I believe we can do more. Our consultation is seeking views on each of the main options to strengthen supporter involvement in clubs: a right to influence, a right to govern, a right to bid, and a right to buy.
“Football clubs occupy a special place in the hearts of supporters and communities in Scotland. This is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of Scottish football. I encourage you to make your voice heard and have your say.”
The Scottish Government believes supporters should have a role in decision-making – or even ownership, when the opportunity arises – of their clubs
The consultation is available online for people to complete, and the Scottish Government is working with fans’ representatives, football bodies and MSPs to ensure all views are heard.
The consultation timeline is longer than usual and will run until 15 January 2016 to specifically allow for the widest and most representative range of responses. http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/09/8222
The SFSA can be found on Twitter @scottishfsa and on Facebook.
For further information on The SFSA please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702-252519 or Simon Barrow on 07850-120413.
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