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‘Momentum for Change’ Should Continue

May 8, 2013

fansfirstlogo-1THE policy and advocacy group the think-tank FansFirst Scotland, with which the Sonstrust has involvement alongside Supporters Direct Scotland, has issued a qualified endorsement of the changes to Scottish football put forward by the SPL yesterday.

SFL clubs have yet to meet and react formally to the developments, and both the SPL and SFL have yet to vote on them. Initial response in and around the game seems to have been guardedly affirmative after weeks of stalling, disagreement and confusion.

FansFirst Scotland chairman Alan S. Harris said yesterday: “We very much welcome the progress made towards the reform of Scottish football, while noting that final decisions have yet to be taken by the SPL and SFL, and that there are gaps and further questions that still need to be considered.

“The principles of one league body, a fairer distribution of resources and the introduction of a pyramid system below league level are important and desirable.

“However, in accordance with the need to restore real competition in Scottish football, we would encourage much bolder moves towards the re-allocation of resources, as set out in the FansFirst Plan.

“While an additional play-off between the top and second tiers of the league is a positive change, another chance has been missed to move towards larger divisions – along the lines of the 16-16-10 structure we proposed, or the 16-10-16 variant mooted recently by the SFL.

“Repeated surveys, including the recent national one conducted by the governing bodies, have shown that this is what supporters – upon whose passion and money the game depends – want.

“With a reformulated Scottish League Cup, we remain convinced that larger divisions are both viable and desirable in practical and financial terms, based on criteria related to the renewal and long-term sustainability of our game.

“The impulse for change is at last being translated into action. We want to see this momentum continued and deepened as we move forward together.

“For that to happen, the representation of supporters at all levels of the game is needed, alongside further progress in extending community ownership,” concluded the FansFirst Scotland chair.

The Sonstrust issued its own statement last night.

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