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Scottish Football Fans’ Working Group Set Up

April 24, 2014

SDS-LogoTHE Scottish Government’s Sport and Commonwealth Games Secretary, Shona Robison, has this week announced the formation of an “independent working group that will look at how we can increase and improve fans involvement within football clubs.”

Chaired by Stephen Morrow – a senior lecturer in Sport Finance at the University of Stirling – it will have representation from the SFA, SPFL and Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS), with others to be appointed as appropriate.

Community ownership of football clubs and increased fan engagement in Scottish football has made significant progress in recent months, as Sonstrust members will hear at our AGM on Saturday 26th April, starting at 1pm in the Community Suite at the Bet Butler Stadium.

SDS chief Paul Goodwin and projects manager Andrew Jenkin will be our special guests for the annual meeting.

Several Scottish football clubs have already embraced fan ownership in recent years including Clyde, Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Motherwell, Stirling Albion and Stranraer which all now have forms of community or supporter control.

Hearts FC are on the verge of introducing a similar structure after creditors agreed the sale of shares to chairwoman Ann Budge, who plans to transfer ownership to fans’ group Foundation of Hearts.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone, who was leading the member’s debate on Fan Ownership of Football Clubs, welcomed Ms Robison’s announcement can called for an “ambitious mandate” and for the group to look at “radical recommendations”.

She also pointed to a new poll which showed 87% of those asked support properly constituted fan bodies, such as trusts, having right of first refusal if their club comes up for sale, or when it goes into administration.

The research also reports 72% would support a right to buy their local club for a market value at any time.

You can watch the debate here.

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