Day: March 18, 2015

Fan Ownership in Scotland – the facts

Below is a link to a website where you can sign up to receive updates on the Scottish Greens ‘Fans First’ campaign.

I picked this quote from a Celtic supporter in order to express the importance of these amendments. The changes are not merely relevant to Rangers Football Club, Hearts of Midlothian or Livingstone Football Club, who have all experienced vast financial loss in recent times, but this is a right granted to every Scottish football fan whatever team they may support if they are in need of it.

A Celtic fan said:

“Currently Celtic is run brilliantly (it wasn’t always like that). But Dermot Desmond and the board will certainly not be around for ever and who knows what route the next incumbents might take. Reckless spending to chase success is a tried and tested route in Scotland (Livingston, Gretna, Hearts, Rangers)… it never goes well. If fans own or part-own clubs then the finances are kept realistic because fans understand that it is them who will be digging into their pocket to save the club in the end. No fan wants to go through the pain of the aforementioned financially ‘troubled’ clubs.”

Fan Ownership in Scotland – Football/Soccer

“Green MSP Alison Johnstone today successfully moved a package of amendments to the Community Empowerment Bill to bring in a fans’ right to buy their football clubs at any time”

MSP Alison Johnstone is a member of the Cross-Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Sport (Convener).

The purpose of this group is….

1. To ensure the development of sport and sporting opportunities for the people of Scotland
2. To ensure that sport has a high profile in the Scottish Parliament
3.To influence Scottish Government policy
4.To liaise with Sportscotland, the governing bodies and other sports organisations in Scotland so that such organisation will be able to keep MSPs informed on matter affecting Scottish Sport.

Today Johnstone summed up her thoughts on the amendment by saying:

“I am grateful to the members of the committee for seizing this opportunity to put fans first, and in particular to Ken Macintosh MSP, who co-signed these amendments and spoke powerfully in favour of them at Committee. We asked fans what they wanted, and they asked us for the tools to do the job and run their clubs responsibly for the long term. Today Holyrood has lived up to their aspirations.”

Given recent events in Scottish Football these changes may be an opportunity for remarkable revival of the Scottish game. For too long club owners have been able to undermine honest football fans. Hopefully these plans are followed through and Scottish football can restore credibility.