Backing for football supporters group
Sports Minister Shona Robison today announced a £70,000 funding package for Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS).
The award will help SDS develop its role as a representative voice for Scottish football fans.
SDS aims to double the number of supporters it represents to at least 30,000 who are affiliated to supporters' trusts, groups or individual fans by the end of next March through the development of a Scottish Football Supporters Network.
Ms Robison said:
"The Scottish Government is committed to working with supporters' trusts to ensure they play an enhanced role in shaping Scottish football. Football is Scotland's national game and it is important that the voice of all supporters, without whom our clubs wouldn't survive, is heard loud and clear.
"The McLeish review of football recommended that national supporters organisations be given greater respect and acknowledgement from within the game. We fully support this and expect football authorities and clubs to place a greater emphasis on ensuring football supporters have a greater say.
"In recognition of the importance we place on all football supporters I am delighted to announce this funding package which will help SDS restructure themselves so they can broaden their reach and membership to all football supporters groups and organisations and individual fans themselves.
"The views of football supporters are important and I believe that by making these changes SDS will be giving all football supporters a chance for their views to be heard."
Welcoming the Grant award, Alan Harris, Chair of Supporters Direct in Scotland, said:
"This new funding will allow Supporters Direct Scotland to expand its traditional role of advising and supporting supporters' trusts to represent the maximum number of supporters, whether or not they are members of supporters trusts. SDS aims to develop a Scottish Football Supporters Network so that SDS becomes the authentic voice of football club fans and allows for an effective and productive dialogue between football fans, government, football authorities, clubs, communities and other public authorities."
The funding package will enable Supporters Direct Scotland to develop a Scottish Football Supporters Network by using the existing trust network to collect contact details and information on every identifiable supporters organisation or group linked to a Scottish football club. The network will be promoted through seminar events and inviting supporter organisations to sign up. The aim is to increase the number of supporters Supporters Direct Scotland represent from the current estimated 15,000 supporters up to at least 30,000 supporters who are either affiliated to supporters' trusts, groups or are individual supporters by March 31, 2012.