The Scottish FA, in partnership with Supporters Direct Scotland and the SPFL, launched the 2016 Scottish Football Supporters Survey last week, with a record 15,000 fans having their say.
Some of the findings will go to agenda items at Convention which will take place in December.
In publishing the results, the Scottish football fans organisation has explained the steps it will take to create progress in lobbying for change, where there is a consistent message from fans.
As part of the process, Supporters Direct Scotland presented the survey findings to the Scottish FA Congress at Hampden Park, and identified three “key asks” to the wider Scottish football family.
SDS understood the perception that Scottish football surveys are a “talking shop” and don’t leave to meaningful debate and change. For that reason the officially recognised supporter organisation agreed with the Scottish FA and SPFL that it would present three key “asks”.
These “asks” are as follows:
Innovation around ticket pricing - SDS want to support a more innovative approach to ticket prices and matchday value. They recognise that revenue cannot drop at the clubs, nor would supporters want to see that impacted on the park. SDS believe there are more creative pricing strategies that can be introduced, delivering wider choice at both ends of the pricing scale. They also believe they can work with clubs to assess how to add genuine, meaningful value to match-days and open to that process of dialogue and support.
Fan focused approach - SDS would like to see supporters more central to decision making processes, by those that govern the game, both from within (governing bodies) and externally (local authorities, police and other external agencies, and Scottish Government). This means taking a more "customer focused" approach to the game the nation loves, from police and stewarding. SDS also want to see the introduction of a test pilot around family friendly in-stadium bars (which already exist) that don't require fans to come in and leave, before re-entering the stadium.
Kick-off times – The significant annual investment TV companies make into Scottish Football is recognised
SDS know that low attendances don't look great as a TV spectacle. They want to build a direct relationship with Sky Sports, BT Sport and BBC Scotland with a regular course of meetings. While there must always be compromises, there’s also a real opportunity to work together.
Since its inception, the Scottish Football Supporters Survey has helped shape strategy and facilitate change at all levels of the game, and it is hoped that by setting out three clear areas for improvement, this can be reviewed via the Scottish FA Congress as a means of testing progress.
Already, supporter views have been taken on board from previous surveys and helped achieve the implementation of innovations such as:
- The creation of a single league body, the SPFL
- The creation of the Premiership Play-Offs
- The appointment of SDS and other independent groups (Players, Coaches and Referee Representatives) to the Scottish FA Congress
- The reformatting of the League Cup
It is hoped the evolution of this process will mark another step forward in supporters helping to shape the future of Scottish football.
Stewart Regan, Scottish FA chief executive said:
“The Scottish Football Survey gives fans an opportunity to have their say on the issues that matter most. I am delighted that so many have responded and we will work to ensure that the views of the supporters are heard and acted upon.
“The Scottish Football Survey has already helped influence change with the creation of the single league body, the introduction of play-offs and the creation of the Scottish football pyramid.
“We have worked closely with the Scottish Government and SDS to ensure greater supporter involvement in the game.”
Head of Supporters Direct Scotland Andrew Jenkin commented:
“When we launched this year’s survey we set out with a clear vision: to build a survey that really aimed to not only give supporters a say within Scottish football, but ensure their views were heard.
“The result was outstanding with a huge 14,457 supporters taking the time to give their views on Scottish football’s most pressing issues.
"The level of engagement we received through the survey reaffirmed our belief that supporters want to be further represented within the game given this is the biggest ever consultation of supporters within the game.
“In addition to simply sharing the results, we've used our learning from the survey and additional fan related issues we’ve encountered to develop these three key ‘Supporter Asks’ which we believe supporters are most keen to see addressed.
“We’ll be monitoring and tracking the game’s response to these 'Asks' over the course of a year and look to feed this back in next year's survey.”