At the request of First Minister Alex Salmond, Scottish FA Chief Executive Stewart Regan attended a meeting at St Andrew's House in Edinburgh today to discuss issues relating to Scottish football.
Also in attendance at the meeting were Sports Minister Shona Robison, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns, Strathclyde Police Chief Constable Stephen House, Assistant Chief Constable Campbell Corrigan, Rangers Chief Executive Martin Bain, Celtic Chief Executive Peter Lawwell, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football League David Longmuir, and Chief Executive of the Scottish Premier League Neil Doncaster.
Following today's discussions the following statement has been prepared on behalf of all attending parties:
1. Football is Scotland's national game and at its best combines pride and passion with a sense of responsibility, respect and discipline. There is absolutely no place in football for those who let the passion become violence, and the pride become bigotry, and we commit to doing all in our power to maintain the good reputation of Scottish football.
2. No football club is directly responsible for the violence, disorder and bigotry seen on our streets and in our homes, and we condemn such acts entirely. However, we accept that as professionals and role models, those who play and coach the game do have a particular duty to ensure that their behaviour on and off the pitch sets a high standard.
3. We accept that those involved in football can positively influence the behaviour and attitudes of the wider community, and so do have a role in addressing the problems that affect such communities, whether that be violence or bigotry or alcohol misuse. We therefore commit to work together to ensure that however we can contribute to addressing these issues, we will. In particular, we agree on a renewed focus on tackling alcohol misuse.
4. Given the vital importance of protecting the reputation of Scottish football, we believe the values and principles set out above need to be restated and that further action be taken in the short and longer term to ensure that football is seen as a powerful force for good.
5. We therefore agree the following:
* To ensure that the existing rules and regulations of Scottish football are rigorously applied and respected
* In light of information provided by the Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police, to explore jointly and understand the practicalities of new fixture scheduling opportunities to minimise damage to communities
* To support the introduction of tough new measures to reduce alcohol consumption before and after games, and to make a significant contribution to the longer term effort to tackle Scotland's alcohol problem
* To ensure that all those involved in matches are fully aware of their legal responsibilities
* To support the expansion of the excellent existing community and social partnerships between the "Old Firm" to take every opportunity to demonstrate mutual respect and cooperation
* To offer full support to all the work by clubs, authorities and police to work with communities to address alcohol misuse, sectarianism, racism, domestic abuse and violence
* To consider the expansion of Football Banning Orders and the clubs' own codes of conduct to respond to criminal behaviour of fans away from the grounds specifically on domestic abuse
* To ensure that the Police have the support of all parties to the enforcement of the law in relation to public order including on the internet. This would include consideration both of the consistency of the policing of football in Scotland and the potential role of a dedicated Football Intelligence Unit
6. To ensure that all these commitments are delivered and other relevant actions are identified including favourable consideration of the "Old Firm" 6 point action plan, a Joint Action Group will be established to develop concrete proposals, reporting to Ministers before the start of the new season.
Alex Salmond, The First Minister of Scotland
Kenny MacAskill, Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Shona Robison, Minister for Public Health and Sport
Stephen House QPM, Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police
Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, Scottish Football Association
David Longmuir, Chief Executive, Scottish Football League
Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive, Scottish Premier League
Peter Lawwell, Chief Executive, Celtic Football Club
Martin Bain, Chief Executive, Rangers Football Club