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Giving fans a say

Published: 10 Jan 2016 00:01

Football fans urged to take part in consultation.

Football supporters should have a greater say in the day-to-day running of their clubs, Sports Minister Jamie Hepburn will tell fans today.

Addressing the Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) Supporters' Summit at Hampden Park today (Sunday), Mr Hepburn will speak about the importance of fans having a stake in their clubs, and how this can help make the Scottish game stronger in the longer term.

Mr Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, will use his speech to encourage fans to take part in the Scottish Government's consultation on supporter involvement, which is gathering views on the best ways to help fans to have an influence in the running of their clubs.

The consultation, which closes on January 15, looks at different options which could be included in future legislation. These include a right to influence the way a club is run, to govern a club or to bid for ownership when it comes up for sale. The final option is to introduce a right to buy, where fans would have the right to buy their football club.

The Supporters' Summit will look at issues including fan ownership, governance and the example of how clubs are run in Germany.

Mr Hepburn will say today:

"I firmly believe there is a powerful and persuasive case for supporter involvement – and, where appropriate – ownership of their clubs.

"It is commonplace in the Bundesliga, so often held up as an example of best practice on and off the field.

"And supporter involvement and ownership is gaining momentum here in Scotland too. Hearts and Motherwell are pursuing high-profile fan ownership models, while other clubs like Clyde, Dunfermline and Stirling Albion have led the way.
So fan involvement and ownership can – and does – work.

"The consultation closes on January 15. After that, we will analyse and assess the responses and publish a report. Then we will work closely with the football authorities, clubs and – of course – supporters and supporters' groups to consider the best way forward."

Background

To take part in the consultation visit: www.gov.scot/publications/2015/09/8222

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in June 2015. As part of the final legislation, the Scottish Government gave an undertaking to consult on a range of different options to enhance supporter involvement in football clubs.