Welcome to the new Scottish Supporters Network newsletter, brought to you by Supporters Direct Scotland. This newsletter aims to bring our members closer together and better informed of news and best practice from across the network.

Alcohol and Fan Behaviour

The incidents at the recent Hearts-Hibs derby match put Scottish football in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. SD Scotland's view was sought out by both the BBC and STV, and you may have seen and heard CEO Alan Russell on Good Morning Scotland and Scotland Tonight, in the latter taking part in a panel discussion with Rab Douglas, Graham Ruthven and Les Gray.

In the discussion we made the case for fans self-policing, calling for witnesses to the incidents to speak up and identify the individuals responsible. The discussion also extended to strict liability - where clubs are held responsible for the actions of their fans - although we stressed the difference between the legislation being proposed by Scottish politicians and the strict liability systems adopted by UEFA and the English FA, which are non-legislative systems of self-policing within football.

The previous week's discussion of the potential re-introduction of alcohol sales in football stadia was also revisited - the irony being that these incidents happened with an alcohol ban in effect. This is a sensitive topic, with alcohol abuse a serious problem in Scotland, but it is clear that restricting alcohol consumption for 90 minutes is not a solution to this problem, and may even exacerbate it due to an increase in binge drinking in the hours leading up to matches.

We will continue to engage on this topic, and speak out for all fans and the vast majority who drink responsibly, rather than just focusing on problem behaviours.

Elgin City sign up with FansBet as a Fan Partner!

Elgin City are the first SPFL club to sign up as a fan partner with the Scottish Supporters Network's exclusive sponsor, FansBet.

Run by lifelong match-goers, FansBet pride themselves as being the only bookmaker which promises to share 50% of their net profits with fans, while maintaining rigorous standards towards safe, enjoyable, responsible gambling.

Fans are given the option to select the club they support when registering at FansBet.com; any Elgin City supporter who tags themselves to the club when they join will receive their winnings as normal if their bets win, but uniquely and vitally, any unsuccessful bets can still help the club raise funds to be spent specifically for the benefit of Elgin City supporters.

Other partners who have signed up include the "A Celtic State Of Mind" podcast, St Mirren's "Cockles Wilson Supporters Club", and the CaleyThistleOnline.com Forum. We will bring you news of new partners as they sign up, and showcase the projects funded by this partnership throughout the season.

Membership Renewals

Membership renewals are underway, with member trusts gradually signing up to our new Go Cardless membership system, at the reduced price of £50. We welcome new applications from democratic supporters groups (full criteria for membership are available on request).

A few trusts have notified us of difficulties signing up with Go Cardless, as they need two signatories on the direct debit form. If this is the case for you, when you visit the Go Cardless site, fill in your bank details, then select the option where more than one signature is required. This then allows you to download a mandate for signing and you can then take it into a bank branch. 

And for the first time, we are opening up our membership to individuals as well as supporter groups. If you would like to join as an Individual Member you can do so on a pay-as-you like basis via the Scottish Supporters Network Patreon page.

Group and individual members can attend our annual Supporters Summit free of charge, will receive news of all SDS work and publications, and can stand for election to the SDS board.

We are committed to keeping all of our work accessible to everyone, whether members or not. To keep up-to-date you can become an Affiliate Member by joining the Scottish Supporters Network free of charge.

Read more..

Behind The Goals Podcast

Following an extended break, Behind The Goals is back with a special episode - we took the podcast on the road again, this time to Warsaw for a beer festival.

Whilst in Warsaw we did a bit of ground-hopping - taking a tour of the national stadium, drinking beer responsibly in the Legia stadium, and taking in a Liga III match at the Polonia stadium. Polonia won 2-0 against ŁKS Łomża, and even though we wanted to just sit and watch the game we were forced (literally!) to stand up and join in with the chants and choreography!

You can also catch up on episodes from earlier in the autumn:

Check out all our previous episodes and subscribe to the podcast using your favoured ‘podcatcher’ here.

Round Up

As part of our objective to better connect fans, share best practice within Scottish sport, to promote supporter dialogue and promote sport clubs through which positive societal change can occur, here we share some relevant stories from the past month.

  1. Scottish Fans Need To Keep Money In Their Pockets
  2. Scottish Football Is Exciting And It’s Not Just Down To Steven Gerrard
  3. Pundit Kris Boyd Should Concentrate On His Own Game
  4. Is 2019 The Year To Give Billy Gilmour His First Scotland Call-up?
  5. Scotland Need To Try And Get The Best Out Of Ryan Fraser

Want to have your say? Contact us at info@supporters-direct.scot

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