Welcome to the 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.

Yes Sir, We Can Still Boogie!

Last weekend's full house at Hampden - with an injury time winner and a 50,000 strong rendition of "Yes Sir, I Can Boogie" was a much-needed celebration of Scottish football. It won't be as loud in Torshavn this evening, but the travelling tartan army will surely be in fine voice.

Good luck to Steve Clarke and the team this evening, and to the women's national team in their next World Cup Qualifier against Hungary at Hampden on the 22nd of this month. The team have begun the Pedro Martinez Losa era with two qualifying wins from two games, and will be looking to keep this momentum going in their campaign to reach Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

Greenock Morton are now a community owned football club

At the end of September Greenock Morton became a community owned club, with Morton Club Together (MCT) taking majority ownership.

MCT have taken over control from previous owners Golden Casket, who owned the club for 20 years, having saved the club from the brink of liquidation in 2001. The agreed deal sees the club’s stadium, Cappielow Park, stay in the hands of the football club, along with the club’s debt being completely cleared.

There are now seven SPFL clubs where the fans have majority ownership of their club, and a further seven have a degree of representation within the governance of their club. Read more about the changes at Greenock Morton here.

Football at COP26

The UN’s climate change conference COP26 is coming to Glasgow next month, and there will be a fantastic opportunity for you and your members to connect with the “Cool Down” Sport Climate Action Network that we are part of on Sunday 7th November.

We’ll be doing this in as fun a way as we can imagine – a mini football tournament on the indoor pitch at Toryglen Football Centre (right beside Hampden Park) from 2-4pm – no need to be part of a team, everyone can take part and entry is free, and there will be a unique trophy for the winners… a genuine, original piece of art made by Judith Dean, a former winner of the Jerwood Sculpture Prize. It's being made in the spirit of the event with found objects. More information about this event will follow over the coming week or two!

Andrew Watson and Saving The Home Of Football

100 years ago the world's first black international footballer died. Andrew Watson, captain of Queens Park FC and Scotland, was one of the most influential figures in the game's history, but his story was almost lost. Read about him in a BBC article here.

Another piece of the global game's history could also be lost if we do not act quickly. The site of the first Hampden Park, where Watson played and which is depicted on a mural commemorating the first international match played at a purpose-built football stadium (Scotland 5, England 1!) is at risk following severe storm damage in August. We were delighted to read this morning that Hampden Bowling Club are working hard to save the site, with help from Queens Park FC. We'll share details of how you can help over the coming weeks and months.

SD Scotland 2021 AGM

Our latest AGM was held online earlier this month, giving our members a chance to hear highlights from the 2020 financial year, an update on current activities, and a lookahead to 2022. We also heard about some of the successes in fan/community ownership that have been possible this year despite the pandemic.

We were also joined by guests from SD Europe, GambleAware and the Rapid Transition Alliance. Thanks to everyone who gave up part of their weekend to attend the AGM.

At the AGM Dougie McMahon (St Mirren Independent Supporters Association) and Jennifer Aitchison (Inverness Caledonian Thistle Supporters Trust stood down by rotation; and Laura Fawkes (Club 1872) joined as a new board member. Thank you Dougie and Jennifer, and a big welcome to Laura!

Tap Out and take a moment to avoid Bet Regret

With the new season underway we are delighted to be renewing our partnership with GambleAware, helping them to implement their “Bet Regret” campaign for the 2021/22 season. Bet Regret is the sinking feeling you get the minute you make a bet without thinking it through. Often when drunk, bored or chasing losses. It’s about avoiding those impulsive bets you kick yourself for as soon as you’ve made them.

Our matchday experiences are full of habits – who we go with, where we go before the game, and often superstitions like wearing our lucky pair of socks! Betting is also a habit – putting a line on or picking matches for an accumulator. This makes Saturdays about more than just the match, and we want to build good habits that make it more enjoyable rather than something we regret.

“Tap out and take a moment” is a simple tip to use every time you bet. Tap out of your betting app before you place a bet and then take a moment to think – this could be by making a cup of tea, deciding what you want for dinner or just by putting your phone down for a minute. This gives you time to really think it through and decide if it’s a bet you should avoid or not.

We have seen the return of fans in limited numbers this month for the group stage of the league cup, and look forward to the gradual lifting of COVID restrictions as the league fixtures begin. The football’s back, the fans are back, but the Bet Regret is not back. This season, tap out and take a moment to avoid Bet Regret.

Help us strengthen Scottish football

Like most organisations, the financial pressures on SD Scotland intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, and posed a real threat to our ability to continue our work with supporters groups and grassroots sports clubs. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic we began re-thinking our business model, and were working to expand our commercial activities. Our goal was, and remains, to reduce our reliance on grant funding whilst continuing to advocate for greater supporter engagement and involvement in the governance of our clubs and of the national game.

However, the commercial environment has changed and this has impacted us significantly. We have therefore expanded our Patreon crowdfunding programme, and any contributions (as small or as large as you can afford) that you are able to make to our work will make a massive difference to us. We have introduced three new tiers, with merchandise featuring our "football without fans is nothing" graphic in order for us to recognise your contributions:

  • Bronze tier supporters (donating £5 per month) will receive a sticker
  • Silver tier supporters (donating £12.50 per month) will receive a coffee mug
  • Gold tier supporters (donating £20 per month) will receive a t-shirt

Patreon supporters automatically become Associate Members of SD Scotland:

  1. You’ll be joining a network of fans and supporters groups working to ensure that supporters' voices are heard and influence positive change within the game.
  2. Receive regular updates on issues affecting Scottish football and/or its fans.
  3. Get free access to our events such as Annual Supporters Summit.
  4. Get involved in the democratic structures of Supporters Direct Scotland as one of our three Associate Directors.

Sign up as a Patreon supporter here.

And finally...

Articles, podcasts and videos from the archive

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 recent stories.

  1. Yes Sir, Hampden Can Certainly Boogie!
  2. Why Are Fans Not Being Consulted Regarding VAR?
  3. Let’s Have Away Fans In All The Grounds!
  4. We Need To Keep Flares Out Of Scottish Grounds
  5. COVID Passports will enable large crowds to continue
  6. Scottish Football Needs To Do More!
  7. Scotland Stand Up And Deliver In Vienna (Sky Sports Don’t)
  8. Why It’s Important To Stamp Out This Racism Against Asians!
  9. Hearts Will Just Become Stronger When Fan Ownership Goes Through
  10. Celebrating The Fans!
  11. Enjoying The Start Of The Season
  12. St Mirren completes five-year journey to become fan-owned club

You can also check out our back catalogue of podcast episodes and subscribe to Behind The Goals using your favoured ‘podcatcher’ here, and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.

Supporters Direct Scotland are committed to helping football supporters enjoy responsible gambling; for many this is an integral part of their match day experience.

We have selected GamCare as our recommended support service for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. GamCare operate the National Gambling Helpline (whose advisers are available on 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org), provide treatment for problem gamblers and their families, create awareness about responsible gambling and treatment, and encourage an effective approach to responsible gambling within the gambling industry.

Supporters Direct Scotland

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01324 323282




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