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.

In a couple of hours 2020 will be over. A year which has tested us all, and Scottish football, almost to breaking point. Not all of us have made it through, and we will be thinking of those we have lost this year.

But thankfully, Scottish football has survived. It is a minor miracle that all of our clubs are still with us for 2021, and it is down to the hard work of everyone in Scottish football that we have reached the beginning of a new year with all of the clubs we love still around. Every cloud has a silver lining, and 2020's silver lining is the incredible way our clubs - big and small - have put their communities first and done whatever they can to help those around them.

This extra newsletter is to remind ourselves of the many good news stories that may have faded into the background over the last months. Let's not forget all the things that are great about Scottish football!

Many thanks to our resident writer Scott who put this review together. You can read more of his work at www.thefootyblog.net

Reviewing 2020!

We are about to say cheerio to 2020. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to Hogmanay as much as I have this year, and I do so knowing I can’t celebrate outside of my house. 

Scottish football has definitely been hard hit with all that’s gone on this year but it has also seen some highlights, so here’s a look back at as much of the good stuff as possible and some of the bad! 


The New Year didn’t really start off with a bang but we did have the SD Scotland Survey results to read over. 

It was reported that the SFA had plans in place to ban heading within the kids game, as fears grew that consistent heading of a football was linked with former players suffering from Dementia. 

St Mirren fans group SMiSA announced details on a new partnership with charity Kibble in what would accelerate their bid to become the majority shareholders of The Buddies. 

We managed to travel down to Ayrshire to shine a light on the incredible work that the Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise group have done for their local community. Founding member Eric Bennett was so enthusiastic about all the great things that the enterprise have produced, it was a real pleasure to capture it on film.


The Foundation of Hearts paid off their final instalment of a loan to BidCo. The next step will hopefully see them taking over the majority ownership of Heart of Midlothian Football Club. It has been great to see such a large section of the Jambos support backing The Foundation and the club through thick and thin. They’d have to rally around and support each other again later in the year! 

The Well Society (Motherwell’s biggest stakeholders) announced in February that the club had repaid all external debts and were now operating in the black. Another sign that a fan-owned model can work within Scottish football. 

Morton Together would state their own plans to look at community ownership of Greenock Morton. 


In March, the global pandemic really took hold and would eventually shut down Scottish football’s 2019-20 season. 

Supporters Direct Scotland urged all clubs to get together and support each other throughout this difficult time. We also published a video showing ways in which we could help our vulnerable football clubs.

SD Scotland were also on hand to help with the Coronavirus Joint Response Group and make sure the supporters had a voice in key decisions. 

We also highlighted some great output from some great websites like Pure Fitbaw, Nutmeg Magazine and Scottish Football Forums.


We once again focussed on the work of the valuable SLOs (Supporter Liaison Officers) who had worked tirelessly during this tough period, acting as the best communication between fans/communities and their beloved football clubs. 

In very sad news, Cumock Juniors Community Enterprise trustee Eric Bennett who we interviewed earlier in the year passed away

League reconstruction was again a point of discussion but nothing would come of it. 

We had a farcical vote to decide on whether we should cancel the footballing season. Dundee seemed to get the chance to change their mind and it was decided that Stranraer, Partick Thistle and Hearts would all be relegated without having the chance to save themselves on the park. Court papers were served but that couldn’t help those clubs. Not Scottish football’s finest moments, in my opinion. 


It was better news for Celtic, Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers who were all awarded their respective league titles. 

Again we urged The SPFL and it’s members to listen to the fans as they decided what to do next when it came to our game. I still don’t think they listen enough to the people that truly keep the game alive.

Club endorsed face-masks would become a thing in May, with Dundee United leading the way.


A pathway to get the Scottish Premiership restarted was announced. While that was great, I felt they kind of left the rest of our game behind. More should’ve been done quicker to help the lower leagues, non-league sides and our women’s game. 

Once again the prospect of integrating Old Firm B teams into our leagues was brought up as again we looked at league reconstruction, which again failed to get off the ground. 

We celebrated Kilmarnock’s Social Media in June as it really helped keep the fans sane and in the know. 

SD Scotland urged the Tartan Army to back Lyndon Dykes as a Scotland player (of course we knew he’d select Scotland and become a huge success) and we also looked at the prospect of introducing The Rooney Rule into the Scottish game. 


The Scottish Government gave the Scottish Premiership the green light to start the 2020-21 campaign in August, which gave us all something to get excited about!


Scottish football returned in the form of our top flight. 

Within the first few weeks, players at Aberdeen and Celtic full-back Boli Bolingoli had breached strict coronavirus protocols. That would see national outrage come to the fore and the Scottish Government stepping in to punish the clubs involved. 

Quite a few grounds up and down the country were being targeted by vandals. Whether these acts were done out of frustration or due to boredom there was no excuse to put hardworking community football clubs under even more pressure than they were already facing during the pandemic. 

The football on the park wasn’t full of goalfests and it did have some pundits down south scoffing at it, but I rather enjoyed the good defensive performances we saw in the opening month


At the start of September, Dunfermline Athletic were in the midst of a takeover bid. A German based consortium had bought up 30% of shares and had an option to take that total up to 75.1% from a fans trust. This move shows that fan ownership can work in various ways and still allowed Pars fans to dictate who could purchase their club. 

SD Scotland partnered up with BeGambleAware to promote safer gambling initiatives. 

We saw a few stadiums opening up to trail pilot events that saw fans returning in small numbers. Unfortunately the process has been a slow one and while more pilot events have happened it’s not been in a consistent basis as Covid-19 still dictates our lives. 

We called on the government to think about a Help Out scheme to get fans back into the stands as soon as it’s safe to do so and match the money smaller clubs received from their gates. 


Our lower leagues finally got a chance to start their league seasons.  

SD Scotland reminded the Scottish football fan not to forget about their football rituals of a Saturday and hope to get back to them soon.

The footballing world sadly lost former Hearts captain Marius Zaliuskas at the end of October.  


November was actually a bright month in 2020. 

The Scotland national team had the Tartan Army dreaming of The Euros as they beat Israel to qualify for a final play-off tie against Serbia, the winners securing a place in next summers European Championships.

Yes Sir, it turned out our players could boogie as the Scotland men’s side beat Serbia in Belgrade to reach their first major tournament since 1998! 

Hopefully we will be allowed to travel by the summer and see our boys beat England at Wembley. 


We interviewed Ross County SLO Kenny MacLennan regarding his role within the club and how they were successfully bringing fans back into the ground. 

Celtic secured yet another treble after dramatically beating Hearts in the 2020 Scottish Cup final. 

Scottish footballing legends Jim McLean and David Sneddon both passed away. Jim McLean was one our our very best football managers and his success at Dundee United have never been matched. While David Sneddon will forever remain in Kilmarnock folklore as being a truly loyal and fantastic servant of the Ayrshire club. 

Unfortunately we ended this year with some disappointing controversy. 

Queen of the South shamefully allowed controversial politician George Galloway and his family to enter Palmerston Park on Boxing Day, even though Dumfries and Galloway had just entered tier 4 and all essential travel was banned and no other spectator was allowed to enter a football ground in Scotland’s mainland. 

Then Kilmarnock FC announced that they had handed over a letter to the police that contained racist abuse towards their manager Alex Dyer. It is a disgusting attack on a model professional and one that cannot be tolerated. SD Scotland stand beside Alex Dyer and his right to work in Scotland without threat of racist abuse being directed his way! 

Now here’s hoping for a happier and kinder 2021 and that Scottish football fans can finally re-enter stadiums in a regular basis. 

Stay safe everyone! 

Support our 2021 activities

Like most organisations, the financial pressures on SD Scotland have intensified during 2020, and pose a real threat to our ability to continue our work with supporters groups and grassroots sports clubs. Prior to this year 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.

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