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.

Scottish Football Utopia

Inspired by a civic research project in Ireland where citizens are asked to describe their vision of an ideal Ireland, we decided to ask the same question about Scottish football.

Visit the #ScottishFootballUtopia page here and tell us "In an ideal world, what would Scottish football look like?"

As the team behind Utopia Ireland say, "Don’t get hung up on what you think is sensible or even possible. These could be big ideas or small ones. Don’t worry about solving every problem or covering every aspect... This is an invitation to imagine and share your ideas for utopia ... and how we can get there. All answers are anonymous."

Lower leagues and women's football remain suspended

Recent speculation that SPFL League One and League Two might restart at the beginning of March is as yet unconfirmed. We believe that the decision to suspend these leagues, and every level of football beneath this as well as women's football, was done with the best of intentions but very poorly communicated.

This led to speculation that the bulk of football, where COVID-19 protection measures had been followed rigorously and there had been few cases of infection, had been sacrificed in response to high profile breaches by clubs in the two divisions that were allowed to continue. We recognise the importance of Scottish football's commercial relationships and that our game needs to protect these relationships, but we have long argued for full and early engagement of supporters in decisions affecting them. With workplaces, leisure activities and almost all social contact shut down, for many of us 90 minutes in front of a streaming services on a Saturday is one of the few breaks to the monotony of pandemic life.

With claims that club representatives' microphones were muted during SPFL discussions it appears that ours are not the only voices failing to be heard when decisions affecting us are being made.

Fans unite to oppose European Super League

Football Supporters Europe have this week released a statement, signed by a wide cross section of European fans, in opposition to the creation of a European Super League

"We are all united in our opposition to the creation of a European Super League—an unpopular, illegitimate, and dangerous scheme in the eyes of the overwhelming majority of fans.   

"It would destroy the European model of sport, which is based on commonly accepted principles such as sporting merit, promotion and relegation, qualification to European competitions via domestic success, and financial solidarity. In the process, it would also undermine the economic foundations of European football, concentrating even more wealth and power in the hands of a dozen or so elite clubs.

"We recognise that the game is in desperate need of broad reform. But proposals to this end must seek to revive the competitive balance in European competitions, protect domestic leagues, promote the interests of fans, and encourage fairer revenue distribution. A European Super League would achieve none of these objectives—quite the opposite."

Read the full statement on the FSE website.

SD Europe launch TRANSFER

We are delighted to be part of a new project designed to upskill SLOs and safety officers at clubs, national associations and leagues

SD Europe has announced the launch of TRANSFER (Transnational Football Exchange and Role-Sharing), a new two-year project designed to implement an EU Preparatory Action in the field of Exchanges and Mobility in Sport. This Preparatory Action aims to contribute to the development of sport organisations by supporting the learning mobility of their staff. Exchanges of people, ideas and good practices can be beneficial for individuals, for their organisations and for sport as a whole. The project is co-funded by the European Union and UEFA.

TRANSFER will invest in the professional development and capacity-building of supporter liaison officers (SLOs) and safety and security officers (SSOs) at clubs, national associations and leagues in six European countries through a novel programme of transnational exchange visits. Under the project, a minimum of 72 football club and governing body employees will benefit from the opportunity to undertake job-shadowing learning at their counterparts in the partner countries.


  • Football Association of the Czech Republic (FACR)
  • English Premier League (EPL)
  • French Football League (LFP)
  • German Football League (DFL)
  • Scottish Football Association (SFA)
  • Supporters Direct Scotland (SD Scotland)
  • Football Association of Serbia (FSS)

Through a programme of exchange visits focused on the specific learning contexts of the countries and the club and governing body employees involved, the project expects to contribute to:

  1. improved matchday operations benefiting clubs and football supporters across Europe;
  2. more structural implementation of regular exchanges in SLO education in the participating countries and beyond, and
  3. an increased awareness of the integrated approach to safety, security, and service at football matches.

Read more about the TRANSFER project on the SD Europe website.

Support our 2021 Activities

Help us strengthen Scottish football

Like most organisations, the financial pressures on SD Scotland intensified during 2020, 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.

Tap Out to avoid Bet Regret

We wanted to remind you of BeGambleAware’s 'Tap Out For Time Out' campaign which can help you to avoid Bet Regret.

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. Extensive research validates that the action of tapping out helps you to avoid Bet Regret.

Always tap out for some time out: www.begambleaware.org/betregret

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 stories since our last newsletter.

  1. Premiership Should Have Goal-line Tech, We Need A Route For Lower Leagues & Fingers Crossed For Euro Fans
  2. SPFL Appeals, Partick Thistle Charitable Trust Success & Vaccine Hubs
  3. Five Players That Steve Clarke Should Look At Before Euro 2020
  4. Scottish Football Needs To Raise Spirits, More Women Playing & League Reconstruction Again
  5. Reviewing 2020!
  6. Queen Of The South Have Let Down Their Fans

After a long period of inactivity we have relaunched the SD Scotland podcast with a series of "Club Development Scotland meets..." interviews. Subscribe to our podcast feed to catch every new episode:

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

We have moved! You can now contact us at:

64A Cumberland Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6RE

01324 323282




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