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.

Lower leagues and women's football to return from March 20th

The news that League One, League Two and Scottish Women's Premier League 1 will be allowed to restart later this month, along with a new schedule for the Scottish Cup, was warmly welcomed this week.

However, the exact format of the remaining League One & Two season has since been up for debate, with clubs proposing a curtailed 18 match programme, followed by a 4 game post-split sequence of fixtures to complete the season. This seems to be a practical way to ease fixture congestion, but is yet to be formally agreed by all clubs and approved by the SPFL. We argued last summer for a contingency plan to be put in place for exactly this kind of situation, and hope that this decision can be made without further delay to the season.

We will continue to put the case for contingency planning to be part of the post-COVID football restart process - this can avoid the unseemly conflict that followed the curtailment of last season's competitions.

Bet Regret is back

As a partner of BeGambleAware, Supporters Direct Scotland is pleased to support the next stage of the Bet Regret campaign that launches this weekend. In this campaign bettors are asked to tap out of their betting app and pause, take a moment to think so they can avoid Bet Regret. This is a major campaign running across TV and BVOD, radio, digital, social and is supported by celebrity talent David James and Josh Denzel.

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.

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.

For this campaign BeGambleAware have chosen to really focus on the process of tapping out. How to do it, what to do while you take your moment to consider, and what benefits come from taking that time to avoid Bet Regret.

Check out the new campaign and watch Barry learn the value of taking a moment to think before placing a bet. www.begambleaware.org/betregret

Watch this space for more news on the campaign and support from David James and Josh Denzel.

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."

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.

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. Scottish Government Shouldn’t Bow Down To UEFA Pressure Regarding Euro 2020
  2. Scottish Football Authorities Need To Sort Out Own Problems Not Scottish Government
  3. SPFL & SFA Need To Figure Out Lower League & SWPL Plans
  4. Premiership Should Have Goal-line Tech, We Need A Route For Lower Leagues & Fingers Crossed For Euro Fans
  5. SPFL Appeals, Partick Thistle Charitable Trust Success & Vaccine Hubs
  6. Five Players That Steve Clarke Should Look At Before Euro 2020
  7. Scottish Football Needs To Raise Spirits, More Women Playing & League Reconstruction Again

Behind The Goals is back! Subscribe to our podcast feed to catch every new episode:

Also check out our recent "Club Development Scotland meets..." series.

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