Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey



Representatives from various fan groups, including the Scottish Football Monitor took up the invitation to the above event which is largely self-explanatory. The scene was set with the following agenda





Media Briefing.


 WHEN:                             Thursday, 20TH July 2017 at 11AM

WHERE:                           Scottish Parliament – Committee Room 4

WHO                                Simon Barrow (Chair of the SFSA), Henry McLeish (Board member of the SFSA), Richard Leonard MSP (member of Scottish Parliament for Central Scotland and host of event) and Dr Joachim Lammert (The Department of Sports Economics and Sports Management at the University of Leipzig)


The first independent evaluation of Scottish football governance will be launched by The Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA).


The SFSA’s nationwide survey will assess, for the first time, supporters’ views on the current position of the game, including the performance of the game’s governing bodies in Scotland.  The research will become an annual benchmarking & reporting exercise looking at all aspects of the game.


The SFSA’s online survey has been created in partnership with Prof. Dr. Axel Faix and Dr. Joachim Lammert, two experienced German academics who have undertaken similar evaluations on a national level in Germany and on a European level on topics including 50+1 (German football’s rules that a parent club must own at least 50% plus one share of the football company) and Financial Fair Play.  Their research has been backed by Football Supporters Europe and by German fans organisation, Unsere Kurve.


Fans will also be able to provide comment on their own club’s performance.


The SFSA, whose board includes former First Minister Henry McLeish; former MP and MSP Cathy Jamieson and Maureen McGonigle, Founder of Scottish Women in Sport and first female Scottish FA Council Member, has over 67,000 members supporting clubs across Scotland.


The SFSA is Scotland’s fans’ representative in The Football Supporters Europe network (FSE), an independent, representative and democratically organised grass-roots network of football fans’ in Europe with members in currently 48 countries across the continent.


The SFSA might be best thought of as movement appearing at a time when Scottish Football supporters are desperately seeking an alternative to the attitudes and events that have seen our game at best stand still and at worst decline, as changes in the way football has grown as a global industry  have left us marooned on our own small patch of God’s earth.


If the two maxims that

  • a problem cannot be solved by the mind that created it and
  • if you cannot manage (and therefore improve) what you cannot measure

are true, then the SFSA professional idea to making change happen offers a different approach to the past by introducing new thinking and using tested scientific metrics on a survey model used successfully in Germany, where the game is light years ahead of Scotland’s by any measure.

The arrival of this movement is crucial, and in the words of SFSA Board member Henry McLeish, ex footballer and former First Minister of Scotland; “Scottish Football is at a Watershed”.

Few if any who love our game would argue with that. We love football because it is in our blood, it plays a key part in the social interplay of Scottish society and it is too important not to now say  “Enough!”

It is clear that the medicine of the past, an approach to the game which excludes it’s life blood, (no wonder it is ill) is no longer efficacious – if indeed it ever was.

To continue with that same prescription would fall foul of that other maxim; “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.

Thus the SFSA, who are independent of current Scottish football authorities (SFA/SFL), offer an opportunity to break that insane cycle by offering a new approach, which sees it’s first duty as asking the fans what they think, and they are seeking to do exactly that by enacting a comprehensive nationwide survey of fans’ views and attitudes. The survey, created by a team of research academics at Leipzig University will present, in a cohesive way, the views and thoughts of Scottish football fans concerning the health of the game in Scotland through their own own clubs, the SPFL, and the SFA .

The higher the number who complete the survey and articulating their views, the more weight and authority the survey’s outcomes will carry when the SFSA presents them to current authority and government.


SFM hopes that as many people as possible will take part in an exercise that offers real hope of change by clicking below

and visit the SFSA page at

where the survey is explained and you can join the SFSA individually.


This may be our last chance as lovers of Scottish football to restore its integrity and trust in our football authorities who have lost sight of those values in pursuit of commercial concerns.


To the cynics whose past experience of calling for change discourages them (and who can blame them for it’s taken lifetimes) one last maxim.


If you don’t buy a ticket, you don’t win the lottery.


Roll Up, Roll Up

Big Pink Comment:

Like Auldheid, I am encouraged by the birth of the SFSA and its determination to procure the views of supporters. There are enough people involved in the initiative with clear views about the harm that inherent self-interest on the part of the clubs has brought to our game.

I was less encouraged by the conciliatory tone of Henry McLeish, in public at least, towards those in power at Hampden. For example he said that Scottish football folk viewed outside bodies with suspicion, and that was often understandable.

My take is that they only view anyone wishing to become proactive with that suspicion (and fear). They have never viewed my cash with anything other than hungry eyes, far less suspicion.

The feeling in the room, when less formal discussion was taking place, was that the authorities and the clubs have refused to take fans’ views into account for too long.

Governance (particularly the lack of and the ‘making it up as we go’ varieties), FFP and Strict Liability were all subjects of those discussions. These are all nettles that MUST be grasped in public, and the sooner the better, if fans’ views are to be properly reflected.

I am hopeful that the weight of dissatisfaction I expect to see as a result of this ambitious survey will compel a change in tone by McLeish and his colleagues.

One final note of concern is that a group like SFSA, which after all hopes to represent fans at the top table, appears to have a board overly comprised of folk from the political, business and academic spheres. Some grass roots participation is vital moving forward. Hopefully that is also on the agenda.

This entry was posted in Blogs by Auldheid. Bookmark the permalink.

About Auldheid

Celtic fan from Glasgow living mostly in Spain. A contributor to several websites, discussion groups and blogs, and a member of the Resolution 12 Celtic shareholders' group. Committed to sporting integrity, good governance, and the idea that football is interdependent. We all need each other in the game.

629 thoughts on “Launch of SFSA Fans’ Survey

  1. Ps sorry for double post.Never seen blog had clicked to new page…Pt 2 of pic.
    (mods can delete one of the part 1 pictures
    if i remember correctly not long after he became an ambassador for the new club

  2. CLUSTER ONEAUGUST 4, 2017 at 19:28

    That’s all right then. Thanks to Richard for clearing up that slight misunderstanding.
    It was obviously an easy mistake to make, as witness Traynor, Ally, Walter et al. all voicing the same misconception.
    To tell the truth, I was a bit confused myself for a while!


    AUGUST 4, 2017 at 16:06        

    Quote from the TRFC MD, Stewart Robertson…

    There was a similar announcement by Robertson before the home tie with Progres. Perhaps fan behaviour is one of his KPIs this season?

    Either someone within Ibrox has realised that the sectarian element is holding them back in some way (from outside investment, perhaps?) or Police Scotland (I doubt it would be the SFA/SPFL) has told them that it simply isn’t acceptable anymore.

    I’m sure there will be an announcement before next week’s Hibs game kicks off. I don’t think it’ll stop the inappropriate songbook though. 

  4. Just hit the £1k mark on our fund drive folks. Appreciate all the help and assistance. Well on target with a couple of weeks to go.

    Thanks again to everyone

  5. THOMTHETHIMAUGUST 4, 2017 at 19:33
    To tell the truth, I was a bit confused myself for a while!
    confused? you will be.Tune in next week….
    I may have gone a bit JC there and now have that saying going round and round my head. Believe it was from a tv programe back in the 70s or 80s

  6. Cluster One,  It was the catchphrase of the American satirical comedy series ‘Soap’

  7. As asked previously, was there any formal rebuttal from SFA/SPL/SPFL at the time Charlie and Walter et al were proclaiming “new club” ? Sorry if someone has answered , but I can’t find any of the footballing bodies saying ” naw it’s no'”  at the time 

  8. JIMBOAUGUST 4, 2017 at 20:10
    Thanks. I will go down memory lane on youtube later

    ive got the whole lot of it on my hard drive lol,benson is class

  10. Cluster OneAugust 4, 2017 at 20:50
    ‘.. I will go down memory lane on youtube later’
    I’ve just most enjoyably been down that lane , prompted by the memory of the phrase ‘tune in tomorrow’  in the clever song by Cole Porter “Well did you evah?” in the film ‘High Society’
    “And have you heard the story of, A boy, a girl, unrequited love (Sounds like pure soap opera, tune in tomorrow) I May cry (What a swell party this is) ……”

    Have a dekko at Crosby and Sinatra on this link

    Looks like Crosby might have been aping the soap opera  that Jimbo refers to.

    Grace Kelly at her ice-maiden best in that 1956 film, which I didn’t see until about 1963/64 ( as a 20 year old, although I was word and timing perfect in that particular song [in my own heid!]

    And , in an attempt to kind of remain on topic, what a boon the internet is.

    Every sodding statement   that any  ‘person of public interest’  utters can be dug out and thrown in their faces when they change their tune!

  11. When they state that the club and company are seperate show them this photograph and quote them
    3. The Rangers Football Club PLC a company incorporated under the laws of Scotland with company number SC004276 and having its registered office at ibrox stadium Glasgow G512XD(the company)and

  12. From the Herald online, trying to get us all excited and ‘moving on’ as some ( not named) hack waxes lyrical about the start of the League season:
    “Anything is possible. Remember, this is Scottish fitba we are talking about.”
    Yep,and  in Scottish Football we are talking about how a new club is  allowed to claim the honours of a liquidated club, and of how  years of coldly calculated cheating by SDM are to be swept under the carpet, and of the complicity  in that cheating ( at the very least retrospectively)  of the men who are supposed to’govern’ Scottish  Football,  both  by their failure to deal with it, and by the dirty wee 5-way agreement they made with an asset stripper.
    All the burbling blather such as  “there would seem to be an inordinate amount of interest in this season’s Ladbrokes Premiership” cuts absoutely no ice when we KNOW that falsehood and cheating lie festering in the very heart and bowels of Scottish Football.
    There is a cuckoo in the nest, and the game’s a bogey, whatever the honest endeavour of the player on any pitch.
    Their masters were, and are, at it.

  13. JC at 23.01pm.
    “And , in an attempt to kind of remain on topic, what a boon the internet is.”

    How true!

    I remember in the bad old days before social media, reading and listening to the bluster from David Murray.  We honestly believed this man had very deep pockets and business expertise.  “for every fiver Celtic spend we will spend a tenner”.  At Celtic v Rangers games at Parkhead their fans would wave £10 notes at us.

    One of the recurring themes of the Craig Whyte trial was the procession of ex Ibrox directors coming to the witness box and showing themselves and their colleagues up for the incompetent buffoons that they were.  They hadn’t a clue.  For all the club was in financial dire straights the only solution they had to everything was Spend, Spend, Spend.  David Murray eventually wanted out but found it difficult to find a buyer.  He tried to cover himself in glory by stating that he was waiting to find the right person to move the club forward!  So he got Craig Whyte in.

    Even now, although at a much lower level, they cannot bring themselves to live within their means.  They still want to give the impression that they are a big club who can afford to buy in about 9 players in a transfer window.  They should stop looking over their shoulders at Celtic and look inwards.  Celtic have a built in advantage in terms of revenue, get over it or it will end in tears.

  14. I’m heading off to work shortly on what is the first day of the brand new league season.

    I’ve scunnered myself by re-reading the SPFL’s press release relating to the legal advice given by Gerry Moynihan QC following the Supreme Court’s final ruling on EBTs.

    The legal advice rules out several actions on the basis that they are not allowed for under the rules of the SPL/SPFL/SFA.

    It is now exactly five years since the start of the 2012/13 season, a season which began with Charles Green’s Rangers being permitted to play its first game only following the granting of a previously unheard of conditional membership of the SFA.

    Did our football authorities seek legal advice from an eminent QC into granting a license which was not covered by their rules, and if not, why not? Did the SPFL or SFA seek legal advice on each subsequent occasion they tore up their own rulebook to accommodate any form of Rangers in the past five seasons?

    Like the claims of double jeopardy applying outside a courtroom, the SPFL’S press release contains more mince than a butchers shop.

  15. Jimbo – ‘At Celtic v Rangers games at Parkhead their fans would wave £10 notes at us.’

    Yes, the taxpayer’s £10 notes!

  16. JOHN CLARKAUGUST 4, 2017 at 23:01
    Crosby and Sinatra…..Magic
    At the start of this new season. Anyone else not feeling it?
    One can only hope that  the rules of the SPFL/SFA.are all in place(don’t believe it matters anyway.discretion and all that)
    Won’t be attending as many games this season (will wait and see if  my club has a backbone)

  17. Jimbo, you see this is when a Jabbaesque PR department is worth it’s salt.  That headline should have read “Hearts fury as SFA demands seats in new stand”.

  18. Just back from the pub after watching the opening game of the season.  In the interests of the site I will say no more.  However, as the poster who exposed the drama of the delay in the opening of the new stand at Tynie, I think I should get 2 free tickets for the first game against Celtic.17171818

    Think it’s November or December. I will wear my wooly scarf.

    (I will not tie it around your goalposts!)

  19. From TV i see that SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster was not at the Unveiling of the flag today at celtic park.Is it mandatory for the chief executive to be present on the first day of a new SPFL campaign or is it by invite only from the club?
    If you are the chief executive of anything and want to promote your brand, I would expect you should be in the mix right at the start.
    Did i miss while making the tea?

  20. Sorry Cluster One. Neil Doncaster is not one of my heroes but, to be fair he was at Celtic Park today. I was a guest at the Boardroom there this afternoon and he was there, large as life. He did not help to raise the Champion’s Flag and I don’t think that he would have been welcomed to do so.

  21. “I still follow Rangers. When you leave, you’re not a player anymore, but you become a supporter.” To emphasise it, he says that the administration and liquidation of Rangers in those fateful days five years ago “killed Scottish football”. Not many outside of Ibrox would agree, but Mols doesn’t care much about that.

    “How many leagues have Celtic won now?” Six-in-a-row. “But four without Rangers. The challenge was always Rangers and Celtic. It wasn’t a challenge for four years, so you think it’s an achievement winning six-in-a-row or not? For me, Celtic winning the four years Rangers weren’t there, I don’t think it’s an achievement. No.

    It’s not an opinion he expects many outside Rangers to share.

    He’s 750 miles away in Amsterdam, but there’s no escaping certain things. The EBT chat? He’s heard it – his was worth £260,000 – and here’s his take on it. “I just wanted to play for Rangers, I would have played for petrol money. I didn’t tell them that. They say, ‘You can help the club by doing it this way’. I said, ‘OK, as long as I don’t get into trouble’. They put it on a letter and at the end of the day the responsibility is with the club. My agent agreed and also the guy who was doing the tax, because I don’t have a clue about that. I assumed they had the knowledge about it. I agreed with it. I said, ‘No problem, as long as I don’t get into trouble.’

    “I think he (Sir David Murray) knew what he was doing. It’s hard to put the club in that situation. I wouldn’t do that. It affected so many people who are following Rangers and you see the result. Four leagues down. It affected the whole of Scottish football. Yeah I would blame him or his advisors.”

    The title-stripping furore? That’s carried on the wind from Glasgow to Amsterdam as well. “I don’t even know where my medals are. They can take away my medals or my titles but they can’t take away my memory. I won on the pitch. If Aberdeen did the same, EBTs, would they become champions? Or the guy from Dundee United (Stephen Thompson) who makes a lot of talking about that? Would they become champions? I don’t think so. They need to move on now. Think about their own situation. They (United) need to worry about getting back to the Premier League.”

    Michael Mols demonstrates that the average footballer isn’t the sharpest tool in the box. Using Mols’ unique and warped theory about Celtic’s lack of achievement “because Rangers weren’t there”, presumably Rangers lifting of the European Cup Winners Cup in 1972 wasn’t an achievement either, since Celtic weren’t there.

  22. PATMATTAUGUST 5, 2017 at 20:28   
    Sorry Cluster One. Neil Doncaster is not one of my heroes but, to be fair he was at Celtic Park today. I was a guest at the Boardroom there this afternoon and he was there, large as life. He did not help to raise the Champion’s Flag and I don’t think that he would have been welcomed to do so.


    If it was up me I would not allow Doncaster or Regan into Celtic Park unless it was an event where the club is contractually obliged. As far as I am concerned both those men think Rangers cheating on tax to the disadvantage of other clubs is okay.  I saw Regan on Twitter congratulating Celtic on beating Rosenberg. Hollow and meaningless words. If they genuinely want football to move on then they must recognise it is not possible with them in charge. 

  23. HIGHLANDERAUGUST 6, 2017 at 12:56
    I don’t even know where my medals are.
    They put it on a letter and at the end of the day the responsibility is with the club.
    I bet he can remember where his letter from the club is though

Comments are closed.