In the aftermath of the recent election and whilst those of us who voted one way are still hoping that our way continues to count, the horse trading has begun. No matter your politics, the fact that a party wholly representing one part of the United Kingdom is suddenly having such a massive influence, coupled with a lack of detail in the public domain over their negotiations, causes people some nervousness; because of the nature of the DUP, for some they claim it terrifies them.
Can we imagine if football was run that way? Can we imagine if it wasn’t?
Having people who have one focus deliberating and influencing your life has always been an issue at the core of the United Kingdom. Proud Scots do not like the power of the English, some English have begun to resent the growing independence of the Scots, the Welsh have turned out to have their own independence and as for the Irish; the Trouble has always never been far behind.
The recognised method of dealing with these issues has now become to allow, where possible, organisations within the domain of the domicile to grow on their own. For some it sows the seeds of an increasing independence as the locals realise they can do it for themselves. It also does, though ensure the organisation is close to its own people and is truly representative of them.
In Scotland, and throughout the last election, the big two – Conservative and Labour parties – have suffered under the accusations of being a “branch office” of their London centric big sister. It has led to people making choices based on the assumption that, at times, neither of the leaders up here have autonomy. When there are policies that will be unpopular in Scotland, they say, the high heid yins in Edinburgh have no choice but to toe the party line.
We do not like that thought.
Nor should we.
I suggested that football has a similar issue. And so. It does…
The views and opinions of the Scottish fans who last Saturday threw up their hands in joy and held their heads in despair all within 90 seconds or so suffer from that lack of representation. As deals are done in secret and “announcements” made over innovations and changes they are collectively silent through the funded organisation established to represent them; at best that organ is muted.
Never has it been more important for the Scottish football fan to feel the importance of their view being heard. Never has it been more important as Project Brave is being undertaken, chairmen are being fined £3,000 for having a bet, we look as though we are going to miss out on another World Cup, expansion of our cup competitions is growing apace, play offs and promotions have delivered their verdicts and handed their budgets to managers who bemoaned last year it was hard, that one of our two giant clubs seems unable to keep itself out of the court room whilst supplying the accused, the defence lawyer, the pantomime villain and a circus or at least two premiership clubs appear to be on the verge of administration.
The time has come to ensure that the voice of the footballing nation does not come from around the Isles but around the corner. Whilst the work of Supporters Direct has brought a great deal of support and aid to a number of clubs and supporters groups, the fans need something that is much more than a branch office of a bigger organisation.
In the recent past, SD have seemingly been forced to be more visible but let us not be fooled, if you are an ordinary fan, SD have no place for you. You cannot join, you cannot vote, and you cannot influence; so there is not much point. Building a democratic and fair vocal chord for Scottish football fans needs commitment from the bottom up to engage, enlist and enrich the chorus and chanting of disapproval or support for Scottish football.
That’s why I am in the SFSA – isn’t it time for the Scottish Government to take the bull, grasp the thistle and make the clear choice of removing money going all the way to London and giving it to a fans based organisation that represents them here in Scotland?
We think so… don’t you?
Join the SFSA today! It’s free