Published on 23 Jan 2013

Fan power to the fore in Scottish football?

Well one thing’s already been achieved by the fans’ draft resolution (see previous blog): it is not being ignored.

The Scottish FA have clearly looked at what is being proposed and are rightly interested by its content.

Responding to it however they wanted to draw some relevant points to the attention of fans and I am more than happy to do so via this blog.

Primarily the SFA are keen everyone should know about and read their mission statement, a plan which addresses some of the territory in the draft I published on Monday. Here’s the link to it.

A number of fans have said they’d not been able to find this on the SFA site – so that should be cleared up now.

The SFA’s position on Rangers and the SPL proposals to shoe-horn the club into a 2-Tier SPL remains that they did not, could not, would not seek to influence this matter.

The SFA insist they are football’s umbrella body in the game but have no jurisdiction over the running of the SPL or any league for that matter:

“The Scottish FA has no jurisdiction over the competition rules of league bodies. Through the Professional Game Board, we can provide a forum for debate on matters such as league reconstruction.”

So they say they exist to provide debate on matters like league reconstruction but cannot interfere directly, they say they have no powers to do so.

The Scottish FA have recently issued the national football survey; the most comprehensive questionnaire ever conducted into Scottish football.

More than 7000 supporters have contributed to this wide-ranging survey, with the results due to be published next month.

We are in regular dialogue with Supporters Direct Scotland and, indeed, will be attending their council meeting at Hampden Park today.

So the SFA are in listening mode they say and have overhauled their internal structures with the aim of improving their hearing – not least of what fans may want.

It is to be hoped that when/if yesterday’s draft resolution becomes something agreed upon, that the game’s governing body will continue to be receptive to new thinking from those who matter most – the fans.

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16 reader comments

  1. Frank Bonner says:

    Even giving them the benefit of the doubt the SFA’s comments are, at best, disingenuous. Stewart Regan made clear last summer that he believed Rangers needed to stay in the SPL and clearly worked towards that objective. Whilst the SFA may have no formal power over the leagues it certainly has massive influence which it used. I seem to remember a variety of threats including forced restructuring if the SFA did not get their way. It seems that the gap between what they say and what they do has not diminished at all in the last 6 or 7 month. There is no comfort to be taken from a statement which continues to play fast and loose with the facts.

  2. iamacant says:

    “So the SFA are in listening mode they say and have overhauled their internal structures”

    Why is Cambell Ogilvie still president of the SFA? Overhauled, as in past tense? Don’t make me laugh. Obviously they are not listening to the fans!!!

  3. Graham says:

    SFA cobblers. They indeed have influence, suits work together behind the scenes, and the Ibrox influence goes deep. Money also talks!

    At least you have got a response, but I find PMQ’s just as honest and open as the SFA/SPL.

  4. Manandboy says:

    Alex, glad to see your looking well and still on the case of our corrupt little football association.

    Re The Stewart Regan/SFA Mission Statement.

    The guy still doesn’t get it.

    Stewart, you’re not the solution.

    You’re the problem.

    You and Campbell Ogilvie.

    Do Scotland a favour .

    Please resign, the pair of you.

    BTW Stewart, nice of you to include a pic of ex manager Craig Levein.

    Stewart, you must keep up to date. The new manager is Gordon Strachan.

  5. Philip says:

    SFA “leading with integrity & innovation” – I will grant them , they have been innovative in the creation of an “associate membership” for a new football club to play in the SFL 3 this year – a status of membership that does not exist in their rules/articles of association .

    As for integrity , a Presiident who received & still holds an EBT from the now liquidated Rangers FC & who until recently (transferred to his wife) owned shares in the said defunct Rangers FC – come on SFA show a bit of integrity & ask for the resignation of the “hugely conflicted” Mr Ogilvie .

    Can you imagine the President of the English FA operating in such circumstances ?

  6. Carntyne says:

    There’s nothing wrong with the SFA’s mission statement, it’s getting them to adhere to it.

    Fancy words are no use if they are not followed up by action.

    We are still to hear anything from the SFA on referee Andrew Dallas’s lying in a match report and only being found out after discovering the incident had been captured on video.

    Repeated emails to the SFA have gone unanswered.

    Does this sound like openess and fairness?

    Mission statement?

    What mission staement?

  7. whistle says:

    SFA have zero authority? So what is Regan being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds of fans money for?
    Reminds me of Ogilvy, Regan and Doncaster stating that they believe Scottish Football would be unviable unless Sevco were allowed into Div 1 or the SPL. Why are they there if they don’t believe they can do the job they are paid to do? Why is Regan there when he hasn’t even got a role to fulfil?

  8. Allan says:

    Hi Alex. It worth noting that the survey questions were rather poorly written. For example there was a question about the transparency of the SFA where a possible answer was goal line technology. The two isues are completely separate. this is just one example of a poor question, there are more. It’s also worth noting that “listening to”, “paying lip service to” and “acting on” are al very different things. Football in this country is in a terrible state because poor management of clubs and the various leagues. the people in charge are guilty of self-interest and short-termism and unfortunately the survey etc seems like a pacifier rather than a real solution.

  9. Mark Russell says:

    Scottish football and the SFA in particular are in a state of self protectional paralysis.

    It is a perfect analogy of a script from the original ” yes primeminister”

    Campbell ogilvie , Stewart Reagan = sir Humphrey and jim hacker … Only difference is THESE actors/clowns are not funny !

  10. Iain McG says:

    Ha! Campbell Ogilvie and overhauled in the same sentence?
    Keel hauled, more like.

  11. Tam says:

    One of the issues that has not been mentioned by the SFA is the terms and conditions of the supposed 5 way agreement.

    When they release this I may then take notice of them, but I will not be holding my breath. Like thousands of others if Campbell Ogilvie does not get removed from post then there will NEVER be trust in Scottish football

  12. Auldheid says:


    A Mission Statement must be accompanied by the power to carry it out. Are the SFA in admitting they have no jurisdiction over the leagues telling us that they cannot fulfill their mission as currently constituted?

    The TSFM draft resolution not only asked for a mission statement that placed sporting integrity first it also asked to be told how that would be done and the response seems to be that the SFA have no jurisdiction to deliver.

    Surely this is not what they meant in their reply. The description of their role as a forum and place to debate makes them no different from internet blogs and forums and just as powerless to effect change.

    If ever there was a reason for Scottish football failing at both playing and governance level it is surely this admission that they are powerless.

    And yet they have licencing powers that whilst maybe not useable against the leagues are certainly useable to make clubs conform.

    The SFA response raises the question what is their purpose if they have no power to carry it out? We must have an SFA that has a purpose and the means of meeting it or everything is one big talking shop.

    Astounding really and clearly the SFA need not only a new mission statement but the teeth to give them bite.

  13. TonyE says:

    The SFA in their Mission Statement profess to value transparency. That very page is the most visually difficult to read in the entire document!
    No doubt they will blame the designer of their website ‘cos they don’t do irony.

  14. Robert Taggart says:

    Why oh why does the continued nonsense of separation continue – SFA, SFL, SPL ?
    It be much the same south of the border.
    Time for a single SFF (Scottish Football Federation)?

  15. patrick says:

    Morally, Rangers needed to stay in the SPL. They finished second and are, despite what bigots will tell you, the same club.

    The club were not liquidated as many ill-informed journalists, perhaps including yourself Alex, claim.

  16. tambo says:

    I dont know about you Alex but I feel that without your scrutiny the SFA would be doing very close to zero to even listen to Scotlands football fans let alone implement anything meaningful they recommend no matter what forum they use.

    George Galloway has now picked up the cudgel through his office as MP and has raised some of these very questions through The Houses of Parliament just this very week.

    Keep at them Alex ……… us to finally get to the bottom of this.

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