SD Europe was delighted to attend the recent SD Scotland supporters summit at Hampden Park.
After opening words of welcome from SD Scotland chair Morag McHaffie and Head of SD Scotland Andrew Jenkin, attendees heard from Guardian journalist David Conn, who said that there was huge potential for fan ownership and supporter involvement in Scotland.
David has spent over 20 years writing about the ‘business’ of football and the Fan Ownership movement in England and further afield.
“A club is a membership body. If you’re going to call it a club, then it’s something that people belong to not something that’s owned. If we cannot have full supporter ownership of clubs, we at least have to have supporters involved.” – David Conn
The story of the Foundation of Hearts (Garry Halliday) and its plans for the future (Stuart Wallace) were shared, before a presentation from Martin Jesper, who is currently involved with the Edinburgh club – having previously worked at Darlington Football Club. Garry said that the reason Foundation of Hearts was in a position to act when the club got into difficulty was because they were ready, they had been preparing and the ground work was done.
Attendees then heard an update on ‘Project Brave’ from Scottish FA’s Chief Executive Stewart Regan. The strategy will focus on improving national team performances through a focus on youth development.
After lunch Supporters Direct Chief Executive Ashley Brown, who is also chair of the Pompey Supporters Trust, spoke about the journey of Portmouth FC in recent years. From multiple private owners and a debt of £100 million, the club was purchased by the supporters trust and now focuses on its Academy, safety and improvement works on to Fratton Park and meaningful fan engagement.
A range of workshops then followed in the afternoon: Club Development Scotland, Colours of our Scarves, Fan Representatives on the Board of Clubs, Supporter Liaison Officers, Trust Training, Who Owns What.
Take a look at the summary video below: