SD Europe Fund 2021: Supporters Direct Scotland

Promoting the social impact of regional football in Scotland
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ORGANISATION DESCRIPTION

Founded as a democratic Community Benefit Society, Supporters Direct Scotland is a democratic and representative body of Scottish community owned clubs, supporters trusts and supporters in general, working to protect, promote and further their interests with governing bodies of Scottish football and other stakeholders.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

This project will extend the work of Supporters Direct Scotland to tiers 5 and 6 of Scottish football – the regional feeder leagues contested by 83 clubs (in addition to the 42 clubs competing nationally in the Scottish Professional Football League). There are a further 81 clubs in tier 7, 71 clubs operating outside of the professional pyramid, and many more in local amateur leagues. 

The principal activities within this project will be: to expand the SDS Index, which documents the ownership of Scottish football clubs, identifying the levels of fan ownership, and providing visibility and transparency of each club’s ultimate owner to fans and other stakeholders. Additionally, the project will encourage fans to engage with local clubs lower in the league structure than the club they support. This is particularly important during football’s recovery from COVID-19, when attendance at professional football matches and travel to away games are likely to be restricted. 

Lastly, the project will publicise the social impact of lower league clubs’ community programmes.  This project will encourage greater engagement by SPFL fans with clubs lower in the league structure, improve links between supporter organisations at different levels, and assist with Scottish football’s financial recovery from COVID-19.