A THINK-TANK aiming to bring together the views of Scottish football supporters with those of independent experts says that the country’s football authorities need more than a ‘quick fix’ to make the national game sustainable.
The warning comes is a detailed appraisal by FansFirst Scotland of ‘reconstruction’ proposals that failed to gain adequate support from Scottish Premier League (SPL) clubs, despite weeks of negotiation.
The SPL is meeting today in a further attempt to move reform forward. But in a detailed paper, entitled Rethinking Reconstruction (PDF document), author Dr Alasdair Galloway, a specialist in management and sports development, argues that the football authorities are still not adequately grasping the central issues.
The need, he says, is for a much fairer financial settlement for all professional Scottish teams and for the restoration of genuine competition to the game to bring back both fans and revenue
Rethinking Reconstruction estimates that the financial redistribution proposals on the table still leave 81 per cent of resources in the hands of the top division and does virtually nothing to benefit 18 of the clubs in the Scottish Football League.
Play-offs between the different divisions will not be enough to end the vast inequality in the game and create real competition, says FansFirst Scotland.
A long-lasting turnaround for Scottish football can be achieved through fair finance, larger leagues, a properly democratic governing body, supporter stakeholding at all levels of the game, a fresh sense of leadership, and a positive boost to the game’s image, the organisation argues.
The think-tank’s FansFirst Plan, published last year, set out a radical programme of reform, based on a series of opinion surveys among Scottish football’s paying customers.
It also calls on the football authorities to talk directly to supporters and independent experts about the future of the game.