THE inability of the Scottish football authorities to agree a package of thorough-going reform proposals before next season should open the door to a wider conversation about the national game’s future, says think-tank, FansFirst Scotland.
Yesterday (30th April 2013) the Scottish Premier League (SPL) announced that there was no prospect of ‘league reconstruction’ being concluded in time for next season, though a further general SPL discussion will take place next week. Play-offs are still being considered.
FansFirst Scotland – which seeks to gel supporter opinion with fresh, independent ideas – has produced a detailed paper looking at the shortcomings of recent reconstruction proposals and identifying core issues for the future.
It has developed what it believes is a viable plan for a 16-16-10 league system favoured by supporters, a genuinely fair financial distribution model, and other changes to restore competition, passion and hope to Scottish football.
Earlier in the year, the Scottish Football League (SFL) was advocating a proposal drawing on ideas from the FansFirst Plan, but this was subsequently taken off the table and subsequent discussions have floundered.
“There can be no doubt that radical reform is needed and that discussions involving the major governing bodies have stalled badly,” commented FansFirst Scotland associate, Simon, Barrow today.
“It’s time to get positive about Scottish football. Playing the blame-game and feeding a culture of despair helps no-one. Similarly, rushing through flawed proposals was never a solution.
“The fact that more time is now required opens up the opportunity to bring supporters and people with creative ideas who are not part of the existing leadership around the table. A change of culture and attitude is needed at all levels of the game.”
FansFirst Scotland argues that substantial moves towards community and supporter stakeholding and ownership is essential to re-engaging ordinary people with the Scottish game, heightening its profile, boosting morale and bringing in sustainable revenue and sponsorship.
“Trying to reconstruct Scottish football without properly engaging those whose passion and money makes the game possible is an illusion. Long-term thinking needs to prevail over short-term interests,” the group says.