THE supporters’ trust from one of the Scottish Football League clubs threatening a breakaway to the Scottish Premiere League has said that it is “watching the situation closely” and will be seeking to ensure that fans are not forgotten as machinations over the future of the game in Scotland continue.
Brian Payne, chair of the Dumbarton Supporters Trust (Sonstrust), a minority shareholder in the club, commented: “Right now we are joining all Dumbarton fans in celebrating our achievement in staying in the First Division as a part-time club. But we are also concerned about the future of the game as a whole.
“We will be watching these developments closely, consulting fans and engaging the club board constructively. We believe the way forward for us and for the game we love is through cooperation, not further division.”
In a further statement on its website, the Sonstrust said: “We are not likely to know more until after the SPL meeting scheduled for Tuesday 7th May.
“The Trust and supporter movement in Scotland has made clear its commitment to a reform of Scottish football that involves all 42 professional clubs, a fairer distribution of financial and other resources, larger divisions, transparent governance, the restoring of proper competition in the game, a pyramid system, community benefit, and a decisive place for fans in the running of the game at all levels.
“Those principles, and the views and concerns of our members, will continue to guide our response as events unfold.”
Supporters trusts are formally constituted industrial and provident societies (cooperatives) and exist widely across the game in Scotland. Like the trust at Dumbarton, many play a significant role in helping keep their clubs running, and most are members of the umbrella organisation, Supporters Direct.
Five senior clubs (Annan Athletic, Clyde, East Stirling, Stirling Albion and Dundee) are fan-owned, alongside three junior sides (Clydebank, Gretna 2008 and Clachnacuddin).
The Sonstrust, named after Dumbarton FC’s nickname, ‘Sons of the Rock’, was the first to be set up in Scotland, in May 2001. With nearly 350 subscribers, it retains one of the largest trust memberships in the country.