Fans should be placed “at the heart” of how Scottish football is run, it has been suggested, amidst calls for a government review into the game.
Ministers at Holyrood have been urged to launch a full fan-led review of football in Scotland, as part of efforts to ensure it is run in the interests of supporters.
The call was made from Scottish Labour ahead of the party’s conference in Glasgow, which begins on Friday.
It comes after a fan-led review into the governance of football in England by the UK Government was published in November last year.
The review was launched in response to the financial collapse of Bury FC, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the failed attempt by elite clubs to establish the European Super League (ESL).
Amongst its conclusions, the review stated that a new system of financial regulation is needed, with tighter controls over club ownership and improving fan engagement in the running of their clubs.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for Scotland, Ian Murray, previously pressed the Scottish Government to take part in the UK Government’s review, though it did not do so.
Murray, who played a key role in helping fans to rescue Hearts from administration in 2013, has now called for a review in Scotland to be initiatied.
And the MP insisted that the governance of the game in Scotland is “outdated” and in need of modernisation.
“The UK Government has concluded a fan-led review in England, and while the Crouch report was broadly positive, it falls short of the kind of fundamental change we require to put fans back in charge of our beautiful game, we need a long overdue fan-led review for Scottish football,” said Murray.
“The game’s outdated governance from the very top to the grassroots needs to be modernised and reformed to put the fans at the heart of how our game is run.
“The Scottish Government should initiate that review and support the ‘reclaim the game’ project by the Scottish Football Supporters Association.
“We are all custodians of our national game and must ensure the fans voices are heard in modernising it to make it fit for the future so we can have the very best from the grassroots to the World Cup.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Sports Minister Maree Todd met Scottish Football Supporters Association (SFSA) representatives Henry McLeish, Simon Barrow, and Stenhousemuir Chairman Iain McMenemy yesterday to discuss the SFSA’s ongoing review.
“The Minister is looking forward to further positive and constructive discussions on the future of Scottish football and will look with care at the final report when published.”