Changing The Status Quo At The SFA & SPFL


A few days ago, SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan had a bit of a ding-dong with members of the Scottish Press. The whole saga annoyed me, especially with the SFA suit asking for the journos advice and to have a meeting to discuss it.

So I had a rant on Twitter, stating that the Scottish Football Association was deeply flawed, somewhat mismanaged and have no idea how to relate to the lifeblood of the game, the fans!

But it’s all very well having a go at the beaks at Hampden but you need to explain what you would do to improve things.

I have thought about that since my Twitter rage incident and I’ve decided to write a basic manifesto that will hopefully change the Scottish game both with the SFA and the SPFL.

  • Firstly we need a detailed outline of just what jurisdiction the SFA have and what the SPFL are in charge of, as we still have far too many grey areas. For example are either looking out for the fans/customers?
  • The two organisations also have to work closer together so we have a better model to build from. Working in a partnership will make the two groups stronger as they will united.
  • Stop mugging fans! Look at the prices the SFA have charged the ‘Tartan Army’ for the 2016 Euro qualifiers. We have just creeped out of a recession, yet our masters at Hampden want to milk the fans of every spare penny they have. Be realistic, yes the fans will always pay but that doesn’t mean that you take advantage. For more on my thoughts on SFA ticket pricing go HERE.
  • This is probably more for the SPFL, but have more consideration for the fanbase’s of the clubs when deciding kick-off times. Yes I understand that the TV networks pay money for coverage and will want to dictate game times but the fans are the ones that keep those clubs alive throughout the year.
  • Sort out your sponsorship sagas. SPFL – Two of your premier competitions need sponsors. If you can’t sell the product then leave your post and get someone else in that can. SFA – You have partnerships with major multinational companies but where is the big Scottish companies like A.G Barr, Standard Life, Aggreko, Scottish Gas or Arnold Clark? Have at least one Scottish sponsorship package that might cost slightly less.
  • So fans can only get national strips from one retailer? For a price of £35 (Kids) or £52 (Adult). Well with deals like that you are really spoiling us. Either that or once again the fans are not a priority at all with the SFA.
  • Can SPFL and SFA not speak to its members and come to an agreement where all clubs have a day each week which is dedicated to education or charities. Thus meaning players, coaches or staff spend a morning at a school, hospital or a public park and interact with enthusiastic children or those in our society who are a bit less fortunate. Some clubs do really well but it should be across the board.
  • My main mission would be to involve the fans more. You expect them to pay £55 to become a Tartan Army member. The only real benefit seems to be that they can pay extortionate ticket prices early or go abroad and spend money that way. Why not have those memberships actually meaning something like voting rights?
  • These two organisations need to be more transparent and more interactive. At the moment is like an old boys act with the same old faces in the same jobs for far too long. Why don’t we have five year terms and then voting people into the head positions. Scottish people have shown for the right causes such as the independence referendum and Rangers third division debate, that they can mobilise and have their own say. The top jobs in Scottish football can’t be allowed to become stale and they need to be freshened up like they do at Barcelona and Real Madrid.
  • Decide on Hampden’s future now. If you choose to leave then travel around various football stadia throughout the country and don’t just use Murrayfield.
  • Make all decisions earlier. Don’t have hearings three months after the event. Don’t spend years discussing issues like summer football or winter breaks and stick with a decision.
  • Don’t just be sheep and follow English football. Our game can be leaders. Look at the vanishing spray it took a World Cup and the EPL to introduce it before Scotland got in on the act. Various parts of the world have been using this spray for a few years now, why didn’t the SFA see its advantages back then?
  • You can’t just watch hatred fill our terraces. If you hear bigotry, racism, homophobia or sexism in our stands then deal with those that are guilty. If that means stepping up to the clubs and fining them or closing stands then so be it.
  • Have a ‘fit and proper’ owners test that actually means something. Don’t sit back and watch football clubs being mismanaged and wait for a financial meltdown and then walk over and then fill your own pockets.
  • Get more from your referees. If that means helping them in the bigger leagues with the help of tv, then so be it. If it means dropping more officials or giving them more training, then do it.
  • Here is a pretty good starter; JUST GOVERN THE GAME PROPERLY! Don’t get caught up trying to look good in the press or keeping the big clubs happy. Remember that the fans are what makes this game and without them you are nothing. Give the supporters a voice and actually listen!

Now that is just a few key points off the top of my head. I didn’t need six months or a huge salary to bring you this blueprint to work from. I did this because it is about time someone just came out and told the SFA and the SPFL that enough is enough. Make our game better and friendlier. Be innovative and stop being lazy!

If people like Stewart Regan, Campbell Ogilvie and Neil Doncaster can’t get the job done then they need to stand aside and let those that can have a go.

I have no doubt forgotten to touch on certain topics, feel free to leave a comment below to add it to the manifesto.

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