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Community Ownership Week

On Monday, a week of celebrating and promoting fan and community ownership of sports clubs will be launched by Supporters Direct Scotland. With four SPFL clubs already operating as community and fan owned clubs and a further four, including Ayr United and Hearts, progressing towards or exploring the same ownership model, Community Ownership Week aims to educate and inspire more supporters trusts and fan groups to become involved in the ownership of clubs for the benefit of their respective communities. Community Ownership Week will run between the 19th and 25th of February, Supporters Direct Scotland will host a weeklong celebration of the community ownership movement across Scotland. Paul Goodwin, Head of Supporters Direct Scotland said: “Dunfermline, Stirling Albion, Clyde and East Stirling are already community owned clubs and others, including Motherwell, Ayr United and of course Hearts are progressing towards the same model. “Supporters Direct, as a whole, has a lot experience of fan and community owned clubs and has worked with and advised clubs across Europe. We know that fans and communities have many questions about how it could work for them and Community Ownership Week is all about providing answers. It will also give us a chance to celebrate the movement of supporter involvement and ownership of their clubs.” Throughout the week a range of events will be held to promote the movement to various stakeholders within the game, including an open evening at Supporters Direct Scotland’s office for Supporters Trusts and a presentation on the movement to MSPs at Holyrood on the 20th of February. You can get involved: click on the banner below to visit Supporters Direct Scotland website; like the Scottish Fans Facebook page; follow @ScottishFans on twitter and look out for the hastag #ownyourclub.                ...

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Ayr United fans welcome at Trust AGM

AYR UNITED fans are being urged to make a special effort to attend this year’s Honest Men Trust AGM. Neil Bone, the interim chairman of the Trust, which is now in its 10th year, said: “A vital time lies ahead for Ayr United following chairman Lachlan Cameron’s  announcement that he intends to investigate the possibility of community ownership. “The Trust believes it is important that fans come together to discuss the implications of community ownership and the benefits it might have for the club.” The AGM will be held on Saturday, July 13, at 10.30am in the Ally MacLeod Suite at Somerset Park. Non-members are welcome to attend, but will be unable to vote.  New members are always welcome. Mark Reid, Project Manager with Supporters Direct Scotland will also be attending the AGM.  Supporters Direct are facilitating the working group looking at community ownership at Ayr United and are involved with fans groups looking to take charge at Hearts and...

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Trust welcome Ayr United community ownership announcement

The Honest Men Trust (THMT) society board have welcomed today’s statement by Ayr United Chairman Lachlan Cameron. The statement reads: “As Chairman of Ayr United Football Club I am delighted to announce the formation of a Group consisting of many stakeholders in the Club and facilitated by Supporters Direct Scotland to investigate the feasibility and requirements of potentially bringing the ownership of Ayr United into a community model which could provide a sound financial and footballing future for the Club with the Club at the heart of the Community. It is the intention that the Group will report its proposals in full to the AUFC Board, fan base and community after the working group concludes the investigative procedure. A website has been set up at www.united.coop and I ask that all fans and any wider members of the Ayrshire community who are interested in being kept up to date on the issues as they progress register their interest. Together the Club is united around this process. I ask that you are too!” THMT urge all supporters to visit and register their interest at www.united.coop and to keep an eye on the Trust web, twitter and Facebook pages for further...

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SFL Present plans to fans

SFL CHIEF EXECUTIVE TO PRESENT LEAGUE RECONSTRUCTION PLANS TO FANS AT SUPPORTERS DIRECT SCOTLAND EVENTS · SFL Chief Executive to meet supporters to discuss league reconstruction at two key Scottish fans’ events. · Former Celtic captain Tom Boyd, broadcaster and former Chelsea player Pat Nevin and former Scottish FA Chief Executive Gordon Smith to form panel at Glasgow event. 20 November 2012: David Longmuir, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football League, is to present the SFL’s league reconstruction proposals to Scottish football fans at two Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) events. The proposals, which were recently approved by the 30 SFL clubs, will be presented and discussed at the SDS Annual Conference (25th November 2012) and at an event in Glasgow (26th November 2012) both as part of the SDS ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative. The ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative was set up to allow a two way communication with all fans of all clubs [from senior to amateur and in every community in the country] to help Supporters Direct Scotland gather fans’ views which will, for the first time, be collected and reported directly to the Scottish Government and to the football authorities. Also included in the ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative is a Scotland wide roadshow undertaken to gauge Scottish fans’ views on the game and its management and governance, the new ‘scottishfans.org’ website, increased engagement at matches and through social media channels as well as a series of planned surveys on specific topics concerning the game. The Supporters Direct Conference takes place at The Falkirk Stadium on Sunday 25th November* and will see Falkirk manager Steven Pressley, a known advocate of change in Scottish football, and renowned football finance expert Professor Stephen Morrow join the discussion panel. The Glasgow roadshow event in The Arches Theatre will also feature an illustrious panel of Tom Boyd, Pat Nevin and Gordon Smith. The event begins at 6pm and is open to all fans. Anyone wishing to attend are urged to register in advance by email to ‘roadshows@supporters-direct.org’ with a note of the person attending’s name and date of birth. Entry is free. Full details of all events can be found at www.scottishfans.org. David Longmuir said, “It has taken quite a bit of time to get our plan for a dynamic and simple change to Scottish Football in front of our clubs. I am delighted they have approved it and I now look forward to sharing the vision behind it with the fans at these two unique events.” Paul Goodwin, Head of Supporters Direct in Scotland said: “The need to ensure that Scottish football fans’ voices are heard has never been so important. These events present, for the first time, an...

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Scottish football supporters gain new voice with launch of Fans Parliament

Scottish football supporters gain new voice with launch of Fans Parliament

A new initiative to gain a wider view of Scottish football fans’ opinions on issues of national importance throughout Scotland has been launched by Supporters Direct Scotland. Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) has already had talks with the Scottish Football Association, The Scottish Football League and The Scottish Premier League about working with them in the coming months and years. The ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative will allow a two way communication with all fans of all clubs, from senior to amateur and in every community in the country, to help Supporters Direct Scotland gather fans’ views on issues of importance for the first time. This will enable SDS to become a credible organisation which representing football supporters views, which can then help stimulate informed debate about issues in Scottish football with the Scottish Government and the football authorities. Included in the ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative will be the new ‘scottishfans.org’ website, a series of roadshows across the country, increased engagement at matches and social media channels and a series of surveys on specific topics concerning the game. The roadshow events will begin in Edinburgh on the 28th of October with Hibs and Hearts legends Pat Stanton and Gary Mackay taking part in the debate. Former First Minister Henry McLeish said, “It has been a unique year for football fans in Scotland, on a local as well as national basis, with ordinary fans’ voices being heard loud and clear in a way they’ve never been heard, or listened to, before. Now there is a drive and determination to ensure that the momentum that was gained isn’t lost. “The new ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative will provide a platform for fans to continue the debate in the knowledge that these opinions will be shared with the Scottish Government and to the organisations running football in Scotland.” Paul Goodwin, Head of Supporters Direct in Scotland said: “Fans voices are being listened to more than ever before and we know that in recent months there has been an unprecedented debate about the game in Scotland. Through Supporters Direct Scotland fans will have the opportunity to voice their opinions on issues of importance to them which can help inform both the football authorities and government and we want the new ‘Fans Parliament’ initiative to be the conduit for the debate and discussion between fans across the country and, in effect, be the voice of Scottish football fans. “We want to facilitate discussion on key issues affecting our game through online discussions and debate and regularly present those findings to Government and the game’s governing bodies as the very latest in supporters’ opinions and views in the game. As an organisation funded by the Scottish...

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NEIL LANDS TOP FANS’ POST

NEIL LANDS TOP FANS’ POST

Ayr fan Neil Bone is the new Chairman of Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS ), the governing body for Supporters Trusts in Scotland. Since its’ formation in 2003 Neil has served on Board of The Honest Men Trust (THMT), during which time the Trust has carried out diverse works such as providing the genesis for the very succesful Ayr United Football Academy and more recently assisting Whitletts Victoria through a difficult phase. Supporters Direct was formed in 2000 as an initiative of the UK Government with a goal to ‘promote sustainable spectator sports clubs based on supporters’ involvement and community ownership’. It aims to create the conditions in which supporters can secure influence at their clubs, and campaigns for the wider recognition of the social, cultural and economic value of sports clubs. Just last year Neil topped the poll in elections to the first Supporters Direct Scottish Council and will now have the job of co-ordinating and presenting the voice of football fans across Scotland. Upon his appointment, Neil commented, “I am delighted to accept this position at this important time for the game in Scotland and believe that no proper solution to the problems the game faces in Scotland can be found unless the voice of the supporters is heard. Individually, there is only so much each of us can do to assist our clubs, and virtually nothing we can do regarding the governance issues at the heart of our national sport. However, when we pool our strengths, locally and nationally, supporters can make ourselves heard. “ That influence was proven recently when Neil, along with two colleagues, presented the Fans’ Plan to the Chief Executives of the SFA, SFL and SPL at Hampden Park and now he will lead SDS in a new project to enhance the voice of supporters in Scotland. As Neil explained, “As recently as last year 50 % of MSPs supported a parliamentary motion that Supporters Direct had provided a valuable resource for football fans. As a result SDS have just secured further funding from the Scottish Government to continue our work and also to help establish a Scottish Football Supporters Network (SFSN).” “The SFSN will go beyond the traditional role of SDS and provide a two way flow of information between fans and Government on a whole raft of issues such as the Offensive Behaviour Act, safe standing, pricing and much more. Both the future of clubs and the future of the game itself is being put at risk by short term vested interests poor financial management and inadequate standards of governance. The current issues at Rangers show that the continual pursuit of big money is not the...

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