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Supporters back bigger leagues

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The full results of the Supporters Direct Fans’ Survey were released today and they show a clear and unequivocal response to the SPL proposals for league restructure and Henry McLeish’s review of the SFA.

Fans at all levels of the game show a clear preference for bigger leagues with no fewer than 77% choosing a 16 or 18 team league and 88% opposing the drop from 12 to 10 teams. There was positive support for playoffs (77%), a winter break (66%) and an earlier start to the season (71%). Ideas such as regionalisation and allowing ‘B’ teams to enter lower divisions received a mixed response although supporters of SFL teams were strongly against both proposals.

In addition more than 92% of fans felt they have not been adequately consulted on the proposals for change and 87% were in favour of greater representation for supporters at the SFA.

Development Manager, James Proctor said, “It is critical that the paying fan’s voice is heard in the current debate. These results show that while supporters welcome some of the changes proposed – play offs between the top two leagues, a winter break and an earlier start to the season – the clear message from this survey is that supporters want leagues to be made larger not smaller and that they want to be consulted about the decisions that affect the future of football in Scotland.”

He added, “While the issue of league reconstruction is uppermost in people’s minds we should remember that Henry McLeish’s report clearly called for greater involvement of fans in the national organisation and for fans to be represented in the important decisions in Scottish football. The results of the Fans’ Survey back these recommendations and we look forward to working with the football authorities to ensure they are achieved.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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