A supporters' plan for the future of Scottish football has been launched by policy group FansFirst Scotland, as concerns over the national game continue.
The FansFirst Plan runs to 49 pages of analysis and proposal, with the revised version setting out in some detail five basic principles for the restructuring of the sport north of the border.
The principles set out why and how it is necessary that:
* All clubs should be treated equally.
* The health and welfare of any individual club depends on the health and welfare of the league in which they are in membership.
* A fundamental aim of Scottish football should be to maintain, or better still increase, the level of competition within the Scottish leagues
* Progression in the game should be on the basis of competitive merit.
* Clubs should operate in a way that is financially sustainable.
FansFirst Scotland say that while such principles ought to be obvious, in practice they are not.
Scottish football has been organised around single owners, big money interests and TV company stipulations - while the concerns of ordinary fans have been marginalised.
The result has been a spiral of decline, resulting from lack of quality and competition, an uneven and inadequate spread of resources, poor governance and lack of community ownership and control.
The FansFirst Plan contains a detailed analysis of factors involved in the problems faced by Scottish football, and specific ideas about its future development - including larger leagues and fair finance.
Talking about the launch of the plan, FansFirst Scotland chair, Alan Harris, said: “The FansFirst Plan has been revised and updated to take account of last season’s attendance and capacity utilisation figures as well as the Rangers situation.”
“The principles we have set out in this plan should form a keystone to any discussions about re-organising the structure of Scottish Football,” he added.
FansFirst Scotland, a policy and advocacy group aiming to claim back Scottish football for supporters and communities, has called on the governing authorities of the game in Scotland to include fans directly in imminent discussions about restructuring.
In a separate initiative, Scottish Fans, a network being set up with Government money by Supporters Direct Scotland - which networks together Trusts (provident societies) within a number of professional and semi-professional clubs - launched a 'Fans Parliament' and roadshow, starting in Edinburgh on 28 October, at Holyrood yesterday.
* The revised FansFirst Plan: A Fresh Look at the Future of Scottish Football (PDF, 49pp) can be read & downloaded here: http://fansfirstscotland.com/the-fansfirst-plan/ or http://tinyurl.com/fansfirstplan
* More on FansFirst Scotland: http://fansfirstscotland.com/
* Scottish Fans: http://www.scottishfans.org/