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Scottish football fans believe sectarianism is a problem

Fifty percent of Scottish football fans have reportedly suffered sectarianism at football stadiums, with 81% regarding it as problematic for Scottish football.

Supporters, Direct Scotland, conducted the survey alongside the Scottish Professional Football League and the Scottish FA.

Value for Money

Over half of the fans surveyed do not think Scottish football is providing value for money and a high-quality experience for fans. From the 14,000 submissions for the Scottish Football Supporters Survey, most football fans believe this is the major threat to the future of the Scottish league over the next few years. Part of the explanation for this is believed to rest with fan behaviour, resulting in poor supporter experience. The majority of supporters also feel admission prices do not offer value for money, and there have been calls for the governing bodies to review ticket pricing. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed feel they should be given partial ownership in their clubs. This would ideally include board membership.

Be that as it may, some football clubs across the UK leagues have reduced or frozen ticket prices, from premiership clubs down to local teams.

Offensive Behaviour Act

Eighteen percent of those surveyed claimed to be victims of physical abuse at Scottish football matches. Even
Scottish football players are subject to assaults during games.

The Offensive Behaviour Act was introduced in 2012 by the Scottish government as a means to prevent unacceptable and antisocial conduct from supporters. Sectarianism is now classed as a criminal offence.

However, 71% of those surveyed are opposed to the legislation and do not believe it has tackled the problem of aggression at football games, and there have been calls for the Scottish parliament to review the act.

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Strict liability

Last year the Scottish Professional Football Supporters rejected the concept of introducing strict liability rules to football games that would penalise clubs by docking points should supporters continue misbehaving. However, 52% of fans feel unsure or do not want strict liability within Scottish football.

Supporters Direct Scotland has urged Scottish football clubs to reconsider how they can engage and further involve fans in ownership and governance in their clubs, with plans to distribute advice.