VISION FOR SCOTTISH FOOTBALL
Attending a football match should be a safe and enjoyable experience which is open to everyone in the community to attend.
This vision will be achieved by supporters, clubs and authorities working in partnership.
ABOUT THIS CHARTER
• is about the relationship between the fans, clubs and safety authorities (stakeholders) in relation to going to and attending football matches.
• recognises that the involvement of supporters in football matches is a vital part of making the event enjoyable and that this should be encouraged.
• recognises that there is a need to re-set the expectations and relationships between all stakeholders.
• intends to unite everyone who enjoys football in agreement to work towards improving the game, particularly the atmosphere and experience of matches themselves.
• recognises that there are already laws which define the behaviour of everyone involved in a football match and that this charter exists within these.
• doesn’t change the relationship between fans and the club they support as expressed through existing club-based Supporters’ Charters.
• recognises that supporters are not one single community but a mix of different communities all coming together to enjoy a sporting contest, that it is likely that these communities have different expectations of each other’s behaviour and that this creates issues that need to be considered by everyone involved.
• is written after discussion, input and feedback from fans, clubs and safety authorities.
Stakeholders – the shorthand name for those involved with the Charter, mainly; supporters, clubs, safety authorities, football authorities and the Police.
Safety Authorities – Those people and organisations with responsibility for safety, security and crowd management at football matches – primarily Safety Officers, Match Commanders and Police but including any other named people who may be given a role in safety or security in the future.
1. Football matches are open and welcoming for all – that no part of the community should feel excluded and that each community is of equal value.
2. Supporter involvement is a key element of the match and should be encouraged.
3. Clubs, fans groups and safety authorities should actively seek to discuss issues that occur in and around the stadium.
4. Relationships should be built between fans, clubs and safety authorities and change negotiated to improve the experience for everyone.
5. The match should take place in a safe environment where the facilities provided are appropriate for the diversity of the community likely to support or visit that club.
6. Positive support and celebration of fan culture should be encouraged, where fan culture is defined as the right of fans to give vocal and visual support of the club and express their views.
7. Rivalry and opposition are part of fan culture but when that rivalry results in hatred then it’s taking things too far.
8. The behaviour of anyone in and around the stadium should do no physical harm to others or create the impression that any members of the community are not wanted at the game.
These principles relate to everyone who is involved in putting on, going to or attending the match.
RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Supporter involvement is a key element of the match and should be encouraged and that clubs, supporters’ groups and safety authorities should actively seek to discuss issues in and around the stadium.
1. Crowd noise, particularly singing and chanting, is an important part of the atmosphere of a football match.
2. Flags and banners should be encouraged and steps taken to make it easy for fans to have these at the match.
3. Humour, banter and mild insults are part of the rivalry of Scottish football however it’s unreasonable to use these to abuse people, individually or collectively, to the point where the impression is given that they are not welcome at the match.
4. A method should exist at club or regional level where everyone involved in the match can raise issues of concern about events that happen while getting to, from or actually at the match.
Safety and Security
The match should take place in a safe environment where the facilities provided are appropriate for the diversity of the community likely to support or visit that club.
1. The starting position of all safety and security personnel should be of welcoming people to a sporting contest and respect that the vast majority are there to enjoy themselves legally and responsibly.
2. There should be an understanding that there are different communities of interest within a stadium, between home and away supports and within those supports themselves who need to be looked after in different ways.
3. Facilities within the stadium should be appropriate to allow all members of the community, regardless of their ability, to view the match in comfort.
The behaviour of fans should do no physical harm to others or create the impression that any members of the community are not wanted at the game.
1. Active support of the team should be encouraged. Roaring your team on and enjoying yourself is an important part of the enjoyment of the game.
2. Dislike and disapproval of the opposing team or other rivals expressed as humour, songs or banter is a part of football culture and stops short of hating others because of the team they support.
3. Songs or chants shouldn’t lead members of the community to believe, or allow the perception to exist, that they are excluded from supporting the team because of their colour, creed, gender sexuality or religion.
Everyone has a shared responsibility in making football better and ensuring it grows and prospers in the coming years. In order to achieve that we must all do our bit, leaving a solid foundation that the next generation can build upon.
These roles are interlinked and demonstrate that everyone needs to work together to make football better.
Help to make the stadium an inclusive place where all members of the community feel they can come along and support the club and be prepared to work with safety authorities to ensure they can respectfully create a safe and enjoyable match.
B. Safety Officers
Be aware of the effects of actions and decisions on supporters’ enjoyment of the match, understand that there are different groups with different expectations within the crowd and encourage more positive relationships with supporters and supporters’ groups
C. Policing and Match Commanders
Be sensitive in the way information is gathered, particularly with filming and photography, deal with supporters in a consistent and sensitive manner, publicise actions on those fans who break the law and take opportunities to work with supporters’ groups to improve crowd management.
Make sure that supporters feel welcomed to the stadium, work to improve consistency of action across Scotland, help to build relationships with supporters and supporters’ groups in order to agree expectations of behaviour at matches, and consider having ‘home’ stewards travel with away crowds to improve relationships.
Ensure supporters’ from all clubs are aware of the facilities, regulations and behaviour expected when using their grounds, ensure that facilities are up to modern standards and build closer relationships with supporters and supporters’ groups to improve the atmosphere at games.