First published in Sons View, 19 March 2011, Dumbarton -v- East Fife. An edited version of this article also appears on the Sonstrust website as Fans vote for Dumbarton's future.
Dumbarton supporters have voted overwhelmingly against ‘regionalising’ the lower divisions in Scottish football. More than 95% of the 250+ supporters who took part in the match day ballot on 5 March, and in the equivalent online polls, want to maintain a national, professional league below the SPL.
There was also very strong opposition to SPL ‘colt’ teams being admitted to the lower leagues – something which the Scottish Premier League has also put forward as part of its outline proposals for restructuring the game in Scotland.
In response to the third and final question, almost all Sons fans said they believed that supporters should be properly represented on the governing bodies that run Scottish football.
The poll took place at the match against Livingston last Saturday, as well as on the Sonstrust website (where the full results will be published) and on the three Facebook groups associated with the club.
The Sonstrust Board will be following up the vote by writing to DFC, Supporters Direct and the Scottish Football League over the issues.
The Scottish Premier League has announced that it will unveil and vote on its full plans for SPL1 & 2 “within a few weeks”. But its draft ideas also included proposals – including ‘regionalisation’ and colt-teams in the lower leagues – which would have a dramatic impact on smaller clubs.
At a meeting of 34 Supporters’ Trusts six weeks ago, there was a strong feeling that what has been put forward so far does not offer a sustainable future for the game in Scotland, and a desire that fans should be consulted and involved. The Sonstrust has taken a lead in this regard.