Saturday, 19 March 2011

Sons supporters speak out

First published in Sons View, 19 March 2011, Dumbarton -v- East Fife. An edited version also appears on the Supporters Direct website as Dumbarton Trust gives fans a voice.

The Supporters Trust at Dumbarton FC (called ‘Sonstrust’ after the club’s historic nickname – ‘the Sons of the Rock’) has held an online and stadium ballot to give fans a voice in the current debate over the future of Scottish football.

Full results will be announced next week, but hundreds have taken part and the interim findings suggest overwhelming opposition to the ‘regionalisation’ of the lower leagues and to SPL ‘colt’ teams playing in them – two of the proposals put forward by the SPL and the McLeish report.

Dumbarton supporters also back fan representation on the governing body of Scottish football, and the Sonstrust board is keen to work with others in Supporters Direct to ensure that the voice of fans – including the verdict of the SD survey – resonates at the highest levels within the game.

Sonstrust campaign coordinator Simon Barrow commented: “Football fans are used to being ignored, but at Dumbarton we’ve had a huge response to our online and stadium exercise in ‘direct democracy’. People have also been joining the Trust in record numbers, and are keen for a body like SD to be a really effective vehicle for grassroots-driven change in the game.”

Since the meeting of Scottish Trust representatives at Falkirk a month ago, the Sonstrust, which has over 300 members, has announced the results of a £1000 community bursary scheme (which has given three youth-oriented local projects a boost in funds), and is also holding a major recruitment drive running through to 19 March.

“Given that we already have half our regular home gate in the Sonstrust, we thought we might have ‘peaked’ – but we’ve already picked up a further 5%, said Barrow. “There’s a real appetite for supporter involvement in running clubs and shaping the future of the game. Our message to other Trusts is, ‘get out there, recruit, and get people involved’.”

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