Study looks to kick off plans for football fans bank

The potential to establish a 'fans' bank' to enable supporters to secure funds towards investing in Scottish football clubs is being assessed in a major survey.

Supporters Direct Scotland has launched a study into community ownership of clubs. Picture: Michael Gillen

Supporters groups and club officials are being invited to give their views on the prospect of community ownership at their club and how it could be funded as part of a new consultation launched by Supporters Direct Scotland (SD Scotland).

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The survey aims to assess the feasibility of setting up a social investment fund – or “fan’s bank” – to help support community ownership of clubs and their development.

Groups applying to such a fund would need to demonstrate how the finance provided would enable them to deliver greater benefit to the wider community.

Andrew Jenkin, head of SD Scotland, said: “While mechanisms such as community shares have become a useful tool for raising money from respective memberships and communities, there’s still a gap preventing greater community ownership of clubs and their development.

“The data from this survey will allow us to map out how we can establish a fund for groups who have raised some funding, but need more to make it a reality.”

Jenkin said Scotland was already ahead of the curve with sport clubs at all levels essentially acting as social enterprises and benefiting communities.

“We aim to enable this further through this fund,” he added.

The survey is open until 17 September and SD Scotland, which represents some 200 supporters’ trusts and similar organisations, will then look at the next steps in the formation of a social investment to determine its feasibility.