Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) has been working since 2000 to help supporters gain influence in the running and ownership of their club and fundamentally exist to address the disconnect between sports clubs and their communities.
In the last fifteen years they have helped their members to establish 192 trusts in the UK and have worked with supporters to purchase and develop more than 40 community owned clubs.
SDS have supported these members in raising more than £50 million to be reinvested back into their clubs and communities including £6 million through community shares projects alone.
They have been active in Scotland since 2002 where they’ve helped establish over 30 Supporters Trusts and groups, five of which enjoy majority ownership of their club, and a further 16 have a degree of representation within the governance of their club.
It is the goal of the organisation to act as the democratic and representative voice of the supporters of Scottish football while strengthening the bonds between Scottish football supporters and the game’s governing bodies.
Key objectives include; promoting equality and tackling prejudice within all levels of Scottish sport, providing support for community and supporter organisations, supplying advice and services to supporter organisations and sports clubs and assisting in the resolution of disputes between members.
They teamed up with FansBet over a year ago having seen the good work which we do in order to try and improve the lives and wellbeing of football supporters throughout Scotland due to being the only bookmaker in the world committed to sharing half of its net profits directly with supporters.
“FansBet have shown that it is possible to be a responsible gambling company, to promote responsible gambling, not just as a buzzword and a phrase, but because you genuinely believe in it,” explains Alan Russell, Chief Executive of SD Scotland. “They’re trying to do something positive to improve the lives of football supporters and help fund those projects, so they’re saying to those supporters: ‘if you enjoy betting then come and do it with us.’”