The Scottish Greens have overwhelmingly backed my emergency motion at our conference in Inverness supporting moves by Pars United to take control of Dunfermline Athletic. The motion urged Scottish Ministers to support Green moves to give fans’ trusts the first right of refusal when their clubs come up for sale. The Green MSPs will consult on these proposals once Scottish Ministers publish their forthcoming Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill. Pars United and the fans have made an extraordinary effort to get this far, and it’s an amazing achievement to have helped to save Dunfermline Athletic. It would be hard to exaggerate the impact that the loss of the club would have meant for the community. A massive amount of work is still ahead, but Greens believe the best bet for clubs like Dunfermline Athletic is for the fans to be in charge – after all, they always have the club’s long-term best interests at heart, both on and off the park. It’s great to get conference’s support for responsible fan ownership, and I will now work with the party to help fans and clubs make this change across the Scottish game. I believe this campaign can be won at Holyrood, especially with the help of supporters around the country who want to have a say, sometimes for the first time, in how their clubs are run for the future.
My friend and colleague Alison Johnstone MSP said in support of my proposal that she would use her voice in parliament to influence legislation on community empowerment, and hopefully put more Scottish clubs in community hands. I’m going to be down at Dunfermline’s home game on the 19th, so come and say hi and talk to us about getting involved with the community football movement.