SFA Announce Fixture Calender Review

24 February 2012 10:37
Football has to look at anything that can improve the experience for the fans and encourge more people to attend games.

The SFA have never been noted for their willingness to listen to the fans who attend games on what should be done to improve things. However, recent events at Hampden show encouraging signs that this attitude is changing. Those who subscribe to Twitter will be aware that the SFA media team and Mark Wotte, SFA Performance Director are regular contributors to debate on the social media network. On Tuesday evening there were a number of Tweets on the views of those who would be attending last night's meeting at Hampden on the future of the game. One of the biggest things to come out of the council meeting was plans for a feasibility study into changes to the fixture calendar.  SFA president Campbell Ogilvie said: "I believe it is important that we take a serious and evidence-based look at the fixture calendar. I understand there are many reasons for and against any changes such as a move towards summer football, an earlier start to the season or a winter break, but it is important we understand fully the current situation and the possible benefits of a realignment of the fixture calendar. I was encouraged by the willingness shown by everyone at the council debate to take the issue forward in the hope of a solution that appeals to the clubs, the fans, the players and the sponsors and that is why we have decided to commission the study. The in-depth study will provide statistical evidence before we look at the next steps." Managers in the SPL such as Dundee United's Peter Houston and St Mirren boss Danny Lennon are keen to play football during a summer-based season. However, the SFA warn that a March-November campaign would be difficult to implement in the professional game. The non-professional game could more easily adopt a summer season, as the Scottish Youth FA and women's football have done. Sheila Begbie, head of women's and girls' football, said: "The rise of the Scotland women's national team and the success of Glasgow City in reaching the last 16 of the Champions League were made possible by the change, with players getting the chance to pay more often in weather and surfaces conducive to good football." The study will be initiated after approval from both the professional and non-professional game boards of the SFA.