Thursday, September 14, 2023
PoliticsSNP leader slams "unmanageable" football away fan proposals by government

SNP leader slams “unmanageable” football away fan proposals by government

WESTMINSTER’S Scottish National Party (SNP) leader has slammed proposals by the UK Government for football away fans as “unmanageable” and “unworkable”.

Stephen Flynn, Leader of the SNP in the House of Commons, hit out at the controversial new proposals for Scottish football fans following an open consultation published by the government.

The plans have since been met by backlash and concerns from fans, as well as the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

Flynn, 34, is the latest to criticise the proposals, which have previously been branded “draconian” and “an attack on civil liberties”.

MP Stephen Flynn poses infront of a body of water
Steven Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South and Westminster Leader of Scottish National Party (SNP)

The proposals, which appear to only apply to football and no other sports or large-scale events, include imposing limits on how many fans buses can carry and restricting where they can stop.

The proposals suggest that anyone running a bus would have to inform a “dedicated football officer” (DFO) 48 hours before the match of the number of supporters expected to travel.

Buses would also not be allowed to stop within ten miles of the venue either enroute to, or on departure from the event without prior agreement from a DFO.

Vehicle operators would also be expected to notify DFOs of offensive chanting which had taken place during the journey to the ground.

Flynn, MP for Aberdeen South, took to social media yesterday in reaction to the proposals, writing: “Unworkable, unmanageable, unenforceable. Get in the bin.

“The clubs these fans support can be a huge force for good and more folk attend matches in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe. Celebrate them, don’t punish them.”

Flynn’s post has since received over 2,300 likes and more than 130 comments from Scots left in agreement.

Screenshot of Steven Flynn Tweet.
Steven Flynn’s Tweet criticising the proposals

One user said: “Why would UK Gov have any say over Scotland on this. I’m genuinely confused.”

Another replied: “Hear hear.”

A third commented: “Whether it’s workable or not is beside the point. What’s it actually for? What problem is it fixing? Was there research done on the impact to football adjacent businesses?”

Another wrote: “The attitude to football supporters comes through loud and clear in this. Disgraceful!”

A fifth added: “I used to think we were in danger of becoming a nanny state by stealth but now it’s absolutely blatant. What a disgrace.”

In addition to reaction from fans, the UK Government has faced cross-party criticism from Holyrood, with Conservative MSP Douglas Ross writing: “These ludicrous plans are completely disproportionate.

“The proposals make no sense for the Scottish game and should be scrapped immediately. I’ve made that clear to the UK government.”

SNP’s Maree Todd added: “ScotGov was not consulted prior to publication of the proposals. I will ensure that the vast majority of law-abiding fans are heard.”

Related Stories