Behind the Goals with Oliver Haltaway of the Big Bath City Bid

On this week’s Behind the Goals, Oliver Holtaway shared the Bath City story with us – they have been in community ownership for a year, following a two year campaign known as “The Big Bath City Bid”.

Listen to find out about the ups and downs of the bid – and how they enlisted the help of a famous fan to make it a success!

Listen to the interview here:


Club Development Scotland visits Football Memories Scotland

Since starting out in 2009 Football Memories, which is based at Hampden Stadium, has achieved remarkable results with people with dementia across Scotland.

Now the Scotland-wide Football Memories Volunteer Network has won the Volunteer Team of the Year category at this year’s Museums + Heritage Awards organised by M+H Media

If you’re supportive of our work and the content we’re producing, please do consider supporting through a small monthly financial donation via our Patreon channel. We aim to keep all our resources, guidance and documents free of charge to ensure we can help support as many clubs and fans as possible. 


Behind the Goals with Jacqui Low of Partick Thistle

As part of our series of Club Development Scotland videos, we paid a visit to Partick Thistle to find out more about their recent women and girls fan engagement work, including the first ever survey of its female fans. Thistle will use the findings to create a strategy to retain and attract more girls and women to matches.

If you’re supportive of our work and the content we’re producing, please do consider supporting through a small monthly financial donation via our Patreon channel. We aim to keep all our resources, guidance and documents free of charge to ensure we can help support as many clubs and fans as possible. 


Behind The Goals #4 – Foundation of Hearts

In this week’s Behind The Goals Podcast, we speak to Foundation of Heart Board Member Louise Strutt about fan ownership at Gorgie and the incredible achievements of the Foundation since their establishment.

The Foundation of Hearts (FoH) is the largest supporters’ movement in Scottish footballing history with a membership of around 8,000 individuals, all of whom contribute financially to the organisation. This financial contribution is used to provide working capital for the club.

A not-for-profit organisation, the Foundation was created in 2010 by a group of local businesspeople (Alex Mackie, Jamie Bryant, Brian Cormack, Donald Ford, Garry Halliday), all of whom are lifelong Hearts fans. They had a shared vision for the future which is based on bringing Heart of Midlothian back to the people who are truly passionate about this club – the fans.

In 2013, the Foundation was joined by all the Hearts supporters’ organisations – the Federation of Hearts Supporters Clubs, the Heart of Midlothian Shareholders Association, the Heart of Midlothian Supporters’ Trust, Hearts Youth Development Committee (HYDC), and Save Our Hearts. Under the chairmanship of Ian Murray MP, this united group worked under the Foundation of Hearts ‘banner’ to take forward the vision of fan ownership.

In 2014, one of the Foundation’s own team, Ann Budge (through her specially created company, Bidco), successfully acquired the majority shareholding of the club. A legally binding agreement was put in place between Bidco and the Foundation which will deliver ultimate fan ownership – via the Foundation – over an anticipated five-year period of time. Doing so allows the club’s finances to be stabilised, and for there to be an orderly transition to supporter ownership. Bidco’s sole purpose is to deliver fan ownership and it will therefore not seek to make any personal gain through the process.

The position that Ann Budge/Bidco inherited was one of a club with no money in the bank, and the contribution from the Foundation has provided essential working capital at this difficult time. The Foundation signed up to providing £1.4 million in year 1 and £1.4 million in year 2. Monies raised over and above this will be accrued over the next years to repay the loan provided by Ann Budge of £2.5 million; the loan that effectively saved the club. This means that the total that the Foundation will require to raise in the five years since its inception will be £6.3 million.

In this podcast, we speak to Louise about the incredible achievements of the Foundation including looking at the steps that led to the Foundation’s formation, the new Tynecastle Development Fund and how the Foundation have successfully amassed and attained such a strong membership.

Remember, you can get in touch with the show by emailing or reaching us on Twitter.


Supporters Direct New Crowdfunding Platform Is Here!


We’re delighted to share our brand new crowdfunding platform to help you Build A Winning Club.

Our platform enables communities to raise capital for projects around their clubs, which could include ownership. This applies to all levels of sport in Scotland from professional clubs to grassroots community clubs.

Supporters Direct have worked with football supporters across the UK to help empower them to play a greater role in their club, through engagement, and ultimately ownership.

This new crowdfunding platform will offer supporters the opportunity to buy community shares in clubs online, with the use of ShareIn’s white label crowdfunding platform.

We hope this platform will enable us to support more and more clubs and organisations in achieving their ambitions, whether that be ownership of a club, development of an asset or simply coming together to raise much needed funds for valuable programmes. We’d encourage any club seeking to undertake a crowdfunding campaign to get in touch to find out how we can support them through our platform.

  • Make your dream a reality now and get in touch about how we can help you build a winning club. E-mail us at for more information.

Club Development Conference 2017 Roundup

We today attended the Scottish FA’s Club Development Conference held at the University of Stirling. Here’s a quick round up if you weren’t able to attend.

The day was kick started with a presentation from Aberdeen’s Gavin Levey and Steven Sweeney who talked participants through the relationship between the club, its academy and charity. The successes of their academy were highlighted with participants walked through the ethos and approach to developing young talent.

Steven then spoke about the work of the Community Trust who were recently awarded a European Football Development Award on account of their outstanding dementia friendly programme.

Following a short break, participants heard from Peter Davidson, Chief Executive of Links Park Community Trust who spoke about their activities and recent successes including being named the ‘Best Community Football Club’ at the Scottish FA Grassroots Award.

Peter spoke through how they were able to contribute towards tackling wider community and societial issues using football as a vehicle and their three strands of development: sport, education and healthcare.

Peter shared a recent quote from Montrose FC’s Chairman :

“Links Park Community Trust have challenged us (the club) to ask instead what we as a club can do to support the lives of those in the community”

A great quote and one which leaves us asking, how many other clubs genuinely think about what they can do to support their communities (and fans). This is supported and reaffirmed by Trust’s strapline reading “Life Is Not A Spectator Sport“.

With several clubs interested in growing their community activities, there was a good follow up discussion around how to benefit from council and local authority support by helping tackle community needs through partnerships.

With a lunch break inbetween, participants were treated to a Communications workshop from the Scottish FA’s Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Greig Mailer. Greig had previously worked with Hibernian FC, UEFA and the Commonwealth Games and was able to offer advice to clubs on sending the right messages.

The session focused on how clubs communicate both internally to players, coaches, members and how they portray themselves to the wider world. He shared his experiences of working with clubs, governing bodies and discussed best practice of how clubs can share their vision.

It was an excellent presentation emphasising some of Simon Shinek’s ‘Start With Why’ philosophy. We did a blog referencing the Start with Why idea back in April this year titled ‘Create Fans, Not Customers’ which you can catch up with here.

All in all, a very beneficial event and well done to the Scottish FA on pulling it together. A great opportunity for clubs to be able to share best practice and hear from some thought leaders within the sector.

FUNDING: Jewson’s Building Better Communities

Jewson’s have put £250,000 up for grabs to help transform local communities.

In 2016 they gave away £250,000 to buildings that really make a difference in communities and you can nominate a project for this year’s fund before Friday 5th May.

The prize fund is open to applications to help with renovations large or small.

Sport clubs/pitches/hubs can be assets of community value which enable positive social exchanges possible and plenty of clubs benefitted from funding through the Jewson’s Building Better Communities last year.

These include:

Most of these clubs benefitted from between £2000 to £3000 funding for renovations and developments.

Find out more and nominate your club here.