Scotland politics

Right-to-buy plea for Scottish football fans

Football fans should be given the first right to buy their clubs, according to the Scottish Green Party.

It wants the principles of rural land reform laws, which help communities buy land, to be extended to supporters of football clubs.

The Scottish government is consulting on a bill which sets out plans to expand the community right-to-buy to public sector land and buildings.

The Greens want the bill to be extended to include clubs' membership shares.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone will bring amendments to the Scottish government's Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, which ministers are consulting on until Friday.

She said too many Scottish football fans had gone through "painful cycles of boom and bust" at their clubs.

Urban communities

The Lothian MSP said: "Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline supporters are just the most recent to have been put through the wringer.

"I believe fans' trusts are most likely to be the most responsible and successful owners for their clubs in the long term.

"Giving communities across Scotland greater control over the assets they rely on is essential."

When the consultation was launched in November, Local Government Minister Derek Mackay said the bill was "about people and communities taking their own decisions about their future".

He said at the time: "'The bill will help community groups to take over public land and buildings where they think they can make better use of them than their current public sector owners.

"This bill will also reform the community right to buy, giving urban communities in Scotland same rights as rural communities, where it is in the public interest."

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