The Colours of our Scarves
10th October 2014
The issue of sectarianism in Scotland is one that has been discussed and debated, with countless attempts to address the issue seeing varying levels of successes from Government, Charitable organisations, Football clubs and independent bodies. Sectarianism itself is a deep rooted cultural issue that dates back generations and effects society as a whole. Sectarianism has traditionally been perceived to manifest itself through football supporters at football matches and football related events through language, songs and actions which in some cases have led to violence and unfortunately even murder.
In 2012 – 2013 in Scotland there were 268 charges of offensive behaviour at regulated football matches reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service. 99% of those charges were against males with 73% of that figure being under the age of 30. Furthermore 39% of those charges made specific reference to religious and racial hatred as defined in the “offensive behaviour at football and threatening communications act (2012)”.
Supporters Direct Scotland through the creation of “The Colours of our Scarves” programme with Scottish Government funding will attempt to help play a part in addressing the issue. The programme will collect much needed research through a nationwide campaign of educational workshops and visual displays utilising the services of world famous football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke. The Colours of our Scarves will work in partnership with all senior Football clubs across Scotland and Football’s national governing body.
The “Colour of our Scarves” programme will engage with football clubs, football supporters, schools, youth groups and residents of communities around football stadia to gain a unique perspective on the issue of sectarianism across the country, while exploring and attempting to gain more knowledge and research on the differentiation and geographical anomalies of the prevalence of Sectarianism that may currently exist in Scotland. In addition to this the programme will also give the participating individuals a knowledge and understanding to better address and change the existence of sectarianism locally within their local communities.
Stuart Roy Clarke is considered by many "the best football photographer" bar none. His expertise has been in distilling in glorious pictures what the game means to people en masse as well as intimately. Stuarts work has been published and exhibited in many locations from Edinburgh City Arts Centre, The National football museum in Manchester and even the House of Commons in London. Stuart has received high praise from many individuals ranging from pop starts to UK prime Ministers.
Over a period of 25 years, just about all the UK-related football bodies and municipal authorities and governmental bodies have embraced, supported and funded Clarke's Homes of Football opus. This includes The Premier League, The Football League, The Football Association, The Professional Footballers Association, The Football Foundation, The Football Supporters Federation, Supporters Direct, The Scottish Football Association...UEFA, FIFA, The British Council, UKTI.
Stuart will now be working with Supporters Direct Scotland to capture all the emotions that make Scottish football unique.
"I go to grounds, matches, supporters havens - with a sense of mission: to help ensure fans themselves are reflected in the value of the Scottish football experience. In due course they as fans also see their roles as keepers and even owners of the tradition of maintaining Scottish football as the best supported anywhere in the World (relative to the population)" Stuart Roy Clarke
Supporters Direct represents over 180 supporter’s trusts’ and similar organisations across Europe, with over 400,000 members.
We promote the value of supporter and community involvement in the ownership and running of clubs, enabling supporters’ trusts to secure influence and become a constructive voice in how their club is run. More recently in Scotland Supporters Direct Scotland have developed the ScottishFans.org entity to enable the organisation to work with fans, directly with clubs and governing bodies in Scotland to assist, guide and facilitate better communications and relations between supporters and the clubs.