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Tuesday 28th April 2020

Coronavirus Joint Response Group Update

Scottish Football Restart sub-groups created to plan national game’s return

The Joint Response Group has committed to beginning the initial planning phase for the resumption of football by creating new sub-groups to support the Scottish Football Restart.

It is important to stress that this will be done in line with current Scottish Government and Chief Medical Officer advice – as updated in the First Minister’s publication of Looking Beyond Lockdown – and in cognisance of the current suspension of Scottish football until June 10.

We also note the announcement today from Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport, and Wellbeing, regarding the creation of a virtual roundtable to discuss practicalities for the safe emergence from lockdown for sports bodies.

The sub-groups will be integral to that process and are formed under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA Board.

Each group has been assigned a rolling two-week update period in which to undertake research in order of priorities outlined by the chair. The sub-groups will provide recommendations in key operational, logistical and commercial areas to ensure the safe and efficient return to Scottish football for all stakeholders, in line with the Scottish Government’s Framework for Decisions.

The sub-groups are comprised of subject matter experts from across Scottish football are as follows:

Medical and Player Welfare (co-chaired by Dr John MacLean and Duncan Fraser)


Club / Organisation

Mark Blount

Queen of the South

Derek Crossan

Club Secretary, Linlithgow Rose 

Eric Drysdale

Club Secretary, Dundee

Dr Jonny Gordon

National Team Doctor, Scottish FA

David Hamilton

Scottish Government

Graeme Jones

Head of Performance, Scottish FA

Dr Andrew Murray

Consultant in Sport & Exercise Medicine, Edinburgh University

Nathan Ring

Head of Medical, Hibernian

Dr James Robson

Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Rugby Union

Adam Stokes

Head of Medical, Aberdeen

Dr Gareth Strachan

Club Doctor, Montrose

Marcin Szostak

Head of Medical, Dundee United

Dr Mark Waller

Club Doctor, Rangers

Tim Williamson

Head of Medical Services, Celtic

Terms of reference:

    1. Emerging from lockdown and Scottish Government interaction
    2. Risk assessment
    3. Returning to training from individual to group including biosecure environment
    4. Returning to matches both behind closed doors and with spectators including biosecure environment
    5. Player welfare including protocols for sick players and avoidance of injury
    6. Testing

      Club and Stadium Operations  (Co-chaired by Ian Maxwell/Mike Mulraney)


Club / Organisation

Gerry Britton

Chief Executive, Partick Thistle

Danny Bisland

National Club GROW Manager, Scottish FA

Lorna Cameron

Interim Executive Officer, Scottish Women’s Football

Derek Crossan

Club Secretary, Linlithgow Rose 

Leeann Dempster

Chief Executive, Hibernian

Adrian Filby

Commercial Director, Celtic

Steven Gunn

Director of Football Operations, Aberdeen

David Hamilton

Scottish Government

Robin Howe

Security & Operations Manager, Rangers

Robbie MacGregor

Chair of Football Safety Officers Association Scotland

Laura McCallum

Head of Football Admin & Legal Affairs, Dundee United

Garry O’Hagan

Football Operations Professional

Police Scotland

Represented by Campbell Crawford, Chief Inspector NFIP Scotland

John Taylor

Vice-Chairman, Clyde

Fraser Wishart

Chief Executive, PFA Scotland

Terms of reference                                                                                     

Club Operations

    1. Daily operational logistics
    2. Supporter/partner interaction
    3. Stadium/pitch maintenance

Matchday Operations

    1. Stadium operations and set-up
    2. Safety, policing, stewarding and first aid provision
    3. Team related matters – access, egress, changing rooms, kit, technical areas,
    4. Media and broadcast logistics
    5. Pre-Match Operations and Communication

Supporter Welfare (Co-chaired by Mike Mulraney/Ian Maxwell)


Club / Organisation

Stuart Brown

Chairman, Stirling Albion

Andrew Byron

Director, Partick Thistle

Adrian Filby

Commercial Director, Celtic

Gregor Hall

Director, Queen’s Park

David Hamilton

Scottish Government

Drew Main

Director, Dunfermline Athletic

Colin Millar

Senior Operations Manager, Hibernian

Alan Russell

Chief Executive, Supporters Direct Scotland

Tony Smith

Club Secretary, Camelon Juniors

Margaret Steven

Director, Cowdenbeath

Terms of reference:

    1. Supporter journey
    2. Access and egress at stadiums
    3. Facilities within stadiums
    4. First aid provision
    5. Supporter and player interaction

Broadcasting and Innovation (Chaired by Neil Doncaster)


Club / Organisation

James Bisgrove

Commercial & Marketing Director, Rangers

Dave Cormack

Chairman, Aberdeen

Ron Gordon

Chairman, Hibernian

David Hamilton

Scottish Government

Kerry Keenan

Head of Marketing and Multimedia, Celtic

Kieran Koszary

Executive Director, Falkirk

Gregg McEwan

Head of Marketing & Commercial Operations, Kilmarnock

Rod McKenzie

SPFL Legal Counsel

Chris Rawlings

Commercial Director, Scottish FA

Andrew Sinclair

Head of Partnerships, SPFL

Duncan Smillie

Director, Partick Thistle

Terms of reference:

    1. Production
    2. Transmission methods
    3. Broadcast and content opportunities: online streaming (UK and overseas); associated payment platform(s)
    4. Virtual season tickets and other innovations
    5. Radio
    6. Club channels/broadcast partner interaction
    7. Blocked hours

      Regulation (Chair Calum Beattie)


Club / Organisation

Sandy Bryson

Head of Registrations, Scottish FA

Andrew Dickson

Director of Finance and Administration, Rangers

Laura Dougan

Head of Football Governance, Scottish FA

George Fraser

Chairman, SLFL

Steven Gunn

Director of Football Operations, Aberdeen

David Hamilton

Scottish Government

Rod Houston

Secretary, SHFL

Laura McCallum

Head of Football Administration & Legal Affairs, Dundee United

Fiona McIntyre

Scottish Women’s Football

Thomas McKeown

Scottish Amateur FA

Rod McKenzie

SPFL Legal Counsel

Michael Nicholson

Director of Football and Legal Affairs, Celtic

Gordon Thomson

Club Secretary, Clyde

Terms of Reference:

  1. Player contracts (including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)
  2. FIFA Registration Periods
  3. Any necessary updates to SPFL and Scottish FA Rules & Regulations as a result of FIFA and/or UEFA circulars
  4. Government legislation – including the impact on football of any actual or potential lifting of current restrictions
  5. Any potential amendments to the competition rules and regulations of the Scottish FA and SPFL; for example, in relation to possible modified competition formats for Season 2020/21
  6. Any regulatory implications arising from proposals or recommendations from other sub-groups

    Grassroots (chaired by Thomas McKeown)


Club / Organisation

Tom Anderson

Scottish Youth FA

Lorna Cameron

Scottish Women’s Football

John Campbell

Scottish Welfare FA

Robert Craig

Para-Football Scotland

John Gold

Scottish Schools FA

Andrew Gould

Head of Football Development, Scottish FA

John Greenhorn

East of Scotland League

Colin Holden

South of Scotland League

Tom Johnston

Scottish Junior FA

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President and Chair of the Joint Response Group: “I am pleased by the response among members to assist the Joint Response Group in planning for the safe and expedient return of Scottish football when it is deemed safe to do so by the government and medical experts.

“The First Minister published a framework to assist in the country’s recovery from COVID-19, including preparing for the transition from lockdown or any easing thereof and adjusting to a ‘new normal’.

“We will continue to adhere to the government advice but equally we have an obligation to undertake the necessary preparatory work to ensure the national game is ready to return at the appropriate time.

“We are also mindful of the crucial role football can play as the national sport during the recovery period and have noted the proposed return of the Premier League in England by the Department of Culture Media and Sport in England ‘to raise the spirit of the nation’.

“We look forward to the opportunity to discuss football’s timeframe in Scotland in early course as part of the Scottish Government’s virtual roundtable for sporting bodies announced today.”