Community ownership of football clubs a step closer
Increasing community ownership of football clubs has been backed by MSPs.
They supported amendments to the Community Empowerment Bill extending the right-to-buy to football fans.
Green MSP Alison Johnstone brought forward the changes and if passed by the Scottish Parliament would mean supporters' trusts would get first refusal when a club comes up for sale.
Initially the bill was designed to allow community groups the right to purchase land but the hope is that it will now be extended to football clubs.
Johnstone said: “This is an extraordinary day for the future of Scottish football.
"We know how badly the game has been struggling, from Gretna to Hearts and Rangers, and we know fan ownership works.
"It's great that parliament has today united around the principle of a responsible fans' right to buy their clubs."
The principles are the same for communities when trying to buy areas of rural land as contained in land reform legislation.
Local government minister Marco Biagi said: "Affirmative procedure for the development of the details, with the aim put in the bill, would allow consultation with the wider football community; it would allow consultation, as appropriate, with the parliament; and it would ensure that we don't just endorse the principle but we ensure that any legislation we introduce we get right," he said.