Coronavirus – Joint Response Group Update 28 April

Apr 29, 2020

Tuesday 28 April 2020

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 First Minister’s announcement today regarding the creation of a virtual roundtable with sports bodies to discuss practicalities for the safe emergence from lockdown from a sporting perspective.

The JRG 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:


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

Name | Club/Organisation

Mark Blount | Queen of the South
Eric Drysdale | Club Secretary, Dundee
Dr Jonny Gordon | National Team Doctor, Scottish FA
David Hamilton | Scottish Government
Graeme Jones | Head of Performance, Scottish FA
Nathan Ring | Head of Medical, Hibernian 
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:

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


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

Name | 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

– Daily operational logistics
– Supporter/partner interaction
– Stadium/pitch maintenance

Matchday Operations

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


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

Name | 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:

– Supporter journey
– Access and egress at stadiums
– Facilities within stadiums
– First aid provision
– Supporter and player interaction


4. Broadcasting and Innovation (Chaired by Neil Doncaster)

Name | 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 Multi Media, 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:

– Production
– Transmission methods
– Broadcast and content opportunities: online streaming (UK and overseas); associated payment platform(s)
– Virtual season tickets and other innovations
– Radio
– Club channels/broadcast partner interaction
– Blocked hours


5. Regulation (Chair Calum Beattie)

Name | 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 Amateurs
Rod McKenzie | SPFL Legal Counsel
Michael Nicholson | Director of Football and Legal Affairs, Celtic
Gordon Thomson | Club Secretary, Clyde

Terms of Reference:

– Player contracts (including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)
– FIFA Registration Periods
– Any necessary updates to SPFL and Scottish FA Rules & Regulations as a result of FIFA and/or UEFA circulars
– Government legislation – including the impact on football of any actual or potential lifting of current restrictions
– 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
– Any regulatory implications arising from proposals or recommendations from other sub-groups


6. Grassroots (chaired by Thomas McKeown)

Name | 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 by the First Minister today.”

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