PFA Scotland Newsletter


Welcome to the 12th edition of Player, the PFA Scotland Newsletter.

In this edition we look at Education and how players across the various divisions are mixing it up with their playing careers.

There’s also news on our Wellbeing Fund, FIFPro’s 50th birthday celebrations and updates from chief executive Fraser Wishart and player liaison Stuart Lovell.

To read the Newsletter click below:

PFAS Newsletter Issue 12

Posted in News | Comments Off

PFA Scotland Sign Up To New Mental Health Charter

Mental Health Charter_Social Media Image 2

PFA Scotland is delighted to announce it has signed up to The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance alongside the Professional Players Federation and with support from the mental health charity Mind, today launched The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation with the backing of the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

The Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation sets out how sport can use its collective power to tackle mental ill health and the stigma that surrounds it. The country’s biggest sports organisations, including The FA, LTA, RFU, ECB and UK Athletics, have already signed-up.

The Charter aims to tackle stigma using the power of sport and recreation, emphasise the benefits to mental health and wellbeing of an active lifestyle and to encourage the wider sector to showcase best practice and to make real progress in tackling issues around mental health.

Physical activity is good for your body but it’s great for your mind too.  Every year, one-in-four people will experience a mental health problem. Yet it is still something much of the population is reluctant to talk about or address, with 90% of people with mental health problems having experienced discrimination.

This is something that has to change.

Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland, said: “PFA Scotland is delighted to sign up to the Charter. The mental health of our members has become a major issue for us as the players’ union. Our “Mind Games” video was hugely successful in raising awareness and addressing the stigma often attached to mental health.

“The Union already provides bespoke support and counselling for players working alongside SAMH and within the Mental Health in Football Forum in Scotland. Issues affecting players range from anxiety to lack of emotion and confidence and in worst cases suicidal tendencies.

“By continuing to work with these agencies, our PPF colleagues and player associations in other sports along with the governing bodies we can encourage anyone, not only our members, who has any problems to come forward and talk about them.”

Emma Boggis, Chief Executive of the Sport and Recreation Alliance wants more people to understand the impact of physical activity on mental wellbeing: “Evidence from our research report Game of Life outlined how exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants for those with mild clinical depression.

“This is one of those areas where sport and physical activity really can change lives but there’s not enough awareness of it as a treatment or as a way of preventing people from falling into poor mental health in the first place.

“Too much of the association between sport and mental health is negative – like when a top athlete suffers problems. We want to re-frame that relationship so that people understand that sport is a positive place for conversations about mental health.”

Brendon Batson OBE, Executive Chairman of the Professional Players Federation, believes that sport can make a real difference to mental health: “By de-stigmatising mental health in sport and by promoting physical activity as a way of treating poor mental health, organisations signing up to the Charter will be making a difference to people across the UK.”

The Charter outlines five actions that we, as a sector, can take to help make mental health a commonly understood matter and to help those in need.

We will:

• Use the power of sport and recreation to promote wellbeing, with a special focus on encouraging physical activity and social interaction for their contribution to good mental health.

• Publicly promote and adopt good mental health policies and best practice within our sports and recreational activities.

• Promote positive public health messages using diverse role models and ambassadors to reduce the stigma attached to mental health problems.

• Actively tackle discrimination on the grounds of mental health to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

• Support the establishment of a pan-sport platform to work closely with the mental health sector to develop and share networks, resources and best practice.

• Regularly monitor our performance, assess progress and take positive action on mental health issues.

Posted in News | Comments Off

PFA Statement Regarding Steve Simonsen Sanction

A PFA Scotland Spokesperson said: “PFA Scotland is surprised and disappointed at the decision of the SFA’s Compliance Officer to appeal the sanction against Steve Simonsen.

“We felt it would be important to clarify a number of points regarding the case as Mr Simonsen’s reputation is in danger of being further damaged, along with his future employment prospects. Unfortunately, we are unable to explain the detail behind the charges or the Judicial Panel’s reasoning in coming to its decision.

“Mr Simonsen requested that the SFA publish the full Written Reasons of the Panel in the interests of transparency. Regrettably they have, thus far, declined to do so. It is important, however, to clarify Mr Simonsen is of good character and has an excellent reputation within the game of football gained from his professionalism throughout his long career.

“The Judicial Panel correctly considered all of the mitigation led on his behalf by PFA Scotland lawyer Liam O’Donnell. Regrettably, we are precluded by SFA rules from outlining the significant mitigation and from explaining the Judicial Panel’s Findings.

“As a consequence of the initial two game suspension (one match served-one match suspended), Mr Simonsen has lost his place in the Rangers first team, which may well have a material impact on his ability to gain a further contract with Rangers or another club. In our opinion, he has suffered enough already.

“We are of the opinion that given the evidence and witness statements put before it, the original Judicial Panel came to a fair decision and PFA Scotland will rigorously defend Mr Simonsen at the Appeal Hearing.”

Posted in News | Comments Off

Sign Up For FIFPro Online Degree

Stuart and Andy

If you’re thinking about planning for a future outside of the game and wondering how you can combine football and studying then the FIFPro Online Degree could be the answer.

The FIFPro Online Academy – an education programme launched in 2011 and specifically developed for professional footballers (and other athletes) – is looking for new students for the 2015/16 season.

Next Wednesday, the World Players’ Union will reach a special milestone with the graduations of the first graduates from its Online Academy at a special ceremony in FIFPro House near Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

At the same time, FIFPro and all player unions across Europe are inviting a new crop of plyers to sign up for the 2015-2016 class of the FIFPro Online Academy.

PFA Scotland currently has four Scottish players studying at the Online Academy – Dunfermline’s Andrew Barrowman, currently in his second year, and Scott Boyd (Ross County), Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton) and Marc Waters (Partick Thistle) who are half way through their first year.

Last year Andrew did a 12 week internship at PFA Scotland as part of his studies and would recommend it to fellow pros.

He said: “The FIFPro Online Academy provides me with a unique platform for a very flexible and versatile mode of learning, it allows me to tailor my studies around my busy and ever-changing schedule as a professional footballer.

“The specialised methods used to deliver the education have enabled me to work towards earning a Sports Management degree without any disruption to my football career.

“I have been a student of the FIFPro Online Academy for almost two years now and despite working as an online student I have never felt detached or without support at any point throughout this period, this is due to the ever-present help and guidance provided to all students.

“I am so glad I chose to join the FIFPro Online Academy as not only have I learned a great deal through my studies, but I have also made friendships and connections with people from all over Europe that will hopefully be of benefit to me in my future potential career path.

“I would highly recommend the FIFPro Online Academy to any professional sports person who is looking to prepare for their future after their current career comes to an end.”

Education ranks highly on FIFPro’s priority list. An average career as a professional footballer is a short one compared to a ‘regular’ workers career.

The average length is approximately 8 years, which implies that for many pros a career will only last a couple of years. Most professional footballers will retire at the age of 35 or earlier and almost all of them will need a new career, because only a handful of footballers end their careers as multimillionaires.

A proper education is crucial to begin a new career and earn a living.

“That’s why we launched the FIFPro Online Academy”, says Frederique Winia, FIFPro Online Academy Manager. “As a players’ union, we also have the obligation to help our members – our professional footballers – prepare for life after their active playing career”.

Many professional footballers would like to combine their active football career with education. FIFPro has developed an educational programme with Danish University UCN, which is particularly appropriate for footballers to be able to follow alongside their football career: the FIFPro Online Academy. This offers a Sport Management programme which takes approximately 7 semesters (3-1/2 years) before the students receive their BA degree in Sports Management.

The FIFPro Online Academy is a virtual class with a real teacher. Lessons are recorded and can be watched online at any time. This gives the students all the freedom to study when it suits them best.

There are currently, more than 100 students from all over Europe following the programme.

Anyone interested in joining Andrew, Scott, Ziggy and Marc at the FIFPro Online Academy should contact Michelle Evans at or call 07796 171490. Students can subscribe until July 1st.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Scotland Decides on 2014 World XI

Scotland World XI

This is Scotland’s 2014 FIFA FIFPro World XI as voted by the SPFL’s players.

Just under 23,500 professional players from each of FIFPro’s 58 member unions – including PFA Scotland – had their say in one of the most thrilling votes in the ten year World XI history, with some players involved in a gripping neck-and-neck race, especially for the final spot on the defenders’ line and the forwards’ line.

The overall World XI was as follows:

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), David Luiz (PSG) Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich); Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Angel Di Maria (Man Utd); Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich), Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

Scotland’s World XI was a little bit different with FOUR notable changes – even a little controversial up front – in your line up (changes are shown in capitals below):

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich); VINCENT COMPANY (Man City), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich); XABI ALONSO (Bayern Munich), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), LUKA MODRIC (Real Madrid); Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), LUIS SUAREZ (Barcelona).

Voting across our clubs caused quite a stir and the final World XI is certain to do the same so – let the debate begin!

To check out every countries 2014 World XI click here:


Posted in News | Comments Off

PFA Scotland Praise for Hearts Administration Pay-Out to Players


PFA Scotland has welcomed the news that Hearts have settled all outstanding administration debts owed to their players.

The club has now fully paid all salaries due from the Romanov regime prior to administration and to the five players made redundant – including John Sutton and Andy Driver – during the administration process.

PFA Scotland were called in by the players when the Tynecastle club were on the brink of administration in June 2013 to look after the welfare and rights of their members.

They were involved in crucial behind the scenes talks with administrator BDO and league bosses to ensure any purchase agreement clearly stated that debts to players had to be met.

That debt has now been settled in full by new owner Ann Budge as of the end of November 2014 with a substantial six figure sum paid to those players affected.

Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to hear our members have received all the outstanding monies owed to them.

“Hearts have been great to deal with and settled these debts very quickly. Ann Budge and her team have dealt with the matter in a courteous and professional manner which has led to these debts being settled in a short period of time.

“As a union we have fought hard to ensure that monies owed to our members are viewed in the same way as monies owed to other clubs, i.e. what is commonly known as “football debt”. There is no provision within the standard players contract to allow for unilateral termination by a club using the administration process and therefore terminating a player’s contract in this way is viewed as an ordinary wrongful breach of contract. In recent administrations our members at Dundee and Dunfermline have also had monies owed to them paid as part of the CVA and purchase agreement.”

In the last 15 years, Fraser Wishart and PFA Scotland have represented its members in administrations at various clubs including Rangers, Motherwell, Airdrieonians and Livingston.


Posted in News | Comments Off

Media Training Course 2015

Media Training

Fancy a career as a tv or radio pundit when you hang up your boots?

Or perhaps you want to hone your presentation skills, before you unleash yourself on a dressing room full of players?

If that’s the case then PFA Scotland, and their media partner Enterprise Screen, will be running a Media Training Course for its members in the New Year.

The two day course – run over two consecutive Wednesday’s – will cover a range of topics including:

  • Pre and Post-Match interview simulation
  • Creation of speeches and presentations
  • On-camera presentations with a review including helpful hints and tips from the professionals
  • On-camera interviews in a safe and confidential environment
  • Understanding body language


This is the tenth season since the inaugural course and among those who have participated are Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes, former goalkeeper-turned-lawyer Derek Stillie, St Johnstone’s Chris Millar (now a columnist with The Sun), new Hearts boss Robbie Neilson and PFA Scotland chairman John Rankin, who regularly features as a pundit on Sportscene.

We’ve already got a few players who have shown an interest in this the upcoming course so if you want to join them then please contact me asap by emailing or call my mobile 07796 171490.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Wellbeing Fund/Jordan Moore Dinner A Success

ScreenHunter_324 Nov. 20 09.52

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended and supported the PFA Scotland Wellbeing Fund/Jordan Moore Dinner last Friday.

A good night was had by all, topped by the fact that Scotland beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0, courtesy of a Shaun Maloney goal, to stay on course to qualify for Euro 2016.

Around 180 guests joined us at the Thistle Hotel and very generously dug deep to raise money for Dundee United’s Jordan Moore, who is currently battling cancer, and our recently launched Wellbeing Fund which will allow us to provide on-going expert advice and counselling for our members experiencing mental health issues, gambling and other such addictions.

The great and good of Scottish Football were there including Hibs manager Alan Stubbs, Dundee United manager Jackie McNamara, Arabs skipper – and PFA Chairman – John Rankin and Celtic legend Billy McNeill.

ScreenHunter_329 Nov. 20 09.58

There were a few other well kent faces in the audience including Still Game’s Sanjeev Koli (Navid) and Paul Riley (Winston).

Host for the evening was Peter Martin who conducted a pre-match Q&A with special guests Stephen McManus and James McFadden.

Overall the night was a great success and we’re hoping it will be the first of many.

ScreenHunter_315 Nov. 20 09.47


Posted in News | Comments Off

PFA Scotland Launch Wellbeing Fund

Dinner Invite

PFA Scotland are delighted to announce the launch of the PFA Scotland Wellbeing Fund.

Over the years, the players union have spearheaded campaigns relating to a variety of issues which affect their members including Mental Health and Gambling.

Just a fortnight ago, with PFA Scotland’s support, Peterhead striker David Cox became the latest player to come forward and openly talk about his battle with mental health problems in a bid to raise awareness.

The PFA Scotland Wellbeing Fund will ensure that David and other players with similar issues will continue to receive the expert care and counselling they need.

Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland, said: “Over the years we have had a number of initiatives aimed at educating and helping our members in their lives both on and off the pitch.

“The welfare of our members is of paramount importance to us and it’s become clear that more and more players are needing our help for a number of issues, be it mental health, gambling or their general health.

“It is a big responsibility and comes with a number of implications, not least of which is financial. We want to provide the best service possible to our members so we decided to form the Wellbeing Fund to help us provide on-going expert advice and counselling for our members.”

Queen of the South forward Iain Russell was the face of PFA Scotland’s ‘Mind Games’ film where he spoke out about his own personal issues and is urging everyone to give their support to the new initiative.

He said: “PFA Scotland were there for me during some troubling times and I would encourage any player experiencing issues to approach them. The help and support I got from them has been invaluable and I think the Wellbeing Fund is a great idea.”

The first event to raise money for the Wellbeing Fund will be a dinner at the Thistle Hotel on Friday 14th November.

As their members wellbeing is crucial to everything they do, money raised at the dinner will be split between the Wellbeing Fund and Jordan Moore – the Dundee United starlet who beat skin cancer and has set up his own fundraising charity to raise money to help in the fight against the killer disease.

Jordan said: “I think it is great that PFA Scotland are starting a Wellbeing Fund to help their members and raise awareness of issues that affect players in their everyday lives. I’m very thankful they’ve chosen to help me raise money to help fight cancer.”

Former Scotland stars James McFadden, Kenny Miller and Stephen McManus will join guests for a dinner and a pre-match Q&A session before watching the crucial Euro 2016 qualifier between Scotland and the Republic of Ireland on giant screens.

Tables of 10 cost £500 – individual tickets £50 – and there will be an auction and raffle on the night too.

To book a table – or for more information – contact Michelle Evans at PFA Scotland on 07796 171490 or email

Posted in News | Comments Off

SRtRC Weekend Of Action

Scotland SRtRCSRtRC logo 1

The 2014/15 Show Racism the Red Card Weekend of Action takes place across the Scotland’s football grounds this weekend.

At every SPFL game across the country this weekend (Friday 17th October/Saturday 18th October) clubs will unite in calling for an end to racism in both football and society in general.

They will be joined by players from more than 40 European countries as part of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network which is against racism and discrimination.

The Scotland national team showed their support for the campaign during their get together ahead of last weekend’s 1-0 win over Georgia.

Fraser Wishart, Chief Executive of PFA Scotland said: “PFA Scotland is proud to once again be a sponsor of the Fortnight of Action. Show Racism the Red Card staff do sterling work throughout the year, in particular working with young people and schools. A lot of this goes unnoticed in the media which is why the Fortnight of Action is important to promote publically all the good work that is done behind the scenes.

“Huge steps have been made towards eradicating racism from the game in this country; we must not however become complacent as there is always work to do and must continue to support the good work of the campaign.

“The players’ union have been supporters of the campaign since its inception when Tony Higgins was one the main driving forces in the formation of the Scottish arm.

“Since then Show Racism the Red Card has become a model for anti-racist campaigns in football throughout the world. Our members have been strong in their support over the years and will once again get fully behind the message that racism and other forms of discrimination are not acceptable within Scottish football.”

For more information on the Weekend of Action go to the Show Racism the Red Card website

Posted in News | Comments Off

FIFA FIFPro World XI Voting Underway Among PFAS Members


Players from Inverness and Ross County have had their say in this season’s 2014 FIFA FIFPro World XI vote.

Both sets of players made their choices last week during one of our PFA Scotland visits.

Richie ForanCounty FIFPro pic

Inverness captain Richie Foran and his teammates – currently sitting third in the Scottish Premiership after an impressive start to the season – took their time deciding who got the nod as they followed in the steps of last year’s winner Cristiano Ronaldo and his Real Madrid teammates in selecting their World XI.

Their local rivals Ross County followed suit with assistant manager Billy Dodds giving the lads a few pointers on who he thought should be included.

Over the next few weeks, Stuart and Michelle from PFA Scotland will be asking players from across the country to join the lads from Inverness and Ross County in casting their votes for the ultimate prize which will be announced next January at the Ballon d’Or in Switzerland.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Old Course Deal for PFAS Members


PFA Scotland have teamed up with the Old Course Hotel St Andrews to give our members an International Break offer.

The internationally renowned hotel – famous for its golfing connections – has just hosted the Dunhill Links Championship won by English golfer Oliver Wilson.

So if you fancy getting away from it all during the international break and maybe fitting in a round at the Old Course then the hotel is offering a deal of £150 per room Bed and Breakfast.

Anyone interested should contact Fiona Gray, Senior Sales Manager, on 07791 889674 or email

You will need to quote your PFA Scotland membership to access the deal.

Posted in News | Comments Off

Cristiano Ronaldo Launches the World XI Vote


The vote for the 2014 FIFA FIFPro World XI has officially been launched.

For the tenth consecutive year, FIFPro invites up all professional footballers worldwide to vote for their World XI.

The reigning World Footballer of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo filled in the first ballot for this year’s players’ vote starting the debate on which eleven players will make it into this year’s team.
ronaldo 2

On Monday January 12, the all star 11 will be announced jointly by FIFA and FIFPro at the Ballon d’Or in Switzerland.

Luis Rubiales, FIFPro Vice President and President of Spanish players union AFE, officially handed the first ballot to Cristiano Ronaldo.

More than twenty thousand professional footballers worldwide will follow Ronaldo’s example in the upcoming month.

They will chose the eleven players who according to them deserve most to be in the World XI – they must pick 1 goalkeeper, 4 defenders, 3 midfielders and 3 attackers.

“I am proud and pleased to be here and to be able to nominate the best eleven players in the world”, said Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been a member of the World XI since 2007, a record 7 selections.

“It means a lot to be part of the best eleven in the world. The players are the guys who really understand this business more than anybody else. I hope that I will be voted for the eighth consecutive year – that would be amazing.”

Ronaldo explained how he produced his World XI: “There are many criteria. They are what a player has done in the past season, the titles he has won at both the collective level and the individual level, and the start of this season too.

“It is about the players who are more consistent and who demonstrate a high level all through the year and also have obtained the most important titles, which in my opinion were the Champions League and the World Championship.

“I think those are the criteria that should count the most.”

PFA Scotland will be giving forms to all our members over the coming weeks so they can play their part in deciding who makes it into the FIFA FIFPro World XI.


Posted in News | Comments Off

PFA Scotland Website Changes


The PFA Scotland website will be undergoing a few changes over the coming weeks as we update the site.

Please bear with us as while we are making a few improvements and please keep checking the site regularly to see what has changed.

We value our members feedback so if there is anything you would like to see on the website that isn’t already there then please contact Michelle Evans on or call her on 07796 171490.

Posted in News | Comments Off




PFA Scotland is delighted to make available the eleventh edition of  its “Player” newsletter.

Included in the final publication for season 2013-14 is a feature on Livingston’s Andrew Barrowman and his participation in the FIFPro degree course, Brett Molloy of East Stirlingshire discuss his experience with social media, while former Partick Thistle youngster Bradley Halsman describes his new business venture.

There is also a review of the launch of the educational film Mind Games: Mental Health in Scottish football, a look back at the recent CV and Career Planning course, along with information on third party ownership and social dialogue.

To read the newsletter online please click on the following link:








Posted in News | Comments Off