The Association of Tartan Army Clubs (ATAC) was formed in 2000 to act on behalf of fans of the Scottish national team, both home and away. ATAC directly represents over 1500 members of affiliated Tartan Army clubs throughout Scotland and beyond, but does not claim to directly represent the Tartan Army. We liaise regularly with the Scotland Supporters Club and Scottish FA staff in relation to issues specifically impacting supporters of the national team such as ticketing, travel & security, supporters experience, match buses, fan events, and much more.
ATAC also contributes to the wider conversation on Scottish and European Footballing issues as a whole. Our vice chair fills a seat on the board of Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS), who in turn hold a seat on the SFA Congress. We also participate in meetings and discussion with the supporters groups from the other Home Nations, and are members of, and engage with, Football Supporters Europe (FSE).
Each affiliated club sends a representative to the ATAC committee. This committee meets regularly with Scottish Football Association, promoting the best interests of every Scotland fan. Before ATAC was formed, there was no formal dialogue between Scotland fans and the SFA.
You don’t have to be a member of an affiliated Tartan Army Club to get your viewpoint across. ATAC will listen to any point raised by a member of the Scotland Supporters Club. If you have an issue you wish to raise, please email us.
ATAC Chair Martin Riddell, and Vice Chair Graeme Baxter, attended an online meeting on Tuesday 6th April that was hosted by the MET Police’s Lead Planner for the Euros. We were invited there to give a fan perspective of Scotland fans attending Wembley for the match on 18 June. We were invited through our association with Football Supporters Europe (FSE) and others on the call included the Security Lead and Euros Project Leader from the FA, two reps from Police Scotland, various tournament London fanzone managers, a few other MET Police and Football Intelligence staff and various reps for the Greater London Authority (GLA) which I think is effectively the body that runs public services etc in London on behalf of the Mayor. There were about 15 of us in total.
Trafalgar Square will be the official London fanzone during the tournament. Access will be ticketed and it will open 3 hours before each match. The expectation is that this is somewhere for fans to watch matches on big screens – it is not being designed as a pre-match drinking venue. There will be an open ballot for tickets which will open a few days before each scheduled match. Tickets will be free.
They are working on two models. One, if social distancing etc is in place, will mean up to 700 people sat down at picnic bench style seating in groups of 4. The other model is for no social distancing and will cater for up to 10,000. It may be that access to the fanzone requires some proof of a negative test/vaccination/immunity but this hasn’t been decided yet.
The Football Village will be at Pettersfield which is right next door to the Mayor’s office on the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. This is being designed as a family friendly zone. Having the official fanzone in Trafalgar Sq means that the police etc will not be wanting the usual pre-match meet up of Scotland fans around there. This is a message we have been asked to support and communicate out. More fanzone info can be seen here https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/euro-2020-trafalgar-square-fan-zone-faqs
Rail routes should be open but they will be strictly advanced purchase tickets only. They have asked West Coast Mainline to increase capacity. They have asked West Coast Mainline to increase capacity. Trains may be dry. They will be encouraging Scotland fans who arrive by train to stay over in London as time will be extremely tight to catch the last train up the road post-match. National Coach should be offering a full service.
There will be plenty space for coach parking and there will be a coach parking tool nearer the time to use to book spaces for buses. A few of the bus parks are a bit away from Wembley (furthest being 2km) so for these ones they are hoping to run an accessibility shuttle to get fans back and forward for those wo may require. There will be no car parking around Wembley and they suggested North of the stadium for parking and then getting the tube in to the stadium. They mentioned Ruislip and Stanmore as options to park and get the tube to Wembley. They are hopeful of getting government subsidy to keep local transport costs down if social distancing remains in place. With regard to car parking, fans may wish to try Hillingdon and Uxbridge along with Harrow on the Hill. All these place are on the Met line direct into Wembley and central London.
FA are aiming for 25% for the Wembley group matches. They are looking to have slightly more for the next set of matches. And they are hopeful of an increased capacity for the semis and final. They are expecting UEFA to allow them to announce these higher capacities closer to the start of the tournament and dependent on how things go. Understandable as we all know that everything can change at a moments notice with the virus.
For the various Wembley test events that are coming up they will be doing some lateral flow testing. For the first two small scale tests they are suggesting at least two tests before the event and one after. UEFA may look at proof of negative tests, proof of vaccination or some other proof of immunity but it has yet to be decided. Obviously the local government may look to introduce and enforce that too.
Something that UEFA are keen for is for alcohol to be sold at the stadium due to their sponsors. The first two small test events will have alcohol sales and they will decide after that.
We anticipate several follow up meetings to take place in the build up to the match, and we will continue to share relevant details from these meetings.
Ahead of the March Internationals, ATAC joined reps from supporters groups around Europe on a call organised by Football Supporters Europe and Amnesty International, who led a briefing on the situation in Qatar surrounding the treatment of migrant workers in the building of the World Cup 2022 Stadia.
Today Amnesty International are launching a petition to call on FIFA to “Blow the whistle on labour abuse in Qatar. Migrant workers are at the heart of realising Qatar’s dream of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. But 10 years after FIFA awarded the tournament to Qatar, thousands of them are still being exploited by unscrupulous bosses…..When FIFA decided to hold the World Cup in Qatar it knew – or should have known – that there are inherent risks in hosting the tournament there, due to the country’s heavy reliance on migrant workers and the serious exploitation they face. FIFA has a clear responsibility to act when workers on World Cup projects are at risk of labour abuse, and to use its influence to urge Qatar to properly protect all migrant workers. While progress has been made on workers’ rights, the ongoing abuses show that Qatar and FIFA have much more to do if the World Cup is going to leave a positive legacy”
ATAC stands with Amnesty International, Football Supporters Europe, and other supporters groups in calling for FIFA to stand up to its responsibilities in Qatar which came with the awarding of the 2022 World Cup, and we are asking all fellow Scotland fans to support this campaign.
Fans’ groups in Scotland and Northern Ireland have welcomed the announcement that their respective Euro 2020 play-off finals are to be shown on free-to-air channels on Thursday evening.
Broadcaster Sky will screen Scotland’s clash with Serbia on the Sky Sports Football, Sky One and Pick channels, while the Northern Ireland game against Slovakia will be shown on Sky Sports Premier League and Challenge.
Graeme Baxter from the Association of Tartan Army Clubs said: “Both ATAC and the AONISC had spoken to our respective FAs in August about the desire to see our games made as widely accessible as possible, so the decision by Sky to show Thursday’s matches on free to air channels is brilliant news.”
Gary McAllister from the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs added: “This is a really good decision by Sky. With a limited number of fans allowed into our match against Slovakia and pubs currently closed, this will allow everyone to see the game in their own home and avoid the temptation for people to congregate elsewhere to see the action.”
The decision also means that fans from all four of the UK ‘home nations’ will be able to watch their National Teams on free-to-air television with England against the Republic of Ireland airing on ITV, while Wales’ friendly against the USA will be shown on S4C.
A Scotland fan was writing an article for Scottish Epistles Football Fanzine on the Rosebery colours. One of the things that came out of this was the fact that these colours were worn in the international against England at The Oval in 1881 in which Andrew Watson was the captain, and the first international black football player.
Of course, Watson is also commemorated on the mural at the 1st Hampden (now Hampden Bowling club) for playing in the international against England there the following year which resulted in a 5-1 victory.
Andrew Watson died in 1921 and is buried in Richmond cemetery where his grave has fallen into state of disrepair. A Scotland fan who lives in the area visited the cemetery in 2020 and took pictures of the grave displayed on this site. It struck the Scotland fan, known as Ally, that this was all rather sad – one of Scotland’s most important sporting icons, who is commemorated on a mural at Hampden, who will hopefully be recognised with a permanent statue/memorial in Glasgow and who should be lauded as a pioneer of the game of football, in a unassuming resting place with no indication as to his importance. Surely the very least that should be done is that grave could be tidied up and restored to a more befitting state.
ATAC have kicked off donations with an initial £250 contribution, and we are encouraging people to contribute as much or as little as they want. Please donate what you can. It’s an incredible story.
Son of a wealthy Scottish Sugar planter, Andrew was born in British Guiana, and brought to the UK as a child. He attended school in West Yorkshire and London, before studying philosophy, mathematics and engineering at the University of Glasgow.
After a spell as the star player and match secretary of Glasgow’s Parkgrove FC, he would go on to play for two of the greatest clubs of the nineteenth century; Queen’s Park and Corinthians. A strong and composed full back, Watson won three Scottish Cups and four Glasgow Charity Cups with Queen’s Park and played in the Corinthians side which thrashed FA Cup holders Blackburn Rovers 8-1 in 1883. Swifts in 1882, he also has the accolade of being the first black footballer to play in the FA Cup.
Watson played 3 times for Scotland, captaining the side to a 6-1 victory over England at the Oval in 1881. This result remains England’s heaviest defeat on home soil. He played twice more for Scotland (a 5-1 win against Wales in 1881 and a 5-1 win against England in 1882) before heading to London. Playing for London
Monday 7th September 19:45 BST Andrův stadion, Olomouc #CZESCO
A lot has happened since the Nations League draw took place at the start of March, in fact a lot has changed since full time of the Israel game on Friday night. The world is a completely different place and the impact on football pales into insignificance compared to the terrible loss of life, pain and sadness the Coronavirus pandemic has brought. ATAC sends love and support to everyone that has been impacted across all walks of life.
The small hopes the Tartan Army had of attending and even travelling to the game have been well extinguished with UEFA deciding all games are behind closed doors and the government policy meaning anyone who travels will have to quarantine for 14 days on their return to Scotland. For this reason there is no ATAC Sporran Guide for this game but hope you find this match review interesting. We appreciate that there may still be a small number of supporters who will still travel and we wish you a safe journey and encourage you to take all the precautions necessary and follow all the rules that are in place.
The Nations League fixtures will be crucial in determining seeding for the World Cup qualifiers and does provide an outside chance of a play off for the winners of group B2. Scotland started with a 1-1 draw against Israel in a Euro 2020 play off dress rehearsal before heading to Olomouc to face the top seeded Czechs. After the disappointment of that draw Scotland have a massive opportunity to get back on track against a depleted Czech team. They picked up a big 3-1 away win against local rivals Slovakia on Friday but the shock news that the entire team and coaching staff have to quarantine for 14 days means they have had to start again. Slovakia travel to Israel hoping to get their campaign back on track.
The Czech Republic was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire when the Bohemia Football Association formed in 1901. They played as Bohemia 7 times. 6 against Hungary and once against England, the first a 2-1 loss in 1903. After World War 1 Czechoslovakia declared it’s independence and entered a football team in the 1920 Olympics in Belgium, they reached the final against the hosts but walked off in protest at 2-0 down and were subsequently disqualified so did not receive the silver medal. They also competed in the 1924 Olympics and the world cup finals of 1934 and 1938, losing in the final in 1934 to hosts Italy 2-1 after extra time. Although broken up by the 2nd world war it reformed as part of the Eastern Bloc and existed as a communist state until the Velvet Revolution in 1990.
Post war Czechoslovakia reached the World Cup finals a further 6 times, including the final in 1962 where they were beaten by Brazil in Chile. But the highlight would have been the final of the Euros in 1976, the game finished 2-2 after extra time and with the shoot out poised at 4-3 West Germany’s Uli Hoeness had the first penalty miss. Up stepped Antonin Panenka to score the most audacious penalty to beat the West Germans and win the trophy. Czechoslovakia reached the Euro finals twice more and on both occasions finished 3rd, in France in 1960 and Italy in 1980.
Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1st January 1993 in the middle of World Cup qualification. They completed the fixtures as the Representation of Czechs and Slovaks ending with a 0-0 draw away to Belgium in their last ever game, a win would have won a place at USA 1994. In their first tournament as the Czech Republic, Euro 96, they reached the final losing to Germany on a golden goal. Germany declined the invitation to the first official Confederations Cup in 1997 so the Czechs represented Europe and finished 3rd beating Uruguay 1-0 after losing to Brazil in the semi-final. They have only reached the World Cup finals once, in 2006 they beat USA 3-0 in their first game but were eliminated after successive 2-0 defeats to Ghana and Italy.
Euro 2020 will be their 7th straight finals since they started competing as the Czech Republic. They had to survive a scare in their penultimate qualifier against Kosovo last year. Kosovo led in Plzeň and would have went 2nd in Group A if they had held on but 2 late goals sent the Czechs to the finals. At the finals they have 2 matches scheduled at Hampden, potentially one against Scotland if we can qualify through the play offs. The last time the 2 countries met in competitive action (a qualifier for Euro 2012) ended in controversy, a last minute penalty for Michal Kadlec that looked like a blatant dive got the Czechs level at 2-2. Scotland went straight back up the other end and had a big shout for a penalty but Christophe Berra was booked for diving. That goal was ultimately the difference between second and third in the group and the Czechs would go on to qualify for the finals through the play offs.
This will be the 18th time Scotland have faced off with Czechoslovakia or the Czech Republic and the 9th time away from home. Scotland have won away on two occasions, the first ever meeting between the sides (3-1 in May 1937) and the last meeting in 2016 when Ikeche Anya scored the only goal. In qualification for the 1962 World Cup the teams finished level on points in Group 8 and in those days that meant a play off in neutral territory. In November 1961 in Brussels Scotland were eliminated 4-2 after extra time despite Ian St John putting Scotland ahead twice. In 1972 Scotland and Czechoslovakia were both invited to play in the Brazil Independence Cup, marking 150 years of Brazilian Independence. They were both given a bye to Group A of the final stage where they met in Porto Alegre, a 0-0 draw was the outcome. Scotland drew 2-2 with Yugoslavia and finished with a narrow 1-0 loss to Brazil to be eliminated. Czechoslovakia drew 0-0 with Brazil but lost 2-1 to Yugoslavia so also failed to progress. Brazil beat Portugal in the final.
In the last Nations League the Czech Republic finished 2nd in group B1 finishing behind Ukraine who they lost to twice but ahead of Slovakia who they beat twice to be ranked 20th. They did not need the play off spot they earned as they qualified for the Euros direct finishing 2nd in group A behind England. They had lost their first game 5-0 at Wembley but recovered to inflict England’s first qualification defeat in 10 years. However they followed that with a defeat at home to Northern Ireland and also lost away to Kosovo and Bulgaria.
They have played 10 games at the Andrův stadion the home of SK Sigma Olomouc, winning 7 and losing 3. The last game they played there was a 3-0 victory over Montenegro in the European qualifiers in June last year, it is the first time Scotland will have played there as on previous occasions we have played in Prague or Bratislava. It is a huge game for Steve Clarke’s men after that draw on Friday and a big opportunity given the problems the Czechs have but it is no gimme and the team will need to step up a level. There are no easy games in international football and the 11 players that take the field for Czech Republic will have a fantastic opportunity to make a name for themselves with nothing to lose.
It will also be a very strange situation for the Tartan Army with many supporters missing their first away match in a long time, for some it will be decades. Football without fans is a different game but 3 points is still 3 points and results will have a huge bearing on the future of the national team and it is also the last chance for the manager to spend time with the squad ahead of the crucial play off next month. Fingers crossed there may be some supporters at Hampden for that game but there are no guarantees. Either way it is important the results are good so when the Tartan Army are back in their seats they will have crucial matches to roar the team on.