LABOUR and the Scottish Greens have called for fan ownership of football clubs in Scotland following the row over the European Super League.

Ian Murray, Labour's shadow Scottish secretary, insisted football belongs to the fans and "not to a cartel of billionaires at the top".

Ahead of his party's manifesto launch on Thursday, he said it will back fan ownership of Scotland’s clubs and support reform of the game.

The Greens also said the formation of the ESL emphasises "the need for fan ownership and representation". 

Meanwhile, the Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on broadcasters BBC, Sky and Amazon to reject the ESL proposals by committing to not televising its games.

Mr Murray revealed Scottish Labour will support a "five-nation" UK-Republic of Ireland bid for the 2030 Fifa World Cup.

He said: "Football belongs to the fans – not to a cartel of billionaires at the top.

"Scottish Labour is determined to reinvigorate the game in Scotland from grassroots to national team by supporting fan ownership of clubs and reform of the game at all levels in Scotland.

"Clubs are at the heart of communities across Scotland, and many have been hit hard by the pandemic. 

"That’s why Labour is committed to democratising and energising the game in Scotland.

"Labour is back on the pitch, but too many football fans feel stuck on the sidelines.

"That’s why Labour is dedicated to supporting the future of the game in Scotland and putting fans in control, from the dugout to the directors’ box from grassroots to the governance of the game."

Alison Johnstone, the Scottish Greens’ spokeswoman on sports, said: “The sums of money involved in the European Super League are absolutely eye-watering. 

"Its formation shows what happens when profits and greed are allowed to dominate football. 

"As the famous quote says, football is nothing without the fans, and it is no wonder that so many are opposed to this move."

"In Scotland we were successful in ensuring that fan ownership has been pushed up the agenda. 

"It is a model that has worked around the world, and something that is badly needed to stop the sort of moves we are seeing now.

"Football clubs are community assets and should be in the hands of those who care most about them. 

"With a greater use of fan ownership, and more fan representation, we can ensure that communities are at the heart of our teams and our national sport.”

BT Sport and DAZN have publicly denounced the ESL proposals and distanced themselves from broadcasting Super League matches. 

Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jamie Stone has now written to BBC, Sky and Amazon urging them to do the same. 

He said: "For many years now, we have seen Premier League football evolve into a money-making machine that places greed above fans and the communities they represent. 

"The Super League proposals are the most extreme example of oligarchs and tycoons robbing fans of the game we love.

"I suspect that if these plans go ahead, fans will boycott European Super League games. 

"The final vestige of engagement with these damaging proposals is therefore broadcast media. 

"Broadcasters must choose between fans and monetary greed. I am confident that if the media, government, and most importantly football fans come together, we can stop this nonsense."

The SNP manifesto pledges to create a "Fan Bank" to support communities to acquire a share or control of their local sports club.