THE results of a new survey have shown nearly half of Scottish football fans have been subjected to sectarian abuse at matches – but only two thirds would be willing to report it to the authorities.

The 2018/19 Scottish Football Supporters Survey asked 6,041 fans from around the country about their experiences attending games.

The findings show that 85 per cent have witnessed sectarianism, 58 per cent racism, 52 per cent physical abuse and 51 per cent homophobic abuse.

And a total of 41 per cent of those quizzed have suffered from sectarian abuse – but only 66 per cent stated they would report it.

Supporters Direct Scotland have revealed the results of the first of three surveys which they are conducting in the period up until 2020 as part of a partnership with the SFA and SPFL.

The top five clubs for away matchday experience were Hearts, Hibs, Kilmarnock, Celtic and Dunfermline.

Celtic, Hearts, Hamilton, Motherwell and Ross County were the highest ranked clubs for their work in the community.

Meanwhile, nearly two thirds of those surveyed were in favour of an alternative European club competition with nations such as Belgium, Holland, Sweden and Denmark.

Supporters Direct Scotland spokesman Allan Russell said: “This year’s results, which mark the first of a three-year benchmarking study, provide valuable insight which we will be using as part of our ongoing dialogue with the SPFL and Scottish FA.

“While we have seen some improvement around respondents’ views on value for money and the supporter experience, there is a long way to go. Where we have seen improvement, this is reflected in a more flexible approach to pricing, particularly in different parts of the stadium."

He added: “Respect issues should still be a major concern for Scottish football. Most supporters have witnessed discrimination in and around football stadia in Scotland; and many supporters have been victims of abuse, particularly sectarianism.

“Worryingly, a third of fans say they would not report discrimination if they witnessed it or were subjected to it.

“When we have to, we’ll be critical, but we are a supportive friend. We, like those who own or run football clubs, love the game. Our desire is to see Scottish football as strong as it can possibly be, thriving, vibrant and set for the future. We’ll keep working towards that aim.”

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “This survey provides great insight into important areas of the game and we are always seeking ways in which we can improve.

“We look forward to working with SD Scotland and the Scottish FA over this three-year period, and will take time to reflect on the views of supporters as well as explore ways to better our game.”

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “The survey has one key aim: to listen to the fans. This offers us a unique opportunity to hear their opinions directly and work to implement their feedback.

“This will contribute towards the goal of sharing good practice and sparking discussion around how Scottish football can do more to deliver the three key points arising from the survey to supporters: value for money, fan engagement and supporter experience.”