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Page last updated at 19:08 GMT, Friday, 23 April 2010 20:08 UK

Scots Government welcomes football review report

Henry McLeish has published his  recommendations for the future of Scottish football
McLeish wants to see 500m invested in Scottish football

The Scottish Government has welcomed the publication of Henry McLeish's Review of Scottish Football - but there were no promises of huge investment.

Former First Minister McLeish recommended £500m should be pumped into facilities and youth development over the next 10 years.

And Sports Minister Shona Robison said she would examine the report closely.

"It gives us the chance to sit down with our key partners and look at the type of support we offer," she said.

"I welcome the publication of this comprehensive review, which provides both the government and the SFA with a number of recommendations.

"We have already had discussions with the SFA with a view to refreshing the Youth Action Plan in relation to the recommendations of the review.

"We will give careful consideration to the findings and look forward to seeing the recommendations put forward being implemented by the SFA in their role as the independent governing body for football in Scotland."

The Scottish Premier League promised to work with the SFA to help achieve the report's aims.

There is a definite lack of funding in all aspects of the Scottish game at the moment, which is affecting the standard of the competition

Mark McGhee
Aberdeen manager

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "We welcome the findings of Henry McLeish's Review of Scottish Football.

"We agree that broadening the base of players within Scotland is an important step in bringing through the best footballing talent - and that substantial government investment in facilities is vital to make this happen.

"We have confidence that the SFA will progress recommendations made within the review and we will continue to develop our already strong relationships with the SFA to assist this.

"Henry has spoken of the need for change within Scottish football.

"Backed by appropriate investment from the Scottish Government, we are optimistic that positive change can be achieved."

Most Scottish Premier League managers asked for time to read the report before commenting on it in detail.

Celtic interim manager Neil Lennon questioned the recommendation for sports academies and for major investment in facilities.

However, Aberdeen boss Mark McGhee said: "The Scottish game is lacking in funding at every level, at grassroots, in facilities and in first-team pools.

"We - Scottish clubs - cannot compete with a lot of clubs in the English first division. That's where we are at.

"There is a definite lack of funding in all aspects of the Scottish game at the moment, which is affecting the standard of the competition.

"Scotland is a small place. We are not England, we don't have 60 million people.

"We have a finite number of centres where those facilities would be required and I think it is possible to do a sum and understand how much is needed.

"We have an opportunity that I don't think England, for instance, do have because I think the sums down there are too vast to improve it to the level that we would like it improved to.

"There is an opportunity in Scotland to be able to afford to provide the sort of facilities throughout the country that would improve the grassroots game in general."

see also
Lennon critical of academies plan
23 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Change demanded in Scots football
23 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Scots football fans seek change
22 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier
Smith explains SFA exit decision
20 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Smith stepping down from SFA role
19 Apr 10 |  Scotland
Scots fans asked to assist review
13 May 09 |  Scotland
McLeish 'faces Scots revamp test'
26 Feb 09 |  Football
McLeish to chair football review
25 Feb 09 |  Football

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