Part 2 of Scottish football review critical of SFA

Henry McLeish has presented part two of his review of Scottish football calling for substantial changes to the game in Scotland.
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Henry McLeish has presented part two of his review of Scottish football calling for substantial changes to the game in Scotland.

The former First Minister was at Hampden to discuss his "Structures, Leadership and Governance" document.

McLeish said: "The review is intended to provide a comprehensive assessment of the problems, challenges and opportunities facing football.

"My report goes far beyond the obvious manifestation of underachievement and under performance.

"It asks searching questions about the mindset of the game in Scotland and the structures, mission, ethos and organisation of Scottish football.

"Our institutions are amongst the oldest in the world.

"The burden of history influences what we do and there has been, for far too long, a reluctance to embrace modernisation and make the game effective and efficient in the 21st century."

George Peat, Scottish FA president, said: "It was my original intention to sanction a report that was wide-ranging in its investigation of Scottish football and uncompromising in its recommendations. I have not been disappointed by Henry's work.

"The Scottish FA have shown a willingness to embrace change and there is a determination within the board and the organisation as a whole to provide a world-class service to Scottish football.

"This report includes many sobering realities for us and the game in general but will not shy away from our responsibilities.

"We are committed to change and we believe now is the time to act for the same of game at all levels, from grassroots to elite performance.

"I have been encouraged by the help and support of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League in this regard and together we can implement measures that will ensure a more prosperous future for the game."

Amid strongly-worded report which is over 100 pages long, McLeish claims the SFA "lacks coherence, focus and a sense of overall purpose, is ill-equipped to deal with current problems and has failed to plan effectively for the future".

He also claims that within Scotland's ruling football body "there is little appreciation of the benefits of being more open and transparent" which shows a "distinct lack of mission, vision, outcomes and objectives" and that the structure of the organisation lacks "consistency, logic and at times discipline".

Responding to McLeish's report, SPL chairman Ralph Topping said: "The SPL recognises the need for fundamental change in Scottish football and supports the broad thrust of the recommendations put forward by Henry McLeish.

"We are very keen to work with all bodies in the game to push forward with these recommendations and to help deliver needed and necessary change for the benefit of football and its many supporters in Scotland."

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