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Scottish Football - The Future

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  • Scottish Football - The Future

    Mitre FootballSunday's SPL match between Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian made the headlines for all the wrong reasons - 2 red cards on the field and a further 4 issued after a fracas in the tunnel afterwards took the attention from something far more worrying - the attendance for a top flight game of just 2,003!

    Following on from a recession which we may, or may not, be coming out of, seeing an attendance figure such as that will have caused alarm amongst some quarters as belts continue to get tightened. And the Old Firm are not immune to it either. Both sides have lost thousands in average attendances this season compared to last although admittedly this is based on a limited number of games. A look at this week's news that Walter Smith and his management team at Rangers are to work without contracts to save the club any compensation payments should a new owner not want them alongside the fact that the only new face in the Rangers squad over the last 18 months has been a loan signing shows just how hard the current climate is.

    Scottish club's can't command the same revenue streams from third parties that clubs south of the border can - that is the bare reality of the situation. While some will moan about the TV deals signed in Scotland not being a patch on elsewhere, this is not a new phenomenon. Different clubs have employed different strategies to see them through the last few years. Some have spent for success, some started to 'cut their cloth' early and avoid the dangers further down the line while a few have found relief after the pain of Administration.

    So where is the future? This is the million-pound question! With the enforced tightening of belts there are really only two ways to go:
    • Youth Development
    • 'Resurrecting' fallen careers

    Some clubs have invested heavily in their youth setups allowing not only the strengthening of their first team squads but their bank accounts also as these players have moved onto bigger clubs. There's no doubt that with the right scouting network and the right setup, this can be a very fruitful way to go - as can the resurrection option! A look around will see many players who have seen promising careers falling by the wayside find that spark again as they take what some will regard as a step down. With clubs cutting squad numbers (and I believe they will continue to), there are some very good experienced players out there who would love to get back to playing, and more importantly, enjoying football. For me though, the future is a combination of the two - striking the right balance will bring it's rewards and the evidence looks like it may be stacking up in that option's favour.
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    • Scottish Football - The Future
      by Trevor Hannant
      Sunday's SPL match between Hamilton Academical and Heart of Midlothian made the headlines for all the wrong reasons - 2 red cards on the field and a further 4 issued after a fracas in the tunnel afterwards took the attention from something far more worrying - the attendance for a top flight game of just 2,003! Following on from a recession which we may, or may not, be coming out of, seeing an attendance figure such as that will have caused alarm amongst some quarters as belts continue to get tigh...
      07-12-2009, 11:23 PM
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