Decline of football defies any easy solution

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I NOTE your two contradictory stories (9 June) on television coverage of Scottish international football. On the front page, Alex Salmond insists that he will give us football on the telly for free after independence. On the sports pages, the SFA are pleased with their new deal with Sky, which will put £60 million into the game here. We have two choices on this. The SFA either take this money but deny access to thousands who cannot see the games, or forego this money and open the games up to every­one. In the latter situation, if we don’t want to see football clubs in financial turmoil, then the Scottish Government will have to find the money instead.

Are they prepared to do this?

There is no problem here that independence is the answer to. There is a problem with how best to develop and promote Scottish football, which has been allowed to become a shadow of its former self over the past 20 years or so. Children not being able to access the games is part of the problem, but then they can’t see league games or highlights on the telly either, unless they stay up to 11.30pm on a Sunday evening. The unfortunate truth in all this is shown by the empty seats at many football grounds, even for the big games. Scottish football has been poor box-office for some time, and it is losing its appeal for many ordinary people. That is the real problem which needs to be addressed, and it does not have a constitutional solution.

Victor Clements, Aberfeldy

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