Henry McLeish calls for £500 million investment in Scottish football's future

THE Scottish Football Association today finally published the first part of Henry McLeish's Scottish Football Review.

• Henry McLeish launched the first part of his Scottish Football Review at Hampden Park today

The 74-page document, commissioned last May by SFA president George Peat, makes a series of recommendations aimed at improving the grassroots game in Scotland.

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Among them is a call for an investment of almost 500million in facilities for youth and talent development.

Former First Minister McLeish urges the SFA, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League to work together more closely.

He calls for summer football to be adopted at youth level and for the SFA to appoint a performance director to oversee a new academy network and the development of youth and elite players. McLeish also wants the SFA to "provide more coherence, focus, co-ordination, direction and clarity to youth development".

He said: "I have been greatly encouraged by the strength of feeling and diversity of opinion encountered during the process of producing this report.

"I hope that the recommendations will strike a chord with football fans throughout the country.

"I am grateful to the Scottish FA for demonstrating their willingness to implement some key recommendations and I would like to thank the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League for their invaluable input, along with everyone else who contributed to a review I hope will shape a brighter future for Scottish football."

Peat added: "I would like to thank Henry McLeish for dedicating his time to publishing part one of his Review of Scottish Football.

"The Scottish FA realises the importance of improving the overall football landscape in this country.

"With Henry's guidance, we will help drive the implementation of key recommendations outlined to enhance the standard of our national game."

The second and third parts of McLeish's review, which include his look at the professional game, will be published at a later date.