Ian Maxwell lifts lid on Scotland's Euro 2024 training base plans and friendly schedule - 'Carol Vorderman couldn’t work it out'
Scotland’s Euro 2024 preparations are already under way as the Scottish Football Association seek to secure their preferred German training base. The favoured option is Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a ski resort in Bavaria near the border with Austria.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell has revealed a portion of the participation fee from Uefa will be spent on a well-appointed base camp, from which Steve Clarke’s side will travel to Group A games against Germany in Munich, Switzerland in Cologne and Hungary in Stuttgart.
“It’s €9.25million as a participation fee from Uefa but there is a huge amount of costs,” said Maxwell. “I think the happiest person in the draw room was Graeme Jones, the head of performance, because he has been the one tasked with finding training facilities and base camps and all that.
"I think the group we are in and the position we are in, one or two that he eyed up will be achievable depending on other things. But other countries will be thinking the same thing that we are and there are a lot of costs involved in all the preparation, getting people back and forward, looking after the team.
“The finances is one thing,” he added. “The more important thing is the engagement and the interest it will generate across the country because everybody will be talking about it.”
Maxwell confirmed discussions had already begun with Uefa and other competing countries’ associations. A degree of horse-trading may need to occur as teams seek to secure their favoured base. “It’s a complicated process because every team has been over and effectively ranked their training base camps depending on the area they would be drawn into,” explained Maxwell.
“Now Uefa have to work out who’s in where and what ranking you become. Carol Vorderman couldn’t work it out! We’ll see where we get to. Every country ranks the training facilities that they have seen depending on the geographical region you are in. We could be ranked number one for one hotel in the north but fourth for one in the south, for example.”
“It would always be one camp for the duration,” he added. “We would just travel to and from matches as required. That may change but that would be the plan. You wouldn’t want to do too much travelling about.”
A proposed pre-Euro 2024 friendly against Switzerland has been nixed after the teams were drawn together. “We will now work it," said Maxwell. "In typical fashion we had agreed with Switzerland that we would play them, but we will not be doing that now! That is always the way it works. We will work that out over the next days, obviously we have two in March and two in June, one home and one away in each. I’m sure the supporters will turn out to see the team in both those preparation matches.
“It’s vital that we get those lined up as much as the manager wants, in terms of standard of team and even thinking about the days that we play. He is quite keen to play with the same gap that we’re going to have at the Euros. If we can organise that, we will. Every bit of preparation we can do is important.”