Previous Action

In 1995/96 the Youth Development Initiative started with players aged 14 and 15 years and was run by the Scottish Premier League.

In 2003, the Scottish Football Association took over the operation and co-ordination of the initiative; this led to the banning of participants in the scheme representing their school football teams.

Grassroots representatives raised concerns with the National Secretary, David Little of the Scottish Youth FA.

At this time letters of concern were sent to SFA Chief Executive David Taylor and then Minister for Sport and Culture, Frank McAveety MSP.

Also, concern regarding the change in Registration Procedures and use of unsanctioned SFA documents were raised. This led to Mr Sandy Bryson, SFA Registrations Secretary, writing to all SFA member clubs instructing them to stop the use of what was referred to as the ‘T’ form.

MSP Kenny McAskill was involved and in 2007 in his capacity as Constituency MSP, following the continued growth of the Youth Initiative programme, a meeting was held with him and then Sport and Culture Minister Stewart Maxwell MSP. The Minister acknowledged there were issues and agreed to address these with the main stakeholders.

Correspondence was entered into with Dr Bill Wilson MSP and SFA Chief Executive Gordon Smith, regarding the legality of contracts prohibiting the freedom of movement for youth players. MSP’s Johann Lamont, Trish Godman and Iain Gray were also contacted and advised.

HM Revenue and Customs were contacted in relation to the ‘compensation’ payments between SFA member clubs for youth players.

Several meetings have been entered into with SFA staff at Hampden Park including attending the Youth Forum at Glasgow on 30 August 2009.

A meeting with Tam Baillie, Scotland Children’s Commissioner was held to discuss the legal, moral and general impact on child welfare for those who entered into the youth initiative scheme.

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