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PE01319: Improving youth football in Scotland

Culture Sport

Petitioner: William Smith and Scott Robertson

Status:
Lodged

Date Lodged: 11 March 2010

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to investigate the (1) legal status and appropriateness of professional SFA clubs entering into contracts with children under 16 years; (2) audit process and accountability of all public funds distributed by the Scottish Football Association to its member clubs; (3) social, educational and psychological affects and legality of SFA member clubs prohibiting such children from participating in extra curricular activity; and (4) appropriateness of ‘compensation’ payments between SFA member clubs for the transfer of young players under the age of 16 years; and to (5) increase the educational target from 2 hours curricular physical activity to four hours per week; and (6) develop a long-term plan to provide quality artificial surfaces for training and playing football at all ages across all regions.

Petition History:

Summary:

20 April 2010: The Committee took evidence from William Smith and Scott Robertson and agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Scottish Football Association, Scottish Football League, Scottish Premier League, Scottish Amateur Football Association, Scottish Youth Football Association, STUC, Scottish Child Law Centre, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association), a selection of local authorities (Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, North Ayrshire) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills seeking responses to points raised in the petition and during the discussion. The Committee also agreed to write to Henry McLeish of the Scottish Football Review Committee to give evidence. Link to Official Report 20 April 2010 (558KB pdf)

29 June 2010: The Committee agreed to write again to the Scottish Amateur Football Association, STUC, Scottish Child Law Centre, KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Association), Edinburgh City Council, North Ayrshire Council and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills seeking the responses to its earlier letter which are outstanding. It also agreed to write to Henry McLeish of the Scottish Football Review Committee to give evidence. Link to Official Report 29 June 2010 (451KB pdf)

5 October 2010: The Committee took evidence from Henry McLeish, Chairman, Scottish Football Review Committee and agreed to write to the Scottish Government, Scottish Football Association, Scottish Child Law Centre and to Mr McLeish seeking responses to points raised in the petition and during the discussion. Link to Official Report 5 October 2010 (516KB pdf)

23 November 2010: The Committee agreed to invite the Minister for Public Health and Sport, Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association, Chief Executive of the Scottish Premier League, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, sportscotland and the Chief Executive of Rangers Football Club and Celtic Football Club to give oral evidence at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 23 November 2010 (577KB pdf)

11 January 2011: The Committee took evidence from Shona Robison MSP, Minister for Public Health and Sport, Scottish Government; Stewart Regan, Chief Executive, Scottish Football Association, Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive, Scottish Premier League; Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People; Jim Sinclair, Director of Youth Development, Rangers Football Club; and Chris McCart, Head of Academy and Youth, Celtic Football Club. The Committee agreed to await the outcome of the Scottish Football Associations' Review Group findings. It also agreed to invite, in its legacy paper, the Session 4 Public Petitions Committee to give further consideration to the petition. Link to Official Report 11 January 2011 (617KB pdf)

4 October 2011: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Professional Footballers Association, a selection of Scottish clubs including non Scottish Premier League clubs, FC Barcelona, IFK Gothenburg, the Scottish Youth Parliament, the Scottish Youth Football Association and the Scottish Schools Football Association seeking responses to specific points. Link to Official Report 4 October 2011 (472KB pdf)

24 January 2012: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, the Scottish Football Association, sportscotland, the Scottish Professional Footballers Association, Mr William Gibbons, Compass Chambers Advocates and Falkirk Football Club. Link to Official Report 24 January 2012 (318KB pdf)

17 April 2012: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Football Association and sportscotland. Link to Official Report 17 April 2012 (473KB pdf)

26 June 2012: The Committee agreed to await the outcome of the Scottish FA, SPL and SFL's working party review and meantime draw the attention of the working party to the evidence received by this and the predecessor Committee on the issues of “contracts” and compensation payments. Link to Official Report 26 June 2012 (463KB pdf)

8 January 2013: The Committee agreed to await the outcome of the formal working party's review. Link to Official Report 8 January 2013 (474KB pdf)

26 November 2013: The Committee agreed to await the outcome of the SPFL General Meeting with a view to having a round-table evidence session at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 26 November 2013 (515KB pdf)

18 February 2014: The Committee agreed to hold a round-table discussion at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 18 February 2014 (463KB pdf)

20 May 2014: The Committee took evidence in a round table format from—

Neil Doncaster, Chief Executive, Scottish Professional Football League;

Andrew McKinlay, Director of Football Governance and Regulation, Scottish Football Association;

John Murray, Heart of Midlothian FC;

William Smith, and Scott Robertson, Petitioners.

The Committee agreed to reflect on the evidence heard and consider what action to take at a future meeting. Link to Official Report 20 May 2014 (491KB pdf)

3 June 2014: The Committee agreed to invite Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People to review the current registration process from a rights perspective and to report back to the Committee with his findings and to write to the Scottish Schools' Football Association. Link to Official Report 3 June 2014 (484KB pdf)

Written Submissions:

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