We're doing worse than we used to so let’s do less but better.
Either way it’s about to become an SFA slogan and you can decide.
Plans are afoot inside Hampden to balance the books by abdicating responsibility for youth development so here’s a quick story and a blast from the past.
The doors to Easterhouse Sports Centre swung open and we were caught bang to rights.
As SFA development coaches, both myself and Derek Millar had been playing basketball, thankfully mitigating circumstances provided a sound defence.
For the previous three hours we had been overseeing ghost sessions as no kids had bothered to turn up.
With former Scotland Under-21 boss Tommy Wilson and current Rangers head of academy Craig Mulholland as our superiors, it was back to shooting hoops. Good days, an hourly rate of £12.50 and not a soul in sight.
Why a deprived council scheme would boycott free coaching sessions is anyone’s guess, it was the same in Castlemilk, Springburn and most of the other centres when we arrived with balls, bibs and cones.
Then the penny dropped. Nobody wanted to send their kids as they couldn’t afford it.
Sometimes the cost of free football is even too much.
Many believed there was a catch, the result was Del and myself slam-dunking across the city without a care in the world.
Fast forward a few years and youth football is now big business. It’s all about growth models and grabbing as many funding grants as possible under the guise of community outreach bodies and keeping the kids off the streets.
Academies are springing up all over. Many are pay at the gate rackets. The only schemes they’re looking to save are funding ones and filling their own boots.
Sad but a fact.
There are turf wars over geographic territory encroachment – it gives a new meaning to more than a game ...
But all is not lost.
The SFA spends £700,000 a year on seven flagship performance schools and all could be about to be disbanded.
Those academies in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Falkirk, Kilmarnock and Motherwell were started in 2012 and even with Colonel Blink’s 2020 vision it’s an experiment that hasn’t worked.
Scrap them. Academies of all ages under 14 should be disbanded with immediate effect.
The SFA want to hand more power to clubs to rear their own but it’s time to slam on the brakes. It’s the coaching at clubs that has turned our natural talent into Stepford kids.
A generation of midfielders whose limit of self-expression has been botoxed out of them by coaches who believe development is pass, pass, pass and all about them.
Bin them all. Traditional boys’ clubs are dying out, folding with each passing week due to the cost of pitch hire for two home games and eight training nights reaching £600 per month.
But they are where Scottish football’s salvation can be found and where the SFA as well the government should be focusing their funds.
These boys’ teams are where the fun is found, playing with your mates and encouraged to have a dribble or two and enjoy yourself away from the weight of academy football and robotic instruction.
Professional clubs shouldn’t be allowed to come near a child until they’re 14. It was the way it worked back when young footballers were allowed to run free.
Off the cuff, instinctive, expressive and sometimes selfish footballers may again be allowed to thrive if the stranglehold of academies and pro youth are given the boot. The nuclear option may sound a bit drastic but it’s long overdue.
With Henry McLeish making another state of the nation address, it’s time to press the button on that particular think tank and heaven forbid another game-saving review.
A week of grasping at straws, where’s it going wrong and all sorts of reasons why the main sport in this country is in terminal decline.
The usual hysteria, all on the back of defeats to Belgium and Russia and the usual suspects are wheeled out.
But reflect and tell a few home truths about why the grassroots are rotting and plot a path for better.
It’s the only way for Scottish football to stop doing less better.