Payments For Under 21 Players To Be Scrapped

Last updated : 16 August 2013 By Lord Palmerston

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FURIOUS SPFL clubs will be hit in the pocket this season after a last-minute decision to scrap payments for fielding Under-21 players... reports the Daily Record

Top-flight and lower league sides will lose out on thousands of pounds after the SFA’s 11th-hour removal of the Performance Awards Scheme that encouraged managers to play youngsters.

Crisis club Hearts will be the most severely hit and will miss an estimated £76,000 this season which could have been accrued by the youthful Tynecastle squad.

A £2000 award was paid to clubs last season for every game where three Under-21 players were included in the starting line-up, dropping to £1500 for two players.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour insists withdrawing the scheme will have severe financial consequences for many clubs.

And he said: “It’s a poor decision. The rug has been pulled from under the feet ?of the clubs and I don’t ?understand why.

“The SFA asked clubs to spend on youth development and more young players are now being introduced at first-team level.

“We’d already worked out our budgets to factor in these payments, as others have.”

Several clubs have written to SFA chief Stewart Regan over the board’s decision to divert funds into performance-based programme Club Academy Scotland.