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Financial gap widens across border

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The financial gap between teams either side of the Anglo-Scottish border is widening according to accountants PKF in their recent study.

Charles Barnett, head of PKF's football industry group, told the BBC: 'There is clear evidence that clubs are absorbing some of the financial lessons of the last decade and are reducing wages to turnover to ensure they operate within a manageable ratio.'

'However, it is also equally clear that players and their agents may not have absorbed this lesson and are continuing to demand wages which are untenable for the majority of Scottish clubs.'

He went on: 'The result is likely to be a widening gap between the wages players are paid in Scotland compared to their English counterparts. This will have worrying ramifications for the future development of Scottish football as it is unlikely SPL teams will attract top players in the same way as clubs in England which will, in turn, widen the gap between wages in Scotland and England.'

'Furthermore, as long as teams are heavily dependent upon the largesse of owner and shareholders then they will be vulnerable to potential sudden financial upheaval and change which is not helpful in growing a stable, secure base for Scottish football.'

There is general agreement that something needs to be done about the challenges facing Scottish football, but less agreement about what should be done.  Bringing the leading clubs into the English leagues was not really on the table even before the announcement of a referendum on independence.   No real progress has been made on the idea of an 'Atlantic League' for smaller European countries.