IT is not genetics or lifestyle that is bringing down Scottish football (Letters, October 10 & 11), it is money and big business elsewhere. At the top level in England, football is no longer seen as being primarily entertainment, but as a money-making concern attracting television rights and advertising revenue. Fixture lists are dictated by television schedules and spread over the whole weekend instead of all starting at 3pm on Saturday, while players are regarded by the club boards as saleable assets and the paying customers as mugs.

In Scotland all this is less true, but here the top level is unhealthily dominated by two clubs, both with massive financial resources and huge prepaid annual income from season tickets, with which the other clubs cannot compete. And of course our best players are easily tempted to move south for much higher financial rewards, even in leagues below the Premiership. Too many top Scottish teams now prefer to recruit expensive (and often useless) foreign players and fail to develop and encourage our own youngsters who have come up through years of youth academies.

And then we wonder why our national team cannot find home-born players of international standard. It has nothing to do with genetics or size, as suggested by Gordon Strachan. It is the failure to develop our own natural talent because winning at all costs is the only requirement of club boards and shareholders. In the last 20 years Scotland has failed to qualify for the last five World and the last five European Championships. That is a disgraceful record for the country where football was invented.

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It wasn’t always like this. Until the 1990s we qualified regularly and most of our international players were home-based, while those who had moved south were star players for major teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea. Today there are hardly any Scottish-born players in the English Premiership, and Strachan’s selections were from Championship or First Division clubs, some of them not even first team regulars there.

Sadly I see no way back for Scotland at international level, and we will continue to be out-performed by Ireland, Northern Ireland and even Iceland. But at least we must find a new national team manager who will give younger home-based talent the chance to play and gain experience at international level. That has to be the optimistic way forward, as we sink even further down the international rankings with the present squad.

Iain AD Mann,

7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

AFTER Gordon Strachan's simply daft comments on our gene pool a wee thought for the SFA and the Unionists: if Iceland can ride the banking crisis with the population of Lanarkshire and qualify for the World Cup then why can't we do both?

Roddy MacDonald,

1 Glenmount Place, Ayr.

SO, the curtain falls on yet another Sisyphean cycle of Caledonian footballing failure. May our grief and disappointment at this entirely predictable early roosting of our soccer shaped chickens be short lived. For what is that, we can see approaching? Joy of joys, it is an enormous rock on which is emblazoned "2020 European Championships qualifying stages". All will be well, let us regird our loins, brace ourselves and put our collective shoulders to the task that awaits us – 'mon the Scotland, we arra people.

Alastair Patrick,

3 Pentland Crescent, Paisley.