Scottish FA president determined to keep 'huge asset' Clarke

Scottish FA president Mike Mulraney wants Steve Clarke to remain as Scotland head coach beyond the Euros and help lead the country to the World Cup and beyond.

Clarke became the first Scotland boss to lead the nation to successive European Championships after ending a 23-year wait to appear at a major tournament.

The SFA is now looking beyond this summer as Scotland look to return to the biggest stage of all.

They have not appeared at a World Cup since 1998, and Mulraney believes Clarke is the right man to secure qualification for USA, Mexico and Canada in 2026.

Mulraney insists the SFA wants reward Clarke for his success, but there is need to rush into discussions.

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Steve Clarke admits it was “almost impossible” to decide who to cut from his final Euro 2024 and he’s yet to tell the two who will miss out

“When we brought Steve in we had an aspiration of what we wanted him to achieve. He’s done that and then some,” he said.

“He’s a huge asset to the nation, he’s a huge asset to the Scottish Football Association and he’s a huge asset to the players and the fans.

“That’s reflected not only on the park with the success we’ve been achieving but also off the park with the joy of the fact it makes an economic impact for us.

“A couple of years is a good timeframe for any manager and after we get through the Euros we anticipate Steve leading us into the next campaign and thereafter.

“If Steve wants to stay, we can see an avenue where that is the case.

“There are conversations every time we meet each other.

“Steve’s interested in how we make the global game better in Scotland. He’s so interested in improving everything from the fans, the fan experience, from the young players to his national team and how we treat his national players.”

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Scottish FA president Mike Mulraney on a £50m investment plan announced by the SFA and what might happen to Hampden Park in the future

Speaking after the governing body’s AGM on Thursday, Mulraney confirmed the SFA is pledging £50m to a Scottish football facilities fund over the next five years.

“We’ve made a commitment to the members and to the country that we’ve targeted a £50m facility fund over the next five years,” he said.

We’ve invested through our partnership with Government and so forth over £30m in the last couple of years and that’s clearly not enough so we are committed as the SFA to put £50m more into our facilities in the coming years.

“It’s for everyone. It must be for the whole nation to have access to. Obviously it comes with qualifications, we expect you to show us how there’s community use, increase community access, fairness in pricing, all the things that we have a responsibility to the nation to do but that must be from the smallest club to the largest club.”

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Scottish FA president Mike Mulraney defends Willie Collum’s appointment as head of refereeing

Mulraney confirmed he and vice-president Les Gray have turned down the opportunity to boost their salaries even though a recommendation to increase financial packages of key board members in line with “industry norms” was unanimously passed at the AGM.

“It was independently audited and recommended,” said Mulraney. “We set the amount below the recommendation and both myself and the vice-president declined to take it this year.”

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