The Scottish FA today publishes The Power of Football, the first part of a strategic plan designed to improve the national game at all levels up to and including the FIFA World Cup in 2030.

The Power of Football has been produced in partnership with the UEFA GROW project and part one encompasses 2021-25. It maps out the association’s journey within six key pillars of activity, each with a Gamechanger objective to change the dial on all aspects of football from national teams to grassroots and equality and diversity.

The Power of Football strategic plan is published only days after Steve Clarke announced his 26-player squad for UEFA EURO 2020, the first major tournament the men’s A squad has qualified for in 23 years.

The inclusion of former Performance School pupils, Nathan Patterson (Holyrood) and Billy Gilmour (Grange Academy), in the squad represents another significant milestone achieved from the previous strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision.

The Scottish FA has been part of UEFA’s Football Federations of the Future programme, a business development framework that brings the best strategic thinkers from across a range of global sectors in order to evolve football’s own methodology.

As a result, the Scottish FA has updated its own vision and mission statements to reflect a more modern, inclusive and outward-looking organisation:


Harness the power of football to inspire the nation, transform lives and build a united and successful game.


Protect, develop and promote football for all, so current and future generations can enjoy and love our national game.

The Power of Football is designed to provide focus to the association’s remit as the governing body, with six key pillars identified:

  • Qualify consistently and compete in major tournaments
  • Accelerate the growth of girls’ and women’s football
  • Inspire the nation through lifelong participation
  • Deliver a world-leading coach education and development system
  • Modernise the Home of Scottish Football
  • Connect Scottish football’s diverse communities

Each has a Gamechanger objective to inspire leadership and progress in the key pillars of activity:

  • Cultivate a generation of exciting footballers to reach the top
  • Taking women’s football to the next level domestically and internationally
  • National Game open and accessible to more people more often
  • Implement an innovative coach education and development pathway
  • Create a sustainable future for the national stadium
  • Digital transformation of the football engagement journey

The Power of Football also provides an aspirational route map out of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the game. It is also designed to maintain the progress made in recent years, with highlights including:

  • Scottish Women’s A National Team qualification for UEFA EURO 2017 and the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019
  • National Teams based at Oriam, the National Performance Centre
  • Men’s A National Team qualification for UEFA EURO 2020
  • Performance School graduates now playing first-team football in Scotland and beyond, and representing Scotland at all National Teams including Men’s A.
  • Scottish football’s social return on investment measured at over £1bn
  • Ownership of Hampden Park
  • Creation of equality strategy Football Unites and world’s first Para Football Affiliated National Association
  • Growth in participation including:
    • 150,000 registered players
    • 17,000 registered female players o 10,000 active qualified coaches

Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA Chief Executive: “This is our commitment to building on the successes of our men’s and women’s national teams and our manifesto to encourage future generations to play freely and safely, whilst showcasing the many ways in which football can improve everyday health, education and wellbeing in Scotland.

“The Power of Football sets an ambitious tone for the future. Too often we focus on negatives in Scottish football, but this is a commitment to telling the compelling story of the game at all levels and encourage others to play their part in its future success.

“We will plan for a vibrant future, overcoming the significant impact COVID-19 has had on our national sport at all levels, and making the game relevant, exciting and above all open and accessible to new generations.”