The Scottish FA has distributed around £1.7m in additional funds to member clubs over the festive period.

The governing body will recognise achievement in the Performance area of its strategy by distributing around £1m to the 30 members involved in the Club Academy Scotland (CAS) programme. This represents an almost 50% increase in funding via the programme, which the Scottish FA invests £2.2m in each year.

It will also provide an extra £500,000 to members involved in the Club Licensing scheme, a 100% increase taking the 2014 distribution to £1m.

The payments for CAS will be made on the basis of established Measurable Performance Outcomes criteria, a points system that reflects levels of investment by each club in their youth development programmes and also their successes in promoting young players to their first teams.

In addition, a £200,000 community fund will be set up to assist the grassroots development programme, with the fund accessed via the Scottish FA’s Non-Professional Game Board.

Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive, believes the end-of-year payments reinforce the governing body’s commitment to supporting the game in a harsh financial climate while rewarding positive engagement with the performance outcomes of Scotland United: A 2020 Vision.

He said: “The Scottish FA expects to record healthy year-end figures, largely due to important commercial sponsorship and television deals but also as a result of the recent Vauxhall International Challenge Match against England.

“Given that the governing body exists to promote, foster and develop the game of football it is important that profits are reinvested in the game, especially in the current financial climate.

“The additional funding has been allocated within Club Academy Scotland and Club Licensing, two areas of the game that might not get the recognition they deserve externally but are intrinsic to our collective effort to improve standards on and off the pitch.

“I would like to thank the members involved in both programmes for their efforts this year and it is intended that the additional revenue will enable them to continue to build towards a more prosperous future.”

* Club Academy Scotland is a performance-based youth football development programme organised and managed by the Scottish FA for clubs in membership of the Scottish Professional Football League

From the start of season 2013-14, clubs participating in the Club Academy Scotland programme were organised into a star rating structure on the basis of pre-determined 1-6 star rating criteria. Clubs are formally assessed and graded by the Scottish FA Club Licensing Department using the Six-Star Rating Programme developed by the Association's Performance Department.
** The Scottish FA Club Licensing system encompasses a National and European regulatory system. Licensing sets out standards and procedures by which clubs will be assessed as a basis for continuous improvement of many aspects of football.

National Club Licensing applies to Scottish FA member clubs and UEFA Club Licensing applies to Scottish Professional Football League Premiership clubs. National Club Licensing operates a Gold, Silver, Bronze and Entry level system. Clubs are granted an overall award reflecting the lowest level that the club achieves in the four sections of criteria (Ground, First Team Football, Youth Team Football and Legal, Admin, Finance and Codes of Practice).