Skip to content

'Scottish football is doing remarkably well' as association marks 150th anniversary, says Ian Maxwell

A series of special events are being held to mark the 150th anniversary of the first international football match, the founding of the Scottish FA and the first season of the Scottish Cup.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell says the game is in good shape as they look to use 150th-anniversary celebrations to take it to another level.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell says Scottish football is doing "remarkably well" but admits it is "vitally important" to continue to grow and develop the game.

A series of special events are being held across the country to mark the 150th anniversary of the first international football match, the founding of the Scottish FA and the first season of the Scottish Cup.

It was formed during a meeting in Glasgow on March 13, 1873 and is the second-oldest national association in world football.

Maxwell hopes the anniversary celebrations will take the game in Scotland to another level.

"Scottish football is doing remarkably well," he told Sky Sports News. "When you look at the men's A squad we're in Nations League Group A, we're punching above our weight from that perspective.

 Scotland manager Steve Clarke salutes the Tartan Army in Krakow
Image: Steve Clarke led Scotland to their first major tournament for over 20 years

"The women's national team are progressing really well having been to the World Cup in France and we want to see them back at major tournaments as soon as we can.

"The numbers in terms of registered players are increasing year-on-year, we've seen a significant upturn in registered players, particularly in the female game since Covid and that's vitally important to us as an association that we continue to develop and grow the game and ensure that participation opportunities are there for everyone that wants to."

Also See:

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 11: Scotland's Rachel Corsie, Erin Cuthbert and Nicola Docherty look dejected during a FIFA Women's World Cup playoff match between Scotland and Ireland at Hampden Park, on October 11, 2022, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Image: Scotland women reached the play-offs for the 2023 World Cup, narrowly failing to qualify

As part of the year-long 150th celebrations, the SFA is now opening the archives of the Scottish Football Museum and sharing thousands of pages of historical records dating back to the earliest days of Scotland's national game.

Maxwell added: "Scotland is a football-mad country, we consume it at a level that won't be matched by many across Europe.

"I would urge any Scotland fan who can to come down to the museum and understand the part that Scotland has played because it has been pivotol when we look at the Scottish professors and the part that they've played in the establishment in the game and how we've helped develop that over the centuries."

'Hampden redevelopment a challenge'

Hampden Park is on the shortlist for Euro 2028
Image: Hampden Park could be used for Euro 2028 games if a joint bid is successful

Scotland are part of an ambitious joint bid with England, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland to host Euro 2028.

Maxwell believes success would reap huge rewards.

"We saw the benefit that hosting Euro 2020 had, obviously we were participating which helps, and we would like to think that we can qualify for Euro 2028 and host," he said.

"The benefit for that for Scotland and the UK would be hugely significant in terms of that ongoing development of football."

It is also hoped that being a host nation would lead to the much called for redevelopment of Hampden Park.

The Scottish FA took ownership of the National Stadium in August 2020 after agreeing a £5m fee with Queens Park.

Here are Rangers and Celtic in the Scottish Cup final replay at Hampden Park. on July 3, 1909
Image: Hampden has been hosting Scotland matches since 1906

"We want to make Hampden as good as it can be," Maxwell said of the ground that has been hosting Scotland matches since 1906.

"There's no secret that to make significant change takes significant finance and that's a challenge.

"It would be a challenge that the Scottish FA would have to face into and see how we could manage those things.

"We want to supporter experience to be as good as it can be for anyone coming to the stadium.

"We've got football matches, we've got concerts, we've got a range of activity that happens here and it's about making it the most appropriate venue we can."

Scottish Premiership & SWPL on Sky Sports

Sky Sports will broadcast the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Women's Premier League
Image: Sky Sports will broadcast the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Women's Premier League

Sky Sports - This season up to 48 cinch Premiership games will be available across Sky Sports' flagship channels, including Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, plus at least five SWPL matches. From 2024/25, up to 60 cinch Premiership will be live on Sky Sports, in addition to the SWPL.

Sky Sports News - Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Scottish football fans can enjoy Sky Sports News' (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the cinch Premiership and SWPL throughout the season.

Sky Sports Digital - Follow all the latest from Scottish football across and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage, in-game clips from matches live on Sky Sports and free highlights.

Sky Sports Social - Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports' main social media channels, the bespoke Twitter channel @ScotlandSky will continue to be the home of all Scottish football content on Sky Sports.

Highlights show - Tune in for a dedicated round-up from the cinch Premiership every week on Sky Sports Football.

To download the Sky Sports app click here, to visit Sky Sports website click here.

Sky Sports is the home of domestic football in the UK and Ireland, with more than 400 games per season across the SPFL, SWPL, Premier League, WSL, and EFL.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!
Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky