Former Rangers director Donald Findlay QC and ex-Celtic player and coach John Collins have got into a heated spat over the potential introduction of Colt teams into the SPFL – with Findlay claiming he felt “insulted” by the former Parkhead man.
Collins is very much in favour of Colts while Findlay, now chairman at League Two strugglers Cowdenbeath is vehemently opposed to trying to improve the standards of young players developed in Scotland.
The pair got into a heated debate on BBC Sportsound and Collins was left questioning whether it was “self interest” that was behind the opposition from clubs like Cowdenbeath.
“I want Scotland to get to finals year in, year out. And how are they going to get to finals? By developing more elite, young Scottish football players so the national manager has more to pick from, whether they’re Celtic, Rangers, Hibs, Hearts, Aberdeen,” Collins said.
“Scottish clubs are full of young Scottish players. That’s the point I’m making and why I want B teams.
“For me, the smaller clubs – which I’ve played at – are important to their communities but not vital to developing elite youth players that are going to play for Scotland.
“They’re blocking it. When it comes to the votes, they’re blocking it. Are they blocking it for self interest, the good of their club and support?
“Or do they realise they’re blocking it for the benefit of the Scottish national team?”
Findlay wasn’t having it though and rubbished the suggestion that the likes of Spain and Germany regulary excel at international because they have B teams in their domestic leagues.
But Collins fired back at the Cowdenbeath chairman: “They are masters at developing elite players and they play at World Cups and European Championships’ every second year. We don’t.”
And Findlay replied: “Because they play their reserves in the lower leagues? That’s why they win win the World Cup? Oh, come on, please Mr Collins, give us a break.”
Collins wasn’t done there though, questioning what background Findlay has in player development, asking: “Have you ever developed a player, have you ever coached an elite football player?
“You’re a master in law, are you a master in player development?”
That seemed to strike a nerve with Findlay, claiming he was “insulted” by Collins’ question as he insisted there should be no pathway for elite youngsters to ensure part-time players can continue to play the game in the senior leagues., adding: That’s insulting for you to say that to me. It is insulting.
“For Mr Collins to come on and say that is quite offensive.
“The people who are involved at the lower clubs, with their communities, put a lot of effort into keeping those clubs going and giving players a chance to play football.”
Rangers fans have praised a senior Ger for a ‘sensational’ display at Parkhead and hammered a Celtic player for a ‘bitter’ post-match comment.