famous teams
the fans
home and away
social context
the game

[ parts: intro | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ]

Outside Influence, Intro

Scots played a large part in taking football out to the wider world. Football in Brazil is said to have eminated from Scots engineers playing the game while working there. Since the early days of the game, it was customary for Scots players to move south of the border to play in England. It wasn’t until the mid 1980s that this situation was reversed in a substantial manner with English players moving north, heralded by the arrival of Graeme Souness as Rangers’ manager in 1986. Souness signed players previously thought unavailable by most observers. Some of the first players he brought to Ibrox were England internationals:
goalkeeper Chris Woods, and the national side’s Captain, Terry Butcher.

Prior to that, there had been a variable presence from foreigners in the Scottish game. From the foreign players such as Johannes Edvaldsson at Celtic in the 1970s, the team and management were predominantly Scots. While clubs had employed foreign players, it was not until 1993 that a Scottish team had a non-Scot as a manager when Ivan Golac was appointed manager of Dundee United.

Another factor was the Bosman ruling, allowing European football players to negotiate their own new contracts once their previous ones had expired. In simple terms, the Bosman ruling meant they could leave one club without a transfer fee beng paid by their new club. This, in effect, made European players cheaper to acquire, as only their wages needed to be financed. The end result of the influx of foreign players remains unanswered:
is it a benefit to the game bringing in more talented players and entertaining the crowds, or has it been at the expense of the home based talent? It has been noted that the rise in the numbers of foreign players has also co-incided with the decline in performance of the Scotland international team.

While nowadays foreign players are happy to play football in Scotland, there was a time when not all were here of their own free will.

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