Are player quotas the way forward for Scottish football?

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Premiership managers on quota system

Three of Scotland's top-flight team bosses have been sharing their thoughts on the suggestion made by Charlie Christie, Inverness Caledonian Thistle's head of youth development, that Scottish clubs should have a quota of at least five home-grown players in their match squads.

Dundee's Paul Hartley

"Our jobs are hard enough. We are always under pressure to try to win games.

"For us as managers, it would be totally dangerous for us to put five or six players in a squad or on the bench.

"For what? Are they going to play? Are they going to perform? Are they up to the challenge or ready for the battle? That's one thing we look at.

"The most important thing about a club is the first team and it's all about the results. If you bring some young players through, it's a real bonus.

"We want to bring some good young players to the club, but all our efforts just now are to make sure we have a successful first team on the pitch.

"If they are good enough then I'm all for it, but we are not just going to stick young players in a squad for the sake of it."

Motherwell's Mark McGhee

"I think there should be a quota where you've got to include five good players. I'd settle for that.

"I think limiting it in these sort of ways is difficult. It's like the national team. If there were more Scottish-based players playing at a level where we felt we could include them then we would.

"I've needed a full-back, a centre-half and central midfield players. I've looked in Scotland and I've not been able to get them - not that they're not here, but I've not been able to get them.

"There are players in Scotland I would take, but I've not been able to get those players so I've had to go south and I've had to bring in players from England. I had no choice in that.

Kieran Tierney
Kieran Tierney broke into the Celtic first team aged 18 and has been capped by Scotland

"So to limit and say I've got to include five Scottish players would make life very difficult for me. I'd end up having to play some of the youth team lads who maybe aren't quite ready.

"If you put them in before they're ready then of course it is [damaging].

"If they're good enough, I'll put them in. If they're not good enough and I have to put them in then that's going to affect the performance of my team, so I can't afford that.

"I've got to put in players I feel are good enough and, if they're 15 or 14 - we've got a lad here who's 15 that, if I was allowed to play him, he'd be flirting with the team, but I'm not allowed to play him 'till he's 16. I will do it.

"I've done it with others, I did it with Robbie Keane and Emile Heskey. I'm not scared to put in boys that are 16 years old, but they have to be good enough."

Hearts' Robbie Neilson

"I think there has to be a balance.

"We have had periods in the past where we have had to have a number of young players in the squad. Players were coming in just as a token gesture to fill up that quota.

"Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the owner. The owner sets the tone for the rest of the club.

"If the owner gives the first-team manager confidence and says, 'look, I want you to put young players in' and accepts there will be highs and lows throughout the season and gives you the confidence it's not going to cost you your job then that's where it comes from."

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