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Life after Rangers for Scottish football

Alex Salmond, Scotland's First Minister, has moved quickly to support a new era for Scottish football after clubs rejected the Scottish Association, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League plan to restructure Scottish football if the SFL's 30 members’ clubs agreed to the new Rangers being admitted to Division One.

He has announced a 70% increase in the Scottish government's sponsorship of the Scottish Communities League Cup.

"I think you will find it is one of a range of positive announcements over the next few weeks," he said.

"These are for others to make. But I think you'll be surprised at just how positive the atmosphere is."

“It is a declaration of faith in the future of Scottish football”

Salmond also hinted that many of the proposals contained in a report by one of his predecessors, Henry McLeish, would still eventually come to fruition.

These "will perhaps change some of the mood music in Scottish football"

"It is about changing the atmosphere in Scottish football from negativity to positivity.

"We've decided to announce an increased and enhanced sponsorship of £1.7m for the Scottish Communities Cup, a substantial increase on last year's sponsorship.

"That's been done because of the success of last year, but it's also been done as a commitment to the future of Scottish football.

"In terms of how that enhanced sponsorship is being deployed, not only are we going to continue with the community engagement, which was so dramatically successful last year, with every single club taking part in the community engagement activities around the competition last year.

"But we're also adding to that a youth employment theme, which the Football League and Premier League clubs will be fully involved in.

"And that's what justifies our sponsorship. It is a declaration of faith in the future of Scottish football and in the power of football to do good in society."

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