By a Newsnet reporter
A former SFA Chief Executive has announced he is backing Yes in the independence referendum.
David Taylor, who led the Scottish Football Association before going on to become UEFA General Secretary has said the Union has blurred Scotland’s identity and that it has harmed business and sport.
Writing in today’s Sunday Times, the former Scottish football chief said: “In many areas of business or sport, our identity remains blurred which is never a marketing asset. It is time for this to change, for Scotland to have a new sense of purpose associated with Scots having a stronger sense of themselves and their country. For Scotland to become truly Scotland International by voting yes.”
Mr Taylor went on to add that “if Scotland votes for independence in the Referendum, it will take to the international stage in a position of strength but with real opportunities to generate more jobs and prosperity in Scotland from a determined and collective effort in international markets”
The comments from the former footballing supremo have been welcomed by the SNP who said it was a “great result for the Yes team”.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bob Doris who is the Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee said:
“David Taylor’s extensive experience in international sport and business give real weight to his views and his call for a Yes vote is a great result.
“As he rightly makes clear, an independent Scotland is a real opportunity for us to achieve more when it comes to attracting jobs and investment into Scotland.”
Taylor highlighted the success of smaller nations and challenged the claim that ‘big is always better’.
The former SFA Chief added: “Big is clearly not necessarily best in country terms — in terms of lifestyle and life chances. And smaller and medium-sized countries such as Switzerland and Denmark form the majority of countries in the United Nations.
“But their relatively small size more easily engenders and sustains a strong sense of identity and common purpose, and an ability to bring business leaders and politicians together in pursuit of shared economic or social goals. An international identity not confused or submerged with a bigger neighbour, and a recognition that their interests are better aligned with countries of a similar size.”
Mr Doris added: “By speaking with our own voice on the international stage, we can help to create more jobs in Scotland and do more to grow our economy.
“David Taylor has seen first-hand how Scotland can have a great influence internationally when we are able to represent ourselves on the sporting field. With a Yes vote we can achieve similar international success in all walks of life.”
The backing for Yes by David Taylor follows news this weekend that another Labour party stalwart has also decided to support independence.
Former Scottish Labour chairman Bob Thomson, who has been a Labour party member for over fifty years said: “I have been swithering on how to vote in the referendum and have been waiting in vain to hear something positive from Better Together to help me make up my mind.”
Mr Thomson pointed to the recent decision by Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls to publicly back Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s threat to block a currency union with an newly independent Scotland as a reason for his decision.
“Watching a Labour shadow chancellor make a pact with a right-wing Tory to try and bully Scotland and preserve the dominance of City of London financiers solved my problem,” he said.