Scots ready to offer England summer sweetener
Scotland are ready to soften the blow for England after their shocking Euro 2008 failure by suggesting the teams revisit their old rivalry next summer.
Any match between England and Scotland, the first since the Euro 2000 play-offs in 1999, would be a certain sell-out and capture the imagination either side of the border.
It would provide an occasion to focus on for the Tartan Army, who saw their side fall agonisingly short of qualifying from a group including Italy and France, and the Three Lions supporters still reeling from England's dreadful Wembley defeat to Croatia.
Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith is in favour of the match and will put the idea to manager Alex McLeish over the weekend during the trip to Durban for the 2010 World Cup qualifying draw.
'We all want to see England,' said Smith. 'I don't know if Alex does, but if he does we'll certainly be speaking with the English office-bearers to see if we can get that game.'
Still, the Football Association insist there are no firm plans in place for England this summer following their elimination from Euro 2008.
For the first time in 14 years, England will miss out on a major tournament, axed coach Steve McClaren paying the price for Wednesday's home defeat to Croatia which allowed Russia to qualify at the expense of the Three Lions.
Almost immediately, talk of a Home International tournament was raised, something that could prove appealing from a commercial perspective now that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland know they will be staying at home as well in June.
A Celtic Cup competition, including the Republic of Ireland but presently excluding England, is due to be announced shortly and it has been reported the FA have a week to indicate whether they would like to be involved.
However, it is unlikely the FA would adhere to such a timescale, especially as they already have a friendly against Switzerland pencilled in for the Feb 6 date on which the new tournament is due to begin.
'We have no firm plans in place at this stage and there have been no discussions over a Home International tournament,' said an FA spokesman.
Although there has been no desire within the FA to revive the Home Internationals, a point made publicly by chief executive Brian Barwick in an open forum at West Brom last month, it cannot yet be ruled out on a one-off basis.