By the beginning of the second decade of the new Millennium, Scottish football was in a bad way. The team that had historically punched well above its weight had not qualified for a major tournament since 1998 and had slipped to 50th in the FIFA rankings. They even failed to achieve qualification to the bloated Euro 2020 competition although by winning their group in the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League, they were awarded a slot in the play-offs.
A survey of Premiership first team squads in 2019-20 reveals the root of Scotland's decline. Of the 300 players registered only 130 (43%) were qualified to play for the national team while just 30% of players contracted to the four leading teams were Scottish. The sheer number of imported players at the top level was choking off the opportunities for young, talented Scots to progress.