Five of the 12 teams in the SPL have so far introduced charges for children to walk out with players and have their picture taken.
Critics of the move branded the payments "ridiculous" and said it illustrated the parlous state of SPL clubs' finances. It was revealed last week that the average ticket price for a top seat at an SPL game was now £26.50. The five clubs to introduce charges for match day mascots are Dundee United, Hearts, Hibs, Inverness and Saint Mirren.
Dundee United is the most expensive of the five, charging £450 including VAT. The child is also expected to wear the latest strip which could add another £60.25, taking the total bill for the day to £510.25. The package includes four match tickets and access to the hospitality lounge at half time.
Hearts charge youngsters £350 to be a mascot in games against Celtic and Hibs while all other games are charged at £250.
But a senior football insider, who asked not to be named, said it was "unbelievable" that football teams were charging youngsters to be mascots at all. "You have to be joking, that's unbelievable," he said. "I honestly just can't believe they charge people for that."
Independent MSP Margo Macdonald said: "I think it just shows how much the clubs are scrambling for funds."
A spokesman for Dundee United said: "We generally have two mascots a week who do not pay.." Hibs, Hearts, Inverness and St Mirren made no comment.