PFA Scotland are to acknowledge the fast changing landscape at the top of the game by recruiting their first-ever women's football officer. The position will be advertised later this week.

“We changed the rules last year to allow female players to become members,” chief executive Fraser Wishart explained, “and we've been representing the women's national team since 2017. Anybody playing for a club in SWPL 1, whether pro or amateur, is entitled to join the union.”

Although initially a part time job, involving some 26-30 hours a week, the post is likely to become full time if there is an upsurge in the existing membership. Assuming, as is the intention, SWPL 1 expands to twelve teams next season, some 240 players would be eligible to join.

The ideal candidate would probably be an ex-player with gained experience of how women's football operates, but Wishart has an open mind.

“The biggest part of the job will be recruiting the players and engaging with them,” he pointed out. “We are looking for somebody who can sit down and speak their language.

“Contracts have to be tied in to Fifa and Uefa parameters. This person, backed up by myself and our lawyers, will be the lead for us on women's football.

“As the sport takes that next step to full professionalism, the players need representation, individually and collectively, and we're going to offer that to them.”

Wishart is in regular contact with Scotland captain Rachel Corsie, who herself was very active in the United States players' union, NWSLPA, prior to her abrupt departure from Kansas City Current at the end of last year. The Aberdonian was a vice-president of the association, and stayed on to see the conclusion of a historic first-ever collective bargaining agreement with the league at the start of last month.

The gains included the minimum salary in the NWSL being increased by 60 per cent to $35,000, but that was just the headline in a massive package of player welfare improvements. The NWSL has not covered itself in glory in recent years, and the reforms will offer players in the league much-needed protections and benefits.

“The hours put into it were vast – it was like a full time job, but worth it for what we ended up agreeing,” Corsie said. “It gave me a different perspective of looking after players and what that entails.

“When a contract goes through there are so many different elements. It is important to make sure the player experience is as good as it can be so they can feel protected and safe and able to focus on the football.”

Given that she now plays in England with Aston Villa, Aberdonian Corsie – probably the only professional footballer in history to have been both a chartered accountant and a union rep – will not be applying for the PFA Scotland job. But it promises to be an interesting and challenging role for whoever lands it.

THE withdrawal of the Clyde women's team from Championship South was just one of a triple whammy at that level. United Glasgow are also no longer in the league, while Stonehaven have pulled out of Championship North.

Clyde's withdrawal has baffled some, given that the team, which was formed in 2019, appeared to have no issue with David Goodwillie playing for the men's side at that time. However, their decision has to be respected and there may be more to the story than has been revealed.

United Glasgow have been attracting interest since October, when social media reports claimed they were incorrectly fielding a transgender player, or players. Since then, whether by coincidence or not, they have had difficulty fulfilling fixtures, and a 3-0 defeat to Edinburgh Caledonia on February 6 appears to have been their last game.

All their results and fixtures had been deleted from the website before SWF belatedly announced on Thursday – following a media inquiry – that United Glasgow were out. Clyde's departure was considerably more high profile and Championship South will be again be amended following a league management committee meeting tomorrow night.

IT now looks inevitable that Scotland's pivotal Group B game against Ukraine will not be played on April 8. The World Cup qualifier was scheduled to be played at the Arena Lviv, and while that is out of the question so, increasingly, is a neutral venue.

The Ukrainian FA has already requested a suspension of the men's World Cup play-off semi-final at Hampden on March 24. It can surely only be a matter of time before a similar request follows for the women's fixture.