WE learned yesterday that the executives of Scottish Rugby have rewarded themselves with a more than 100 per cent increase in their salary and benefits ("SRU directors hike salary", Herald Sport, January 15). The CEO, Mark Dodson, now earns just under £1 million per annum. Surely this must represent rewards for success?

Is the fact that the Scottish national men's team failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for only the second time ever not a key performance indicator? Or is the fact that the Under-20 team were relegated from the top group of the U20 World Cup and will now be playing such major rugby nations as Brazil not taken into account? Perhaps the failure to retain players like Russell, Hogg and Grey in Scotland should also be considered.

On a playing numbers basis, whereas most clubs used to field several teams every Saturday we now have the situation where many clubs have difficulty fielding a second XV. When it was decided to inaugurate a semi-pro league to provide a pathway to the professional clubs three of the franchises were awarded to Edinburgh clubs. So much for spreading the game.

On a financial basis it is hard to see where these massive rewards were earned, for in spite of turnover increasing by £4m the profit reduced from £1.80m to £300,000, almost the same amount as executive rewards increased by.

David Stubley, Prestwick.

Clyde action needed

IT is very satisfying for political activists who debate resolutions at party conferences to see their powers of persuasion and passion adopted by Government.

Derek Mackay (“Mission unveiled to revitalise River Clyde”, The Herald, January 10) as Convener of SNP conferences, was obviously listening to the many activists who have campaigned for the Clyde to be developed into a global port and economic zone as the challenges and opportunities of climate change render Scotland’s geographic position particularly favourable.

Given Mr Mackay’s Renfronian roots he is surely well on his way to becoming the modern-day equivalent of the High Steward of Scotland.

To reach that destination he must ensure our universities commit to higher education institutes on both sides of the Lower Clyde; he must nurture smart industries as the current Faslane and Coulport facilities’ contribution to the local economy further contracts as part of the UK; and develop a fixed link between Inverclyde and Cowal and on to the County of Bute, Kintyre and then Ireland.

Graeme McCormick, Arden, By Loch Lomond.

Walking stick waste

LAST year, having a mobility issue, I was provided with a walking stick by a physiotherapist at my local health centre. Now that the walking issue has been resolved and no longer requiring the walking stick, the health centre declined to accept its return. No reason was given as to why the stick could not be accepted. It had obviously been used prior to me being given the stick initially, so why not recycle the stick once more?

It has been well publicised walking aids and wheelchairs fail to be returned to the NHS, resulting in a further drain on its finances. Is this one more simple example how we waste resources?

R McMurtrie, Currie.

Lines on the cow

PROMPTED by the news that cows on the line at Busby disrupted train services this week (“Winds, rain and cows on the line bring travel chaos for Scots", The Herald, January 15), I offer the following:

"Upon the tracks, there stood a coo…

It nae went awa' – it's still there noo..."

With an apology to William McGonagall.

Dr Andrew Cobb, Otley, Yorkshire.