IT is intriguing to note a superb new series on Netflix called The English Game, which focuses on two footballers in the late 1800s. Arthur Kinnaird, a player for the Old Etonians, the son of a Scot and Fergus Suter, a Scot who played for Darwen/Blackburn, played a major role in the transformation of football from gentleman’s pastime to professionalism.

However, it is surprising to note that this series is being called “The English Game”, when it should of course be called “The Scottish Game”. It was the Scots who truly devised the modern version of the game as we know it. Without Scotland’s civilising intervention, what England might have given the world was just another version of rugby.

When the so-called Football Association was formed at the instigation of a young solicitor from Hull, Ebenezer Morley, what he proposed would be seen now as a basis for rugby with extra violence.

Morley's draft laws provided that a player could not only run with the ball in his hands but that opponents could stop him by charging, holding, tripping or hacking. A more civilised code did emerge but the English game was still mainly a question of head-down dribbling.

It was the Scots who had the notion of artfully distributing the ball among the players. It started with young men, from Perthshire and the Highlands mainly, who gathered at Queen's Park in Glasgow in 1867. They obtained a copy of the FA laws and amended them to conform with an almost scientific blend of dribbling and passing.

When they invented passing, these men had invented football. Far from being an English game, it was one that was conceived to confound the English because the Scots, being generally smaller than their opponents in football's oldest international rivalry, could hardly afford to take them on physically.

Alex Orr, Edinburgh EH9.

I'M afraid David Crines (Letters, March 23) is a little naive if he thinks he'll be seeing 18-club professional leagues in Scotland ever again – especially at the top tier. The Old Firm dictated to the rest they wanted four games against each other per season for the gate money, and the lure for other clubs of sharing that largesse – if they got into the top tier – made the short-termist turkeys vote for Christmas.

Hence our mediocre Mickey Mouse league stuffed with the likes of Hamilton, St Mirren and (often) Partick Thistle whose only "business plan" is getting into the top tier by overpaying journeymen hoofers whilst clubs such as Hearts, Hibernian and the two Dundee clubs whose plan involves regular elevation from their youth ranks are punished with relegation.

As for Mr Crines's "need to introduce 12 top junior teams into the professional ranks" –- what 12 top Junior teams? The Juniors are finished. Fatally wounded by the mass defection to the Lowland League pyramid of April 2018, the current enforced shutdown will polish off the rest.

Mark Boyle, Johnstone.