SCOTLAND’S football authorities have been told to invest more in the women and girls’ game and capitalise on England’s stunning victory in the Euro 2022 final.

Hannah Bardell, the MP for Livingston, said the Scottish FA needed to “think very carefully about how much more they can do to emulate the success of the Lionesses.”

Former First Minister Henry McLeish, whose landmark review of Scottish football in 2010 called for significantly more money in the women’s game, said there should be a “covenant” between ministers and the management in Hampden to “boost the grassroots for young girls and women”.

Thousands of fans flocked to Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon to celebrate England’s 2-1 win over Germany at a sold-out Wembley on Sunday.

It was the first major trophy in their history and the first for a senior England side since the 1966 World Cup.

As the crowd sang Sweet Caroline and Three Lions, captain Leah Williamson said she hoped her team’s success could lead to change.

“I think the legacy of the tournament was already made before that final game – the young girls and the women who can look up and aspire to be us,” she said.

“We’ve changed the game, hopefully in this country and across the world,” the Arsenal defender added.

Ms Bardell said the win was “a huge moment for women’s football across England, the UK and beyond.”

She added: “Seeing the investment from the English FA in women and girls’ football should make the other football associations of the UK, especially Scotland, think very carefully about how much more they can do to emulate the success of the Lionesses.

“There’s a whole generation of girls and young women who can see huge success in women’s football and women playing to sell-out crowds.

“That is going to have a ripple effect and we need to capitalise on it now and get more girls and women playing the beautiful game and properly invest from grassroots to professional teams.”

There was agreement from Aileen Campbell, the CEO of Scottish Women’s Football, who also called on the SFA to act.

She told The Herald: “Huge congratulations are due to the Lionesses for an unbelievable achievement.

“The Euros has been a triumph for England, and it hasn’t happened by accident.

“The English FA have invested heavily and allowed women to lead.

“It’s now time for the SFA to follow England’s lead.

“I look forward to working with the SFA and SPFL to make sure women off the pitch are the architects of change that will enable ever increasing future successes on it.”

The women’s game in Scotland has moved to a more professional structure in recent years, with the top two leagues and the League Cup becoming part of the SPFL.

Last week The Herald reported that the SFA were keen to take over responsibility for the Scottish Women’s Cup.

Mr McLeish said he was concerned that this could have an impact on the grassroots.

He said: “When I did the report for the SFA 12 years ago I mentioned women’s football, and at that point, I was stressing that this is the future, because at that time, especially in Europe, and especially in the United States, a lot of young girls, a lot of young women were playing the game, but in Scotland, we weren’t.”

The ex-Labour leader said there was no doubt the success of the English women’s team was down to a “massive injection of cash from the FA.”

He said: “The first thing I want to see is the SFA, maybe in partnership with the government, setting up a new covenant to boost the grassroots for young girls and women. And that means considerable sums.

“If we do that now we will reap the benefit in Euros, World Cup and indeed in building the leagues.

“But the danger is we concentrate on the professional side of the game and we overlook the fundamentals of building up from the bottom. That to me is a serious worry that I have, and it’s plainly a challenge to the football authorities.”

A spokesperson for Sportscotland said there was money going into the game. They said: “It was a fantastic win for the Lionesses who are great ambassadors for the game.

“Sportscotland invests £1.3m per year into the Scottish FA and we work in partnership with them to deliver outcomes which include growing the game and make it more inclusive and accessible to all.”

The Scottish Government's sports minister, Maree Todd, said she was committed to securing a legacy from the England win.

“The Lionesses’ success will inspire so many girls and young women and we want football to be ready to welcome them," she said. 

"We are doubling investment in sport and active living to £100 million a year by the end of the Parliament to ensure there are the opportunities available, and to address the inequalities in access to physical activity and sport.”

The SFA did not respond to The Herald’s requests for a comment.

An audience of 17.4m people watched England’s win on Sunday making it the most-watched women’s football game in UK TV history.

Boris Johnson was one of those watching from home. His spokesman denied he had snubbed the Lionesses by not going to Wembley.