This was supposed to be a period of joyous reflection. A time for cherishing Scotland's long-awaited end to their self-inflicted exile from a major championships. Or, alternatively, it was to be the moment another bout of navel gazing began as Scotland's failure to beat a combination of Israel, Serbia or Norway denied them the chance to take up occupancy as a proper host nation for EURO 2020. As it is, with the competition postponed until next summer and the play-offs shunted back to June at the earliest, we will just have to wait for the next instalment in that particular saga.

Before then, a decision will have to be taken on whether the SPFL season is played to a conclusion, and the bones will have to picked out of the promotion and relegation issues. There may even be reconstruction on the table. If rebirth is in the air and this truly is a watershed moment, it is perhaps worth looking at the way in which club interests trump those of the Scotland national team.

It touches on an idea advanced by the former Jacksonville Jaguars executive Steve Livingstone, who told me recently that a more joined-up approach to marketing, as happens with sports franchises in the States, could really help Scottish football clubs. His argument, stated simply, was that if only clubs were prepared to be more altruistic with their knowledge, by sharing best practice among each other, the entire product would prosper.

“Unfortunately if they can't see that bigger picture, they're kind of doomed to the old theory of doing the same thing but expecting different results,” he concluded.

If that can apply to marketing surely it can also be of value to Scottish football in the round? If, on the whole, society is capable of unity in the face of real adversity then surely when it applies to more trivial matters differences can be set aside?

Fans from across Scotland came together at the weekend to unite in grief at the death of young Celtic fan Aaron Higgs. Clubs have been engaged in providing relief during the crisis with Celtic and Rangers both offering up their grounds to the NHS. Away from football, we had the clap for frontline health workers on Thursday evening when, for a brief moment in these uneasy, anxious times, the spirit of togetherness could be heard clearly across Scotland. Yet, for others, nothing seems to have changed.

Late last week, a former Celtic coach suggested I might be interested in watching the videos appearing on social media of elite youngsters from his old club, Aberdeen and Rangers showing off their skills during the shutdown. I contacted the clubs in turn asking for the chance to speak to someone from their respective youth academies. Celtic were the first to respond, followed by Rangers and then Aberdeen. The latter two clubs took it a step further and set up interviews with head of academy Craig Mulholland and head of academy training Gavin Levey. Furnished with a combined 5000 words from each, the decision was taken to split the features into two similar-but-different stories.

The publication of the first interview on the Rangers youngsters was met with a predictable hail of criticism. 'It's a puff piece to sell season tickets,' wrote one reader. 'A convenient feel-good story to mask the impending financial doom of Rangers,' scolded another.

The piece was written because it merited attention as an example of how clubs are adapting to an unprecedented set of circumstances. In conversation with both Mulholland and Levey, it also raised my own awareness of just how much collaboration exists between clubs in Scotland at youth level.

Both men talked about the success of the Scottish Football Association's Pride Labs, an innovation introduced two years ago by Malky Mackay, the SFA performance director, and Scot Gemmill, the Under-21 manager. The Pride Labs meet quarterly bringing together the 19 heads of youth academies, heads of childrens' academies, heads of goalkeeping academies and sports science teams. It is an open forum free from the politics of club rivalry and the pressures of the week-to-week demands to get results. It's also a place where coaches hear presentations from a raft of guest speakers who, in recent times, have included Nick Cox, the head of Manchester United's academy, Henrik Larsson, Sean Dyche and Eric Black. One coach told me they have been “wonderful”.

More importantly, though, the Pride Labs have sought to implement more collegiate working between those youth coaches. The former Celtic coach highlighting the work of Rangers and Aberdeen kids is surely testament to their success thus far.

As Mulholland pointed out: “It used to be these forums were really guarded in terms of what people would share with each other but I think there has been a realisation that Scotland hasn't been great at talent development for many years hence the reason we haven't qualified for European Championships or World Cups and I think there is a much more open dialogue that goes on between the clubs.

"Don't get me wrong, there is still a competitive edge, we are all competing for the same players – we want the best players in our system. That still exists.”

The key takeaway here is that almost all clubs have invested in the Pride Labs because as Levey points out, sometimes the greater good is more important. The evidence from Scotland underage teams is promising, particularly the Under-19s who have lost just once in 12 games and beat Germany to top their European Championship qualification group while the 16s shared the Victory Shield with Wales. These are the Scotland players of tomorrow and the Pride Labs are helping to shape them, as Levey says: “We can't carry on as a nation doing what we are doing because we are just going to get what we always got, aren't we?”

He's talking about youth football, of course. It could just as easily be a general critique of the rest of the game in Scotland, though.