The SFA Performance Director spoke yesterday as a new intake of Performance School students had their induction day.
And it was no surprise that he was asked about Gilmour, who is one of the biggest products of the school after making the move to the English Premier League champions in the summer.
On the cusp of the Rangers first team. the midfielder decided his future instead lay at Stamford Bridge and he was quick to seal a £500,000 move south after coming to the attention of scouts.
But just why did he make the move? Chelsea are one of the biggest teams in the world so, on stature alone, he’s moved to a better level of competition and you’d expect him to become a better player.
However, how important was money in it?
Mackay’s comments seem to hint that it could have played a big part. Per bbc.co.uk, Mackay said: “There’s a good chance, in the next 18 months, Billy could have got into that Rangers first-team.
“I did speak to Billy and his mum and dad as an independent, and someone who had been a manager in England and had dealings with young players who had the possibility of going to Manchester City.
“It is quite evident why they decided to do what they did.”
Gilmour has joined Chelsea’s Under 18 team for the new season and much will be expected of him given the hype around his move.
He shone at the Victory Shield last year and was on the verge of a Rangers debut at the end of last season – so you’d think he’d be more than good enough to play regularly for Chelsea’s youth team and, hopefully, progress through the ranks.