SFA meet at secret venue to determine Craig Levein’s future
TALKS over Craig Levein’s future as Scotland manager continued last night as the SFA’s main board conducted a review into the poor start to the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The meeting to determine whether Levein is retained was held at an unspecified location, away from the Hampden boardroom, as the SFA sought to avoid a media presence. A decision is expected no later than Monday, the day before the Scotland squad is due to be announced for the friendly fixture in Luxembourg on 14 November.
Levein has come under severe scrutiny with Scotland having taken just two points from their opening four World Cup fixtures, leaving them at the bottom of Group A and with little chance of making it to the finals in Brazil. Since taking charge almost three years ago, Levein has overseen just three competitive victories – two against Liechtenstein and one against Lithuania, all by single goal margins.
The former Hearts, Leicester City and Dundee United manager met with his SFA bosses earlier this week as he attempted to convince them to keep him on.
Speaking on Wednesday night, when he was a BBC Scotland panellist at the Dundee United-Hearts League Cup quarter-final, Levein said: “The squad for the Luxembourg game will be named on Tuesday and there will be an announcement before then. I’m hugely proud to be Scotland manager and want to continue doing the job. I had a chat with Stewart Regan and Campbell Ogilvie and I’ll find out one way or the other early next week.”
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan admitted in the immediate aftermath of last month’s defeats by Wales and Belgium that results under Levein had failed to meet expectations. He chaired last night’s meeting with SFA president Ogilvie, vice-presidents Alan McRae and Rod Petrie, SPL chairman Ralph Topping, Scottish Junior FA secretary Tom Johnston and independent director Barrie Jackson.
Levein’s contract runs until the summer of 2014 and it is estimated it would cost the SFA in the region of £700,000 to dismiss him now.
As the debate continues over Levein’s future, former Scotland international Murdo McLeod has called for a changing of the guard. “If you look at every single section, every team at the bottom of the section is a minnow,” said the former Celtic and Hibs captain. “Why are we sitting at the bottom of the section? That tells you so much about the results.”
Asked if he had seen enough of Levein, he added: “I think so. He’s in his second [qualifying] campaign and normally you get two campaigns. If you are halfway through the second one and bottom of the table you’ve got to ask ‘what’s happening?’
“We had the problem with [Steven] Fletcher not in the squad. Everybody can argue about who should have moved first but, when you are manager, you’ve got to do your best for the country and that never happened at the start of the campaign. It’s time for change.”
Supporters of Levein have argued that the former Cowdenbeath and Hearts player deserves more time to show he can back up his positive words with signs of progression.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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