Fans of the Scottish national team have hit out at the game’s governing body after Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill announced that he would be turning down the chance to replace Gordon Strachan as manager.
While the former Brechin City manager praised the SFA for their ‘professional conduct’ during their highly publicised pursuit of him for the top job, many were furious at how SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan handled the approach.
The unpopular Regan was labelled ‘naive’ by former Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart, and fans online are already clamouring for the Chief Executive to resign.
Michael O’Neill was made the SFA’s number one target after the departure of Gordon Strachan in October, following another failure to qualify for a major tournament.
A compensation package was agreed with the Irish FA after several weeks of negotiations, before O’Neill announced today that he didn’t feel the move was right for him.
On Twitter, some didn’t hold back.
Graham Spiers wrote: “There is no escaping the major blow it is to Stewart Regan and the SFA in Michael O’Neill saying no to Scotland. That’s quite a lot of planning and faffing to come away empty handed.”
Colkitto added: “The SFA should have drawn up a short list of names and interviewed everyone. Then make a decision. Making Michael O’Neill the favourite then failing to get him makes it look like it is - amateurish.”
Graeme Duncan was worried about the potential candidates, writing: “Knocked back from Michael O’Neill is a bit of a sickner, @ScottishFA please don’t panic and don’t appoint McLeish.”
Liam O’Hare tweeted: “The Michael O’Neill debacle is the latest in a long line of embarrassments during Stewart Regan’s stewardship of the SFA. Baffled he’s still in a job.”
Conor McLaughlin joked: “The saving grace for the Scottish FA is that they didn’t very clearly put all their eggs in one basket and waste time pursuing a single managerial target for months and months and months.”