Lee McCulloch reveals reason for Scotland walk out

FORMER Scotland midfielder Lee McCulloch has revealed his reasons for walking out of George Burley’s Scotland squad in a new autobiography.
Lee McCulloch says the Scotland set up under Craig Burley was a "mess". Picture: SNSLee McCulloch says the Scotland set up under Craig Burley was a "mess". Picture: SNS
Lee McCulloch says the Scotland set up under Craig Burley was a "mess". Picture: SNS

The Rangers captain walked out on the national side in 2008 because he felt that the country was not making the progress it had under the previous management led by Walter Smith.

In his new book, entitled Simp-Lee The Best, the 34-year-old says the set up under the former Hearts and Ipswich boss was a “mess”.

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“I could only see troubled times ahead. I thought it was a bit of a mess and lacked the professionalism I was used to at Rangers and previous Scotland squads. I didn’t want to be a part of it.

“I rarely, if ever, spoke to Burley. There wasn’t a working relationship between us. He made my mind up for me that I should quit. I just had a feeling we were never going to progress under him. Walter Smith and Alex McLeish were hard acts to follow but I thought he was a bit of a bluffer.

“I was convinced we would never reach the heights of the previous couple of years when we beat France home and away.

“It was also important for me to concentrate on getting things right at Rangers. I just wasn’t on form and had to be doing much better.”

McCulloch also says that his message to Burley that he was quitting the national side was never passed on by SFA middle manager Richard Simpson who was the go between for players and the manager.

“My contact to make my feelings known was Richard Simpson.

“It was a phone conversation in the build-up to the opening games of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers. Scotland were away to Macedonia and Iceland in September 2008 and I wasn’t in the squad as I was injured.

“I told him to pass on the message to Burley about my standing down but for whatever reason it never got to him.”

“I’d followed the protocol but, with the benefit of hindsight, I should have phoned Burley myself.

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“When things blew up, I felt I’d been really let down. I wasn’t pleased with Simpson. The press got hold of the story and all hell broke loose.

“Burley was still unaware I was quitting . I then became a villain. I was accused of walking out of my country. It was totally misconstrued.”