SFA make progress in hunt for new Scotland manager

The Scottish Football Association is 'making progress' towards filling its two highest-profile positions after a lengthy board meeting yesterday went on into the night.

Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

With the national manager and chief executive roles vacant, the board discussed both posts.

It is understood Steve Clarke’s name featured prominently. The Kilmarnock manager’s case for the Scotland job could hardly be ignored after his side’s seventh consecutive home win the previous night against Dundee.

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The former West Bromwich Albion manager is becoming a popular choice among Scotland supporters to succeed Gordon Strachan, who left in October after failure to secure a World Cup play-off place.

Those supporters have become increasingly frustrated, with 125 days having passed since 
Strachan’s departure as Scotland manager.

Chief executive Stewart Regan followed him out the door at the beginning of this month.

Yesterday’s meeting came amid reports Alex McLeish was close to being re-appointed international manager.

A sub-committee comprising president Alan McRae, Rod Petrie and Iain Maxwell delivered a list of candidates for the vacant manager’s job for their fellow board members to consider.

Petrie, the Hibs chairman and SFA vice-president, is reportedly strongly in favour of McLeish returning to a position he left a decade ago.

According to a source “a range of candidates and processes” were covered yesterday. The search to fill both manager and chief executive berths was described as “making progress”. But Scotland fans are quickly running out of patience with upcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary next month.

Michael O’Neill turned down the opportunity to manage Scotland last month to remain with Northern Ireland.

Walter Smith has also decided he would prefer not to be considered for the post. McLeish has since become the bookies’ favourite.