SFA rejects Ibrox call for review into role of Gary Hughes

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell.
SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell.
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Ian Maxwell, the Scottish FA chief executive, has rejected Rangers’ demand for a review into the appointment and role of Gary Hughes, who formally stepped down as a director of the governing body at its annual general meeting yesterday

Hughes did not seek re-election to the Scottish FA board in the aftermath of calls for his suspension from Rangers chairman Dave King following the re-emergence last month of a 12-year-old magazine article in which the Celtic supporting businessman had referred to followers of the Ibrox side as “the great unwashed”.

Rangers this week welcomed his departure but raised fresh questions over the process used by the Scottish FA to appoint independent directors and also any part Hughes played in the investigation which led to a notice complaint being issued against the Ibrox club in relation to the Uefa licence they were granted the year before their financial collapse in 2012.

But Maxwell, who started work in the Scottish FA hot seat just two weeks ago, 
insists any review would be wholly unnecessary.

“No, there is no need,” was his response when asked if any request for an investigation from Rangers would 
be granted.

“The way the notice of complaint works is that the (SFA) board instruct the compliance officer to review an incident, any incident, and the compliance officer is then completely independent from that point and decides whether there is a case to answer or there’s not.

“Obviously in this case he decided, yes, there was a case to answer and that is now going through the process. I saw nothing other than total independence from the independent directors on the board during my previous time on the board.

“I’ve not seen anything from Rangers yet. If it comes through, then we’ll deal 
with it.”

The Scottish FA will now seek a replacement for Hughes
and Maxwell was keen to stress that personal affiliation to an individual club should not count against any outstanding candidate from the world of business.

“The constitution of the board is that we have two independent non-execs, so the process will be started with a view to replacing Gary,” added Maxwell.

“I hadn’t known him for long. I had been on the board for a