Alex McLeish hails appointment of ‘football guy’ Ian Maxwell as SFA chief

Alex McLeish has welcomed the appointment of Ian Maxwell. Picture: SNS Group
Alex McLeish has welcomed the appointment of Ian Maxwell. Picture: SNS Group
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Scotland manager Alex McLeish is happy to have a “football guy” in Ian Maxwell as his new boss.

McLeish joked that the new Scottish Football Association chief executive’s first job can be to tell clubs which players are going on the post-season tour of South and Central America.

Partick Thistle managing director Maxwell was named as the SFA’s choice to succeed Stewart Regan on Monday.

The 42-year-old has served on the boards of the governing body and the Scottish Professional Football League during a seven-year stint running off-the-field affairs at Thistle.

But he is well-versed in on-field matters too after a career that spanned playing stints at Queen’s Park, Ross County, St Johnstone, St Mirren and the Jags.

McLeish, who was launching the latest search for nominations for the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, said: “I’m looking forward to working with Ian Maxwell.

• READ MORE - SFA appoints Ian Maxwell as new Chief Executive

“He’s a football guy, he has come through the ranks. He has done a good job at Thistle.

“He brings with him financial expertise as well as chief executive experience also. The fact that he knows the game, that has got to be a bonus.

“He can speak to the clubs now. I can rest easy in terms of picking the squad - I will get Ian to talk to them all.”

McLeish has only made tentative moves to alerting clubs over the selection of players for games against Peru and Mexico in late May and early June.

“We have been making waves,” he said. “I’ve had a couple of chats with one or two of the managers.

“If you look at it from our point of view, if Scotland were in the World Cup we would be going away later and it would impinge on their pre-season plans at a much later stage. We are away early enough.

“But I get it when managers speak about young players being overloaded, and we need to be careful.

“I need to take everything into consideration.”

• READ MORE - New SFA boss Ian Maxwell vows to build a ‘better future’