Football Euro 2000: SFA support for under-fire Brown

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CRAIG BROWN'S position as Scotland coach is not under threat, the Scottish Football Association insisted yesterday.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat at the hands of England ignited a campaign to dismiss Brown after six years in the job. Radio phone-ins were inundated by angry Scotland fans calling for Brown's removal after the Hampden disappointment.

But the SFA chief executive, David Taylor, insists they have no plans to discuss Brown's future. "We review things after every game, but there are no specific plans to review Craig's position," said Taylor, who has only been in the job three months. "Craig has done very well for us during his time in charge and has an excellent record. I am sure he will be as disappointed as anybody with yesterday's result and will be doing his utmost to rectify the situation at Wembley."

There are young managers making an impression in the Scottish League such as Kilmarnock's Bobby Williamson and Jim Jefferies at Hearts, but no obvious replacement appears to be available. Big names such as Kenny Dalglish, George Graham and Sir Alex Ferguson do not seem to be an option for Scotland, as the SFA would struggle to muster the finances to match their current salary packages.

Taylor said it would be the SFA's international committee, led by their president, Jack McGinn, who would eventually decide Brown's fate.

Whether Brown is replaced or not, the defeat has brought plans to develop youth football in Scotland sharply into focus.

Likely elimination from Euro 2000 will complete an unhappy two-week spell for the Scottish game, which also saw Rangers drop out of the Champions' League and Celtic's Uefa Cup hopes ended by Lyon.