Scotland break the bank to capture Vogts

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The Independent Online

The Scottish Football Association have put together their best financial package ever to persuade Berti Vogts to take over as the next national manager. The SFA set out to bring a big name to Scotland following Craig Brown's resignation and quickly established Vogts as a leading contender.

Also on the shortlist were Nevio Scala, Phillipe Troussier and Bruce Rioch but Vogts' experience as coach of Germany made him the unanimous choice.

The German is still in charge of Kuwait, who are involved in the Gulf Cup, but negotiations to bring him to Scotland are at an advanced stage. David Taylor, the SFA chief executive, said: "We said we wanted to get the best so we said from the outset that we weren't going to regard the financial situation as an obstacle and it has not been an obstacle. It is the most lucrative package the SFA have ever put together for a national team manager."

"It started by us short-listing candidates and we established the characteristics of the person we wanted and we started a worldwide trawl to find someone who matched those characteristics.

"Very quickly the name of Berti Vogts came up and fairly early on we realised he was a serious contender. When we approached him we established that he would be interested in the post once his contractual obligations to Kuwait are fulfilled."

Taylor said there were critics who believed Scotland's recent slump in form, which saw them fail to qualify for this year's World Cup finals, would make it difficult for the SFA to attract top names to the post. But he believes the standard of candidates who showed an interest in the position has proven the doubters wrong.

He added: "He (Vogts) sees this as a very important job in international football and I'm very pleased to say that the other candidates we considered also thought it was a very important post.

"There were suggestions at the time that people wouldn't be interested but we have spoken to top-class people and that has been proved wrong. We had a shortlist that included Nevio Scala, Phillipe Troussier and Bruce Rioch and we spoke to all of them, but Berti Vogts was the unanimous choice."

Taylor is hopeful the Tartan Army will welcome Scotland's first foreign coach once Vogts' appointment has been confirmed. But he claims that the SFA's decision has already been applauded at the highest level by the Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and the former Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh.

He said: "Alex Ferguson and Andy Roxburgh were specifically involved in the process and were helpful in helping us draw up a shortlist.

"They commended the characteristics of Berti Vogts and it was a good move by the SFA to seek their advice."

Police are investigating whether English hooligans were responsible for the problems at Pittodrie on Saturday when the Aberdeen striker Robbie Winters was hit by a coin. Detectives are studying CCTV footage and Chief Inspector Peter Simpson, of Grampian Police, said: "It is a possible line of inquiry we are looking at. If there is a suggestion that English hooligans were up here, then we may link up with the National Criminal Intelligence Service in London."

The Scottish Premier League said the 5.35pm kick-off will not be altered for the majority of games despite the trouble at Aberdeen. The Saturday evening kick-off time replaced the unpopular 6.05pm start for televised matches on a Sunday. But the 5.35pm kick-off was blamed in some quarters for Saturday's disturbance.

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