Scottish FA prepares for revolutionary reforms

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The Independent Football

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan is cautiously optimistic that much-needed change will be embraced at their annual general meeting.

The summit at Hampden tomorrow could result in some of the most revolutionary reforms in the organisation's 138-year history.

A number of proposals, sparked by former First Minister Henry McLeish's review of Scottish football, will be put to the 93 member clubs, with 75% backing required for those changes to take place.

Asked if he was optimistic ahead of the AGM, Regan said: "It depends when you ask me.

"Sometimes I have moments of optimism and other times I think 'it's an AGM - you're never quite sure how people will vote'.

"All I can say is that we have done as much as we have possibly been able to do.

"I always feel that to get change in place, you have to bring people with you.

"That means explaining to them what you're doing, why you're doing it and what the benefits are.

"We couldn't have done any more, we have literally travelled the length and breadth of the country and I think we have done as much as we can to explain the background.

"It's now up to the members to vote with us. Hopefully we will get a positive outcome.

"We are hoping the 93 member leagues, associations and clubs will back the changes that the SFA are proposing and vote them through.

"We need 75% of the members to come with us in order to move forward and we are hoping for that as the main outcome tomorrow."

The reforms would see the main board reduced from 11 directors to seven, with a further two operational boards overseeing the professional game and the non-professional game.

The other substantial change would be an overhaul of the committee system, with a new judicial panel set up to deal with disciplinary matters instead.

Regan said: "When the public read the papers and read about the SFA, it tends to be two main subject areas that get focused on.

"One is how the national team is performing, the second one is what disciplinary action is being taken against managers and players.

"Sometimes all the good work that we do, particularly with coaching and football development, gets forgotten and we just focus on the sensational headlines.

"As far as we are concerned, the disciplinary matters have been areas that have let us down.

"Some of the processes have really had to be unpicked and put back together again in a much tighter, defensible way.

"We've done that, we've started again, we've got a much more clear and robust set of measures and I'm confident we will have a much stronger SFA going into the new season."

When quizzed on the possibly of not receiving the backing he requires tomorrow, Regan said: "It's not the end of the world.

"The structures we currently have can still accommodate some of the new procedures and processes and we will have to work within the confines of the existing structure.

"That said, if you are going to implement a brand new strategy, which is something we're trying to do, it's always nice to have the right structure in place.

"If we don't get our way tomorrow, I think we will see it as an opportunity lost but it won't be the end of the world.

"We will make sure we work with what we've got and we will come back and we will present it again at some point in the future."