SFA set for radical overhaul

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The Independent Football

The Scottish Football Association member clubs today unanimously backed chief executive Stewart Regan's radical overhaul of the governing body.

Members also backed plans to give greater support to referees, allowing the judicial panel to sanction public comments about referees and "harassment" of match officials.

Campbell Ogilvie's election as president, replacing George Peat, was also confirmed, while Alan McRae was voted first vice-president and Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie second vice-president.

Regan described it as a "truly historic day for Scottish football".

He added: "These are the most significant changes in the 138-year history of the Scottish FA.

"I was pleasantly surprised that it was unanimous. Going into an AGM you are never quite sure how things will go.

"We put the groundwork in, covering the miles across Scotland trying to explain the benefits of what we're doing.

"I'm really proud, I'm proud for my staff, the board and the members that they have had the guts to make the change.

"It really is a huge day for Scottish football."

Outgoing SFA president George Peat predicted a "brighter future" for Scottish football as a result of today's vote.

He said: "I'm proud to leave my post as president of the Scottish FA on such a positive note.

"I commissioned Henry McLeish's Review of Scottish Football because it was becoming increasingly apparent that our game had to modernise.

"Today, our members have demonstrated that they agree and are ready to work towards a brighter future for Scottish football."

The main changes include the reduction of the SFA board from 11 officials to seven, including an independent member. The SFA say the board will become more strategic than representative and focus on "corporate strategy and top-line decision-making".

Two new boards will be created under the main board - one for the professional game and another for the non-professional game.

The much-maligned disciplinary procedures will be rewritten and a compliance officer will quickly decide whether cases will be heard by the new semi-autonomous judicial panel.

The numerous SFA committees - such as the disciplinary, general purposes and emergency panels - have been immediately disbanded but an audit committee will be formed to ensure the efficient running of the organisation.

The articles of association will also be rewritten and the second vice-presidency will disappear in four years' time, to be replaced by a second independent board member.

Many of the recommendations were prompted by former First Minister Henry McLeish's review of the game, which was commissioned by Peat two years ago.

The new structure will allow the SFA to implement their recently-devised new performance strategy, with a performance director expected to be appointed before the start of the season.