SFA members back changes to Scottish Governing Body


All 93 of the SFA’s member clubs have voted unanimously in favour of restructuring the Scottish Football Association. A meeting at Hampden on Tuesday, saw proposals from former First Minister Henry McLeish’s Scottish Football review, backed.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: “This is truly an historic day for the SFA. I’m delighted our members share our vision for the future.”

All of the member clubs voted to implement all of the recommendations to modernise the governing body, with the main changes including the reduction of the SFA board from 11 officials to seven, including an independent member. With the SFA saying the board will become more strategic than representative and focus on corporate strategy and top line decision-making.

Two new boards will be established below the revamped main board. One of these will be aimed at the professional game and the other for the non-professional game.

The disciplinary procedures, which have been on the front and back pages last season, will be rewritten and a compliance officer will decide whether individuals cases will be heard by the new ‘semi-autonomous’ judicial panel.

The bureaucratic ‘jobs for the boys’ committees – such as the disciplinary, general purposes and emergency panels have all been disbanded with immediate effect, but an audit committee will be established to make sure that the organisation is effectively run.

The articles of association will be re-written and the second vice-presidency position will be disbanded in four years time, replaced then by a second independent board member. And greater support to referees were also backed by member clubs, sadly there was no vote on referees being held accountable for poor or wrong decisions, therefore it looks like they are a law onto themselves as per usual, and wanting more money for it again.

SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan said: “These are the most significant changes in the 138-year history of the SFA, the decisions made today will allow us to change and modernise the association. 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.”

Campbell Ogilvie, former General Secretary and Director at Rangers, then Managing Director at Hearts was elected as President, replacing outgoing President George ‘Foot in Mouth’ Peat. Cove Rangers chairman Alan McRae was elected first vicepresent, while Hibs chairman Rod Petrie was elected second vice-president.

Campbell Ogilvie who said: “This is an opportunity for us to go forward with a solid foundation and I’m honoured to be president of an organisation where the professionals will look after the professional game.”

Peat 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.”

The new restructuring should be in place before the start of the season, with a performance director expected to be appointed before then also.

The following changes have been accepted:

  • The Board would be reduced from 11 to 7, incorporating an independent board member and becoming a more strategic, rather than representative, Board. The Board will focus on matters of corporate strategy and top-line decision-making.
  • The committee structure will be collapsed – including Disciplinary, General Purposes, Emergency – and an audit committee will be formed to ensure we act in line with best practice from a corporate governance perspective.
  • The Disciplinary Procedures will be rewritten and a new Judicial Panel will be convened, led by a new Compliance Officer, to deal expediently with all disciplinary matters across SFA jurisdiction. This will be semi-autonomous from the SFA for purposes of transparency.
  • The Articles of Association will be rewritten.
  • Two new operational Boards will be created underneath the main Board – the Professional Game Board and Non-Professional Game Board. This will enable greater efficiency of decision and allow those involved in Professional and Non-Professional game to focus solely on matters under their umbrella.
  • These changes will form part of a new SFA strategic plan: Scotland United – A 2020 Vision. This will be founded on the following strategic pillars: Performance – with focus on elite talent and coaching development including National Teams qualification for major championships and world-class coaching and refereeing, Strong, Quality Growth – broadening the game at grassroots level across the spectrum of football, including referee recruitment, Greater Financial Returns, Trusted and Respected to Lead.

About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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