Smith steps down from SFA

Gordon Smith today dramatically resigned as Scottish Football Association chief executive.

Gordon Smith today dramatically resigned as Scottish Football Association chief executive.

Former Rangers striker Smith, 55, stepped down after less than three years in the role.

The SFA confirmed Smith's resignation in a statement, which read: "The Scottish FA can confirm that Gordon Smith has resigned from his post as chief executive. A further statement will be issued tomorrow.”

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “I’ve heard the news a few minutes ago and I am absolutely flabbergasted. I didn’t see that coming at all. I would like to wish Gordon well for the future.

“Since I arrived last summer, I have really tried to build relationships between the SFA, the SFL and ourselves. That will continue going forward.”

Smith’s appointment three years ago was seen as a positive step by those who felt ex-players should have more of a say in the way the game is run.

His biggest achievements include helping get the European Championship finals expanded from 16 to 24 teams, as well as being a vocal campaigner against diving.

But he was unable to convince FIFA to expand the use of technology to assist referees.

He was also prone to the odd gaffe and came under fire for the way the ’Boozegate’ saga was handled last year, when Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor were hit with lifetime bans from the Scotland squad before seeing them lifted under Levein.

Smith succeeded David Taylor in the summer of 2007, before which he was a well-known pundit, as well as owning a players’ agency.

Smith's resignation came days after Livingston chairman Gordon McDougall revealed he would write to SFA president George Peat demanding an investigation into the conduct of Smith.

McDougall was unhappy with Smith’s alleged involvement in disciplinary proceedings against the club’s striker Robbie Winters over allegations of diving.

Winters was last week cleared of the offence by the SFA after video evidence of Livi’s Irn-Bru Third Division win at East Stirling on February 20 was viewed at Hampden.

But McDougall has hit out at the way the process was handled.

Smith, who has campaigned against the scourge of diving in football, attended February’s game, which saw Michael Bolochoweckyj receive a second booking for a foul on Winters.

McDougall claims the SFA chief asked for a DVD of the match from home manager Jim McInally.

The Livi chairman says the SFA have since informed him Shire owner Spencer Fearn made a complaint against Winters three days after the game.

McDougall said: “I find it quite astonishing this information was kept from myself, Robbie and the disciplinary committee.

“It’s either gross incompetence or an attempt to mislead folk. Either way, I feel Gordon Smith has overstepped his authority and that is why I’ll be writing to George Peat.”

Smith said he had "no problem" with anyone looking into his involvement and it is not known whether this had any bearing on his decision to step down.

His resignation also comes days before the first details of former First Minister Henry McLeish’s root-and-branch review of Scottish football is expected to be published.

Some reports claim this report will be highly critical of the way the game is being run.

Smith’s departure also comes less than four months after Craig Levein’s appointment as Scotland manager.

Prior to that, there had been reports the pair did not see eye to eye.

While, upon taking the job, Levein signalled his intent to have a more hands-on role with youth development than his predecessors.

However, Smith denied there was any personal issue between the pair.

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