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SFA on verge of announcing new chief executive

The Scottish Football Association have finished conducting interviews for the position of chief executive. Former Rangers and Brighton player Gordon Smith stepped down in April after almost three years in the role and the SFA are looking for someone with a business background to replace him.

SFA president George Peat has revealed the recruitment process is nearing its end.

"We would hope to make an announcement shortly," said Peat. "The World Cup has enabled us to conduct the interview process quietly and thoroughly.

"We had approximately 80 applications from our recruitment consultants and from our advertisement of the position.

"We have spent the time since whittling the applications down to a short list and have conducted a series of interviews.

"We are hopeful that this process will be completed in the coming weeks and have been impressed not just by the number but by the quality of candidates."

Smith's appointment was seen as a step forward by many given his football experience, but the SFA plan to introduce a new role of performance director and business expertise is the main requirement.

"In the current climate, we feel it is important to look for somebody from a business background - somebody who has a great deal of experience running a company," Peat added in an interview published on the SFA's website.

"I keep reminding people that the Scottish FA is much more than the national team and the Scottish Cup - it is a £30million business and it requires a wide skill set to lead such a company.

"I was as disappointed as anybody at the way things ended with Gordon because I was one of the guys behind his appointment.

"At the time, it was a good idea to bring in a man with a football background, which we never had in that position before.

"The job requires many qualities - he has to run the business, be a public figurehead and be prepared to take the inevitable criticism that comes our way.

"That's why I often make the Superman analogy but if you look at the turnover of senior staff at other national associations in Britain then the challenges are not unique to us."

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