Bad sign: Ferguson during the Iceland game
Gordon Smith has opened the door for a sensational return to international football for shamed duo Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.
Ferguson and McGregor were handed lifetime bans from representing Scotland after flicking V-signs at photographers during April's World Cup qualifier against Iceland.
Addressing the media to discuss George Burley's sacking as manager, Scottish Football Association chief executive Smith said whoever succeeded the former Hearts and Ipswich boss would be free to select any player, including Ferguson and McGregor.
'The new manager will definitely have a say in who he wants to play,' Smith said. 'The manager has the decision on all forms of dealing with discipline.
'If a new manager comes in, I'm sure they will have licence to pick who they want.'
Smith insisted no shortlist had been drawn up for Burley's replacement.
'There will be a lot of speculation coming, but there will be a procedure,' he said. 'There's no shortlist of candidates at the moment.'
Reacting to reports Rangers boss Walter Smith had ruled out a return to the job he left in 2007, Smith said: 'We will not be discussing any names whatsoever in the process going forward. We didn't last time. I don't think it's fair to discuss any names in public.'
Next in line? Craig Levein (left) and Walter Smith (right) have been touted as candidates to take on the Scotland job after George Burley was dismissed
Smith also insisted he would have no issue considering Craig Levein as a candidate, despite the Dundee United boss having had run-ins with the SFA in the past.
'I don't have a problem with anyone in the game,' Smith said. 'Everyone will be considered as a candidate.
'I don't have any personal agenda. I'm looking for the best candidate going forward.'
Smith also revealed the SFA had yet to decide whether or not a foreigner would be considered for the post.
'We haven't decided on that yet,' he said. 'We're looking for someone who's got experience and authority in the game.'
Smith admitted the SFA did not have the money to compete with the top nations in their search for a manager but insisted a new broadcast deal meant they were not as badly off as some claim.
'It's about finding the right candidate at the right price,' he said. 'We've lost managers because of salary.'
Asked whether the SFA would consider the Republic of Ireland model which sees Giovanni Trapattoni's salary privately subsidised, he said: 'Whether that can be achieved is something that we'll have to look at.'
Highlight: James McFadden's goal in the home victory over Macedonia was a rare positive in the disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign for Scotland
Smith ruled out a part-time manager, saying: 'It's not a consideration. The last three managers we've had - and George Burley was very good at it - would go out and do an awful lot of the ambassadorial work.'
Smith defended the appointment of Burley 22 months ago, which had been greeted by a mixed response at the time.
'The SFA chose George to go forward because we did our homework on him in terms of his qualities as a manager,' he said. 'The one thing you can never tell when someone gets appointed to a job, especially when it is a change from club football to international football, whether they are going to be a success.'
Smith admitted Burley's plan to turn Scotland into an entertaining side had 'not worked out' but insisted the performances in the final two World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Holland justified keeping him on.
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