Levein pays price for poor campaign

05 November 2012 08:47

Craig Levein finally paid the price for Scotland's dismal start to their World Cup qualifying campaign after being "relieved of his duties" as national team manager.

Levein was removed from his role four days after the seven-man SFA board first met to discuss his position and Scotland Under-21 head coach Billy Stark was handed temporary charge of the team for next Wednesday's friendly in Luxembourg.

Speaking at a media conference moments after the official announcement was made, Regan said: "There are a number of factors but what was discussed in the board meeting needs to stay private. However, we are bottom of the group with two points from four games. We are eight points behind the leaders."

He added: "The view of the board is we are not bottom-of-the-group material, we are better than that. We need to have a new manager to turn around the campaign and move us forward. We are in a results-driven business and Craig has been the first to admit that.

"In addition Craig has stated his intention to leave after the end of the current World Cup campaign irrespective of what happens."

But the former Dundee United and Hearts manager will continue to receive his wages after the Scottish Football Association agreed to honour the remaining 20 months of his contract.

"We have not terminated Craig's contract," Regan said. "Craig Levein will continue to receive his full remuneration. The exact figure is a private matter."

Levein had been due to name his squad for the away game on Tuesday but Stark will be given extra time to formulate his plans and the SFA board will meet to discuss the process of appointing a permanent successor after the fixture.

Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan, who was interviewed for the role before Walter Smith took over in January 2005, emerged as the initial favourite but an appointment could take some time.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan made the announcement with "real sadness" as he praised Levein's role in formulating a performance strategy designed to improve the long-term prospects of the national team.

Source: PA