Over the next few weeks and months, the SFA will finally appoint a brand new chief executive.
It will probably be Partick Thistle’s Ian Maxwell. He will inherit a shambles, there’s no other word for it.
All eyes will be on him as he tries to turn one of the most dysfunctional football bodies on earth into something that is fit for purpose.
One area where they must improve is in their media relations.
Phil posted an excellent article just last night on a series of questions he submitted last year. The SFA has dithered and delayed, and now finally appears to be ignoring them completely. Yet these questions are of major importance and of huge public interest.
They can’t be simply brushed aside, although the governing body seems to believe they should be.
Maxwell will have to get a grip on this. The culture of secrecy at the SFA has got to end. So does the culture which brought Scottish football to the brink in 2012. Phil’s questions are related to the darkest era in the history of our game, and at the centre of them is a central issue; what the SFA knew about what was happening at Ibrox during the years 2009 and 2012.
Stewart Regan was an arrogant git who didn’t care what Scottish football fans thought. He treated us with naked contempt. Maxwell cannot do the same. He has to start repairing the relationship between the governing body and the fans. He has to open that place up.
It’s not like the SFA gets real scrutiny; the Scottish media is a joke. It’s not for nothing that Phil frequently laments that it took an Irishman and an Englishman (Alex Thomson of Channel 4) to hold these people to account. That makes it all the more scandalous that the SFA believe they can simply ignore it when an accredited member of the NUJ puts questions to them. These people are hiding, and that usually means they have something to hide.
The culture of secrecy is only one of the problems. As Phil’s question make clear, the greater problem is the Hampden-Ibrox axis, which has brought this game untold trouble. And it’s clear that no real lessons were learned from that time.
This article is going to examine the Hampden-Ibrox axis and demonstrate the clear need for reform and openness. The media is another part of the problem, of course, but the bloggers put enough information in the public domain during the years 2011-18 that the governing bodies really have no excuse for some of what they’ve allowed to happen.
They cannot say they were not warned. They were. Time and time again. I am grateful to Phil for allowing me to trawl through his archives for the background story here. There is probably no more important a chronicler of these events.