SFA members vote unanimously to change Scottish game

Members have voted unanimously in favour of restructuring the Scottish Football Association.

At a meeting on Tuesday, proposals from former first minister Henry McLeish's Scottish football review were ratified.

The report was commissioned by SFA president George Peat, who is stepping down from his position.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "This is truly an historic day for the SFA. I'm delighted our members share our vision for the future."

All 93 of the SFA's member clubs at the Hampden meeting voted to implement all of the recommendations to modernise the way the game is governed in Scotland.

The main changes include the reduction of the SFA board from 11 officials to seven, including an independent member. The SFA say the board will become more strategic than representative and focus on "corporate strategy and top-line decision-making".

Two new boards will be created under the main board - one for the professional game and another for the non-professional game.

The much-maligned disciplinary procedures will be rewritten and a compliance officer will quickly decide whether cases will be heard by the new semi-autonomous judicial panel.

The numerous SFA committees - such as the disciplinary, general purposes and emergency panels - have been immediately disbanded but an audit committee will be formed to ensure the efficient running of the organisation.

The articles of association will also be rewritten and the second vice-presidency will disappear in four years' time, to be replaced by a second independent board member.

Members also backed plans to give greater support to referees.

"These are the most significant changes in the 138-year history of the SFA," explained Regan.

"The decisions made today will allow us to change and modernise the association.

"I was pleasantly surprised that it was unanimous. Going into an AGM you are never quite sure how things will go.

"We put the groundwork in, covering the miles across Scotland trying to explain the benefits of what we're doing.

"I'm really proud, I'm proud for my staff, the board and the members that they have had the guts to make the change.

"It really is a huge day for Scottish football."

Also at the meeting, Campbell Ogilvie's election as president, replacing Peat, was confirmed, while Cove Rangers chairman Alan McRae was voted first vice-president and Hibernian chairman Rod Petrie second vice-president.

The outgoing Peat predicted a "brighter future" for Scottish football and said: "I'm proud to leave my post as president of the Scottish FA on such a positive note.

"I commissioned Henry McLeish's Review of Scottish Football because it was becoming increasingly apparent that our game had to modernise."

Regan said on Monday that high-profile rows last season with clubs like Celtic helped the SFA recognise reform was needed.

And the new structure will allow the SFA to implement their recently-devised performance strategy, with a performance director expected to be appointed before the start of the season.