McLeish’s second spell as Scotland manager ends with the sack

Alex McLeish’s second spell as Scotland manager is over.

The Scottish Football Association announced McLeish would be leaving his role “with immediate effect” after board members gathered for a meeting at Hampden on Thursday morning.

SFA chief executive Ian Maxwell said in a statement: “The decision to part company was not an easy one, especially given Alex’s status as a Scotland Hall of Fame member, earning 77 international caps, having played in three World Cups and taken charge of the national team for two spells.


“It was only taken after full consideration by the board and after an honest and respectful conversation between myself and Alex earlier in the week.

“Ultimately, the performances and results as a whole in the past year – and, in particular, the manner of the defeat in Kazakhstan – did not indicate the progress expected with a squad we believe to be capable of achieving more.”

McLeish led Scotland to Nations League success last year but the 3-0 defeat in their opening Euro 2020 qualifier in Kazakhstan last month was regarded as one of the worst in the national team’s history.

Scotland's heavy defeat in Kazakhstan proved fatal to McLeish's long-term job prospects
Scotland’s heavy defeat in Kazakhstan proved fatal to McLeish’s long-term job prospects (Adam Davy/PA)

The 60-year-old said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to have managed my country for a second time and leave knowing that I gave my all in the pursuit of success.

“I am proud that together we finished top of our UEFA Nations League group and qualified for the UEFA Euro 2020 play-offs, which gives us a real opportunity to reach a major tournament for the first time in over 20 years.

“I am also pleased to have given many younger players a first taste of international football that will stand them – and the country – in good stead for the future.”

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