The Scottish FA will have to look at their back up plans after Northern Ireland boss elected to remain in his current job than take on the poisoned chalice of the Scotland manager’s role. Stewart Regan and his blazer cronies delayed talking to the 48-year-old despite agreeing to a compensation package worth around £500,000 with the Irish FA before Christmas, but it was only last week that they approached O’Neill himself and tried to persuade him to replace Gordon Strachan over the course of two days.
Taking the weekend to think about the offer from beaks at Hampden, O’Neill has chosen to remain with Northern Ireland.
It is another nail in the coffin of Stewart Regan’s premiership at the Scottish FA, a coffin that now weighs heavy on the organisation and our game in general with the ineptitude of Regan continuing to keep his position.
If trying to bully and threaten clubs into forcing new Rangers into the top flight [then subsequently failing to do so for the First Division], his handling of the whole EBT scandal, passing Dave King as some fit and proper person to take control of Rangers — despite 82 criminal convictions for tax avoidance — and refusing to re-open the investigation into Rangers’ clear breach of rules despite the Supreme Court ruling in favour of HMRC; were not bad enough, then his failed and pitiful pursuit of O’Neill must surely end his reign at Hampden Park.
O’Neill’s rejection is a kick in the balls to Scottish football and in particular the national team, especially when the Northern Ireland job is seen to be more attractive to a man like O’Neill than the Scotland job.
Plan B for the Scottish FA will inevitably lead them to approaching EBT recipient Alex McLeish to take on the role for a second time — safe in the knowledge that his time in England as manager of Birmingham City, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest put paid to any hope of him getting a job down south again.
Prepare for further years of failure for Scotland under McLeish and especially if Regan continues in his role.