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Tactics and Analysis 5 hours ago
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Nov 16, 2009

Axe finally falls on Scotland manager Burley

The Scottish Football Association have confirmed George Burley's sacking as Scotland manager.

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The SFA acted quickly after Scotland fans turned on Burley during Saturday's 3-0 friendly defeat by Wales.

Chief executive Gordon Smith canvassed his 10 colleagues on the SFA board and they came to a unanimous decision to terminate his contract, a matter of weeks after the former Ipswich, Hearts and Southampton boss had been given a vote of confidence after his team had failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Subsequent defeats by Japan, and Wales in particular, clearly made Burley's position untenable and he had dodged questions on his future following the defeat in Cardiff before admitting the decision lay out of his hands.

He said in a statement: "I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to my backroom team, the Scottish FA, the players and the Tartan Army for the support they have shown throughout my tenure as national coach and I wish the national team success for the future."

Smith said: "The decision was taken after a meeting with the board of directors and, subsequently, the national coach. The board was in unanimous agreement.

"It should be stressed that the decision was not a direct consequence of Saturday's unacceptable 3-0 defeat to Wales but, rather, a realisation that the expectations of the supporters, the Scottish FA and George himself, were not being met. I should point out that the Scottish FA stands by its decision to give the national coach our full support despite failure to qualify for the World Cup play-offs.

"It would have been negligent not to have given George every opportunity to rebuild and revitalise the squad in light of the improved performances in the last two qualifiers against Macedonia and Holland.

"Unfortunately, the adverse results in the two subsequent friendly matches against Japan and Wales provided confirmation that the improvement could not be sustained. On a personal note, I would like to thank George for his contribution and, on behalf of the Scottish FA, I wish him all the best for the future."

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