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Apr 19, 2010

Smith steps down from SFA

Gordon Smith has dramatically resigned as Scottish Football Association chief executive amid calls for an investigation into his conduct by Livingston chairman Gordon McDougall.

Smith, 55, succeeded David Taylor in the summer of 2007 and steps down for personal reasons after less than three years in the role.

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "I've heard the news a few minutes ago and I am absolutely flabbergasted. I didn't see that coming at all. I would like to wish Gordon well for the future.

"Since I arrived last summer, I have really tried to build relationships between the SFA, the SFL and ourselves. That will continue going forward.''

Smith's resignation also comes days before the first details of former First Minister Henry McLeish's root-and-branch review of Scottish football is expected to be published. Some reports claim this report will be highly critical of the way the game is being run.

Livingston chairman McDougall hit out following Smith's alleged involvement in disciplinary proceedings against the club's striker Robbie Winters for diving. Winters was eventually cleared of the offence against East Stirling but McDougall remained furious at the way the process was handled.

Smith, a former Rangers striker who has campaigned against the scourge of diving in football, attended February's game, which saw Michael Bolochoweckyj receive a second booking for a foul on Winters.

McDougall claims the SFA chief asked for a DVD of the match from home manager Jim McInally. The Livi chairman says the SFA have since informed him Shire owner Spencer Fearn made a complaint against Winters three days after the game.

McDougall said: "I find it quite astonishing this information was kept from myself, Robbie and the disciplinary committee. It's either gross incompetence or an attempt to mislead folk.

"Either way, I feel Gordon Smith has overstepped his authority and that is why I'll be writing to [SFA president] George Peat.''

Smith said he had "no problem" with anyone looking into his involvement and it is not known whether this had any bearing on his decision to step down.

Smith's departure also comes less than four months after Craig Levein's appointment as Scotland manager. Prior to that, there had been reports the pair did not see eye to eye.

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