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Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

SFA reveals plan to speed up disciplinary system

Alistair Gray of Renaissance and Co gives the SFA presentation
Alistair Gray of Renaissance and Co was called in to help the SFA

Stewart Regan believes he has moved a step closer to modernising the Scottish Football Association to avoid disputes like the present one with Celtic.

The chief executive has secured the backing of the SFA board to streamline and speed up the disciplinary process.

And the aim is to implement change for the start of next season.

"The committee structure, whilst it has worked for many years, is very bureaucratic and laborious," said Regan, who took change in October.

Celtic are looking to use the SFA's own rules to have manager Neil Lennon's latest four-match touchline ban run concurrently with a previous one.

It would mean he would serve five matches in total instead of the eight the SFA believes is appropriate.

Regan refused to comment on that specific case but admitted he had identified failings in the SFA systems from his first day in the job.

It's not healthy when there is falling-out over specific issues relating to how the game is administered

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan

"We need to have much slicker, more transparent, more up-front system, where all clubs, players and officials know exactly what's happening and how long it takes for things to be dealt with," he said while announcing the SFA's new performance strategy, which includes an investment of £10m over five years.

"I made a commitment to modernise the structure of the organisation and the processes.

"I'm delighted to say that, at a board meeting yesterday, the board have backed the proposals and we will be taking them to the AGM on June 6."

Regan revealed the plans, drawn up with a firm of consultants, included restructuring the board, incorporating a professional and non-professional board and a main strategic board with responsibility for financial and other major decisions.

He also revealed that disciplinary procedures would be streamlined, pointing out that five committees currently deal with certain disciplinary matters.

To illustrate the need for change, the SFA general purposes committee was today discussing comments made by Lennon after a defeat at Hearts in November.

"We believe that having that number of committees leads to inconsistency, bureaucracy and lengthy delays in dealing with matters," the former Yorkshire County Cricket Club chief executive said.

"We want to streamline that and have one compliance or regulatory body which meets after each weekend's fixtures and tries to deal very promptly with what happens in those games.

"If the charges are accepted by those involved, they are actioned before the next game, in which case everyone can move on and there is an understanding of the disciplinary process."

Regan hopes the proposed system will reduce the number of disputes such as the current disagreement with Celtic.

"Nobody likes to see fallouts," he said. "We are all in the game of football and we are all trying to do the best for fans, for clubs, for the media, sponsors, everyone associated with the game.

"It's not healthy when there is falling-out over specific issues relating to how the game is administered.

"I've had discussions with a number of clubs and I've had a lot of personal support for the modernisation programme I'm seeking to put in place with my board colleagues."

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see also
SFA pursue eight-game Lennon ban
17 Mar 11 |  Celtic
Rangers will contest McCoist ban
16 Mar 11 |  Rangers
Fleming takes Dallas role at SFA
04 Mar 11 |  Scottish Premier
Lennon 'censured' for ref remarks
17 Jan 11 |  Celtic
SFA chief glad of calls for talks
29 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier
No repeat of referee strike - SFA
28 Nov 10 |  Scotland
SFA promises ref system overhaul
04 Nov 10 |  Scottish Premier

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