McNally linked to top Scotland job

Paddy DavittNorwich City chief executive David McNally has reportedly been earmarked as the man to revive Scotland's footballing fortunes. The boyhood Celtic fan is reported to be among the early front runners to succeed ex-Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith after helping plot the Canaries' route back to the Championship.Paddy Davitt

Norwich City chief executive David McNally has reportedly been earmarked as the man to revive Scotland's footballing fortunes.

The boyhood Celtic fan is reported to be among the early front runners to succeed ex-Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith after helping plot the Canaries' route back to the Championship.

McNally's business acumen is highly regarded north of the border following his previous successful stint as Celtic's sales and marketing chief.

The City figurehead was also a pivotal figure in attracting Paul Lambert to Carrow Road last season and has been credited with spearheading ongoing attempts to help reduce the League One champions' �23m record debt.

The Canaries declined to comment yesterday, but McNally's Carrow Road predecessor Neil Doncaster made a similar move last summer when he was appointed chief executive of the Scottish Premier League following City's relegation.

McNally and ex-Everton chief Keith Wyness have both been the subject of recent national newspaper linking the pair with the influential position. The SFA hierarchy formally started their recruitment process at the weekend for the lucrative post which commands a six figure salary and key role in the future development of the Scottish game.

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'They definitely have to be thick-skinned but I think they will know that before they apply,' said SFA President George Peat, who has confirmed Smith's successor does not have to be Scottish. 'There's no bias or anything involved. We are open to suggestions. I was one of the boys behind Gordon's appointment because he had the football background.

'What we have decided now - following the independent report into Scottish football I commissioned - was that we appoint a performance director to carry out the football side. So what we are really looking for is a businessman to do the chief executive's part and a football man to do the performance director's job, that's the plan.'

Wyness has already indicated he would consider succeeding Smith who quit in late April after mounting criticism of his tenure at the helm of the Scottish governing body.

'It's a job that is certainly attractive,' said Wyness, who was Aberdeen's chief executive before his spell on Merseyside. 'There are still opportunities to push things forward in Scottish football and that makes it a fascinating job. I still watch a lot of Scottish football and I have kept a foot in Scotland via my place on the board of the Scottish exhibition and conference centre in Glasgow.'

SFA chiefs have employed executive head hunters to draw up a shortlist of candidates with formal interviews expected in early June. McNally's no nonsense approach alongside Canaries chairman Alan Bowkett has won widespread support from City followers after the duo replaced Doncaster and Roger Munby last summer.

Despite announcing record losses in the last set of accounts the club now appears to be on a more stable financial footing.

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