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Dundee United chief denounces SFA over Levein

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson hit out at the Scottish Football Association (SFA) on Tuesday for the way they had dealt with the club about Craig Levein becoming the new Scotland manager.

There had been widespread speculation United manager Levein would be appointed to the Scotland post on Tuesday.

But Thompson said the SFA had treated United “shabbily” and he had heard nothing from the governing body, whom he accused of acting “disgracefully”.

Levein met with SFA chiefs on Monday and followed that up with a meeting with Thompson on Tuesday where he indicated he wanted to take the Scotland job.

It appeared the only potential stumbling block was the issue of a compensation payment from the SFA to United for Levein’s services.

But what had seemed a standard part of negotiations is now threatening to derail Scotland’s move for Levein.

“We have not received any offer of compensation by fax, email, letter or anything else,” Thompson told BBC Scotland on Tuesday.

“We are a member club and deserve to be treated with a bit more respect in this matter.”

He added: “We have been treated shabbily.”

Earlier, an upbeat Levein indicated talks were going well.

“I had a meeting last (Monday) night with some members of the SFA,” he told BBC Scotland.

“It went reasonably well,” added the former Hearts boss, long the front-runner to succeed the sacked George Burley.

“It was about an hour long. It’s impossible to get everything sorted in an hour, so those talks are ongoing without me.

“Everything should be resolved later on today or tomorrow morning one way or the other.

“I can tell you that I was pleased with the way the discussions went and that’s important.

“It’s important for me to learn just what the job entailed and what I learned from the members of the SFA was fairly encouraging.

“If I do leave Dundee United then I’m quite happy to give you my feelings from the heart about what’s happened at this football club, but at this minute in time I’m still the manager, so there’s no point in it.”

Levein, 45, has been the favourite to succeed Burley since Rangers manager Walter Smith ruled himself out of a return to the Scotland job.

Burley was dismissed last month after a 3-0 friendly defeat by Wales which followed Scotland’s failure to reach the play-offs for a place in next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

Levein, a former Scotland international whose playing career was ended prematurely by injury, made his reputation as a manager with a successful 2000-04 spell in charge of Hearts.

A brief, unhappy stint as manager of English Championship side Leicester followed and Levein returned to management in Scotland with Raith Rovers before taking over at Dundee United in October 2006.

He guided the Tangerines to fifth place in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) last season.

They currently sit fourth in the table, despite being deprived, through injury, of last season’s top scorer Francisco Sandaza and captain Lee Wilkie.

The SFA has indicated that it wants to have the new manager in place before the draw for the qualifying tournament for Euro 2012 is made on February 7.

Tue 22 December, 2009
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