MALKY MACKAY believes the time was right to step down as Performance Director as he predicts a bright future for Scottish football

The Scottish FA announced on Wednesday evening that Mackay had left his role at Hampden after four years in position. 

Mackay’s job was under consideration by Chief Executive Ian Maxwell as the governing body look to cut costs as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Mackay has now stepped down from his berth as Performance Director just a week after Scotland ended their 22-year wait to reach a major finals as Steve Clarke’s side qualified for the European Championships next summer. 

Mackay said: “As a number of qualification campaigns draw to a close and after four years in post, it feels like the right time to step down from my role as Performance Director. I would like to acknowledge the support I’ve had from my colleagues at the Scottish FA, to those at the clubs for their year-on-year co-operation and in particular to our talented team within the Performance Department for their passion, hard work and dedication.

“Together, I believe significant progress has been made during my tenure. Collaboration at its best is a powerful force for good in the Scottish game. One such example being the Pride Labs, which our club coaches have really embraced and come together to share best practice.  

“We’ve seen more players reared in Performance Schools breaking into first teams north and south of the border and playing with distinction. We have also enjoyed strong relationships with our member clubs both at board level and within the academy structure.

“At various age levels our National Youth Teams have consistently recorded excellent results against countries such as Brazil, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and France. Most importantly we have done so with a consistent style of play throughout all our youth teams, one which I firmly believe will equip us to compete against our European counterparts more readily and over time give our players the platform to become top internationals of the future.

“Our Talent ID player database stretches further than it ever has and our dedicated team of staff continue to scour the UK and beyond for Scottish talent to broaden the pool of players available to our national coaches. 

“Last year, we came together as a nation to support Shelley Kerr and her staff as they led Scotland to its first FIFA Women’s World Cup Finals, in France - another ground-breaking experience I thoroughly enjoyed supporting and being a part of.

“It was also a great pleasure to be asked by the board to step in as interim manager for our national men’s international against Netherlands – an honour I’d like to thank them for and a memory I will cherish forever. 

“I am proud to have served Scottish football and to have played a part in the progress that has undoubtedly been made in more recent times.  

“I care deeply about the Scottish game and about the role the Scottish FA plays in leading and nurturing it. We have some of the most passionate, knowledgeable and committed coaches around and it’s no real surprise to me that a new generation of confident, brave and technical players are now emerging. I look forward to seeing them grow and compete with the very best going forward.”