Smith Reflects on his Relationship with the Media During his SFA Stewardship

Now back in his former role as a football pundit with BBC TV and BBC Radio Scotland, as well as writing a column for the Scottish Daily Express, former Scottish Football Association chief executive, Gordon Smith, has been speaking at length about his decision to quit the top soccer job in Scotland.

And he appears to be a busy man, as Aidan Smith explains in a two-page spread in The Scotsman's sports supplement yesterday.

After it was put to him in the interview that, with pals in the media, he might enjoy an 'easier ride', Gordon replies: “Probably, yes. But the intensity of the scrutiny, it was unbelievable. I underestimated that. I was worried I couldn't crack a joke without it being misconstrued, and that I'd be pulled up for it. 

“Remember that friendly in Wales? [a 3-0 defeat last year, which marked the end of manager, George Burley's time in charge]. I got pelters for being seen smiling during the game. What happened was the wife of the Welsh FA chief executive, seeing me in just a suit in the middle of November, tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was cold.

“I said: 'I'll be all right if Scotland plays better in the second half.' The Welsh chief exec said: 'I'll get you a coat right now.' So I laugh and suddenly there were photos all over the papers and I was virtually branded a traitor.”

Writes Aidan: “The ‘Smith-in-smiling-shock’ story followed him around, leading to a confrontation on a garage forecourt.”

Continued Gordon: “These two guys challenged me, said I was a disgrace to Scotland and that I shouldn't be doing the job.”