SFA director who called Rangers fans ‘the great unwashed’ to step down

SCOTTISH Football Association director Gary Hughes who referred to Rangers fans as the "great unwashed"  is to step down from his role.

Rangers chairman Dave King called for Mr Hughes to be suspended by the SFA after a photograph of a 2006 article from The Publican appeared in a newspaper.

Mr Hughes, who was then chief executive of the trade magazine's publisher CMPI , was credited as writing a piece on Glasgow pubs, which said: "The next best thing to being at Celtic Park (only the great unwashed venture south to Ibrox) is watching the game, pint of Tennents in hand, with some like-minded souls."

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The SFA has said that Mr Hughes will not seek re-election as an independent non-executive director at Wednesday's annual general meeting.

SFA to review Gary Hughes' position after Rangers chairman Dave King calls for his suspension

Mr King last month urged the SFA to hold an investigation into Mr Hughes, who was appointed as a non-executive director in April 2015.

He said: "I can confirm receipt of information, which would appear to be credible and which merits immediate and thorough independent investigation. Mr Hughes should be suspended pending this investigation."

Mr King has also called for an investigation into Scottish Professional Football League chairman Murdoch MacLennan’s business links to Celtic majority shareholder Dermot Desmond.

Mr Hughes intimated his decision upon return from holiday and the SFA said the "board respects his decision".

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Ian Maxwell, SFA chief executive said: “I would like to thank Gary for his service to Scottish football over the past three years. He brought a wealth of business experience to the game and a passion to drive Scottish football forward at all levels.

“We wish him the best of luck for the future and thank him for his efforts as a trusted and valued member of the Board.”

Mr Hughes added: “It has been an honour and a privilege to bring my professional expertise to the game I love. I have been involved in business for 30 years but the commitment of my board colleagues – and indeed everyone involved in Scottish football – to improve the national sport in this country has made it an absolute pleasure.

“I will remain a passionate supporter of the SFA's activities but it is time to focus on other business interests at home and abroad.”

The appointment of Mr Hughes, who served as group finance director for Scottish Media Group from 1996-2000, as the second independent non-executive director to the board met a  governance recommendation from the McLeish Review of Scottish Football.

The position was to replace the second vice-president role.

Stewart Regan, SFA chief executive said at the time that "even among a host of impressive candidates, the breadth and depth of his experience with some of the leading companies in Scotland, the UK and internationally made him stand out".

He said:“Alongside Barrie Jackson, our first non-executive director, Gary will offer an invaluable business perspective to Scottish football in addition to his passion for football and sport.”

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