Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has defended the time taken to remove Craig Levein from his role as Scotland manager.
Twenty days passed since the October 16 loss in Belgium, which left Scotland bottom of World Cup qualifying Group A, before the SFA board "relieved" Levein of his duties, honouring the remaining 20 months of his contract on full pay and at a reported cost of £700,000.
"We've spoken to Craig throughout this period, since we came back from Belgium," said Regan, who described the board's decision as "collective". "Craig was told of the process. We had a number of discussions with him and we tried to keep him up to speed."
He added: "The board were entitled to ask questions, the board were entitled to ask for more information.
"Many board decisions take time, this one took time, simply because of the complexity of it.
"There have been a number of implications and consequences of today's decision. The board have considered all of those and we've arrived at our decision accordingly."
Regan and SFA president Campbell Ogilvie met Levein last Tuesday and on Thursday reported to the other five members of the board, who asked for further information before a final decision was reached on Monday.
Ogilvie added: "We felt we had time on our side and what we didn't want to do is to be rushing into any decision immediately following the Belgium match. That was a board decision to allow the dust to settle."
Results, the terms of departure and Levein's stated intention to leave at the end of the current 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign appear to have been the most important factors in the final reckoning.
Regan added: "They were the key factors. There were a number of other considerations, clearly commercial considerations were part of the date, but in terms of the exact detail of that, it's not appropriate for us to share private and sensitive information publicly."
- Sports & Recreation
- Craig Levein
- Stewart Regan