Malky Mackay has stepped down from his role as performance director at the Scottish FA.
The 48-year-old leaves Hampden after four years in the role, saying that it was the right time to move on.
Mackay was with the men’s Under-21 team as they narrowly failed to reach their European finals and his departure comes a week after the men’s senior team ended a 22-year wait to qualify for a major finals when they reached Euro 2020.
In a statement, he 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.”
Mackay said that the national youth teams now had a uniform style of play and were well equipped for future success and he said that he had enjoyed many highlights in his time in the job.
He added: “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.”
Ian Maxwell, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “Malky has implemented a best practice framework within the performance department that has strengthened our national teams and reinforced relationships between clubs, Performance Schools and Club Academy Scotland.
“I would like to thank Malky – as a colleague, friend and former team-mate – for his considerable contribution and commitment to the performance strategy and wish him every success for the future.”
The former defender, who was capped five times by Scotland, was a controversial choice to replace Mark Wotte as performance director in 2016, with Mackay having previously been investigated by the FA over alleged racist, homophobic and sexist text messages.
The FA did not press charges but Mackay undertook equality and diversity education courses and asked to be defined by his actions in his new role with the Scottish FA.
Mackay is the second departure from Hampden to be announced this week, following news that Clare Whyte is to leave her role as the organisation’scompliance officer.