Ex-Chief Executive of the Scottish FA and Director at Glasgow Rangers with IPSO.
IPSO were pleased to see GORDON SMITH at Leicester City Football Club on June the 18th & 19th. Mr Smith is an ex-Scottish football player, coach and executive. Smith played for several clubs, including Rangers, Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion. Mr Smith was appointed Chief Executive of the Scottish Football Association in 2007 and then worked as the director of football at Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers.
Smith was also accountable for the introduction of an arrangement between the Home Nations’ football associations which allowed players educated in a home nation for five years before the age of eighteen to represent that nation at international level, as a result of the change in policy several players have gone on to represent a country they were previously ineligible for.
Smith began his career with Kilmarnock and was known as Casper (after the ghost) for the way he ‘ghosted ‘past defenders in his path. He was sold to Rangers in 1977 for £65,000. In his first season with Rangers, Smith won the domestic treble, scoring 27 goals from midfield. He also scored the winning goal in the 1978 Scottish League Cup Final, against Celtic.
He was sold to Brighton & Hove Albion in 1980 for a record transfer fee of £440,000. He played in the 1983 FA Cup Final against Manchester United. Smith scored the first Brighton goal, but his appearance is best remembered for when he had a chance to win the cup for Brighton late in extra time. The ball broke to Smith within 10 yards of the goal, but his shot was smothered by the United goalkeeper Gary Bailey. The match ended in a 2–2 draw, then Brighton lost 4–0 in the replay.
After Brighton he joined Manchester City and was top scorer for City in the 1984/85 season. When he finished his career he had a spell as assistant manager of St Mirren before beginning careers in the media and as a football agent. He represented many players, including Scotland players Paul Lambert and Kenny Miller. Smith published an autobiography in 2005, entitled “And Smith Did Score”, the royalties from which he donated to children’s charities.
He then took up the position of Scottish Football Association Chief Executive.
He did make his mark in international football, Smith was the driver behind the 2009 Home nation’s agreement, which allowed players being educated for five years under the age of 18 in a Home nation to become eligible for that nation at full international level. Due to this policy change, several players who were otherwise ineligible could play international football for the nation they were educated and raised in. Somalia-born Islam Feruz became eligible for Scotland, Chester-born Andy Dorman represented Wales and Jamaican-born Raheem Sterling went on to play for England.
In June 2011, Smith was appointed Director of football at Rangers by their new owner Craig Whyte, tasked with assisting new manager Ally McCoist.