FOR an organisation which has, even by their own standards, been subjected to unprecedented levels of criticism and ridicule in the past few weeks, the temptation to bring in Leeann Dempster as the new Scottish Football Association chief executive will no doubt be great in the coming weeks.

Think about it. The bumbling blazers of the SFA could be transformed into trailblazing pioneers in an instant if they were to become the first national football association to appoint a female as their most high-ranking official. It makes sense on many fronts.

The positive publicity it would generate at a time when the treatment of women in the workplace is, with good reason, a burning issue in the media would be considerable. The goodwill towards the new incumbent as she set about the unenviable task of restoring the fortunes of the game in this country would also be great.

There are, though, more reasons for choosing Dempster as Stewart Regan’s successor than simply because it will give the beleaguered governing body some welcome respite from the flak which has been aimed in its direction for some time now.

|Bringing in the current Hibernian chief executive, who has helped to transform the fortunes of the Easter Road club both on and off the park during the past three and a half years, would give Scottish football a genuine chance of enjoying a more successful future, both on and off the park.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly during an economic downturn, she would be adept at bringing sponsors and much-needed money into the game. Her background is advertising, sales and marketing. She has improved the financial performance and bank balances of both Hibs and Motherwell before that due to her knowledge and practical experience of business.

The SFA is currently without a main sponsor - the agreement with Vauxhall runs out in the summer and no replacement has been found - while the William Hill Scottish Cup - currently shown on television by Sky Sports - has no broadcaster lined up for next season.

It is imperative for the good of the game here, from the grassroots level up, that fresh investment is found and new revenue streams are explored in order for it to prosper and Dempster would be well placed to both identify and grasp opportunities which may be available.

On the subject of youth football, she could also help to implement much-needed changes to the performance strategy. The clubs grew increasingly resentful with how the SFA in general and Regan in particular went about pushing through the recommendations contained in Project Brave. The resentment which exists in boardrooms is threatening to jeopardise the entire initiative.

Yet, Dempster comes from a club background, is well liked and respected by her counterparts and would perhaps have a greater understanding of their concerns and wishes than her predecessor.

There may, alas, be many involved in the running of football in this country who would be far from enthusiastic about Dempster being promoted. As always in these instances, there are political considerations. Self-interest rather than the overall good of the game is sadly what drives many.

Would her close ties with Rod Petrie, the Hibs chairman who is set to succeed Alan McRae as the SFA president imminently, make many uneasy about her taking over from Regan? It is entirely possible.

Petrie is, rightly or wrongly, a divisive figure. Many have still not forgiven him for his ill-advised comments in the aftermath of the 2016 Scottish Cup final riots, even though he subsequently apologised, when he described the pitch invasion and assault of Rangers players as “114 years of exuberance”.

Fans of the Ibrox club, and a few officials to boot, would doubtless have something to say about an ally of his working in tandem with him when he takes office.

Dempster, of course, may opt to remain where she is. She could look at the treatment of Regan and decide she is better off where she is. Hibs continue to go from strength to strenth. But it will be a shame if she was not at least considered for the high-profile position.

The last thing that Scottish football needs just now is for another stuffed shirt, a grey man in a suit who spouts meaningless soundbites, to be appointed. Thinking outside the box and going for a bold and ambitious option would be a huge step in the right direction for a game which is going backwards.