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Sunderland CEO & ex-Rangers supremo Martin Bain linked with Scotland return; but only down here

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Rumours over the weekend suggested Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain could be in line for a return to Scotland with a prime post in the SFA - but, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone north of the border who reckons he has a hope in hell.

New Sunderland Manager Chris Coleman Press Conference Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Furtive rumours after Saturday’s latest defeat suggested that Sunderland CEO Martin Bain could depart the Stadium of Light and return to Scotland to fill the vacant chief executive role at the Scottish FA.

But it seems the notion that the former Rangers board member could take up the position was little more than a hopeful reaction from an increasingly despondent fan base on Wearside; with no one north of the border even considering that Bain could be appointed to the unfilled role.

Stewart Regan stepped down from the SFA’s top job last week after failing to convince Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill to take the national team manager’s position. The protracted hunt for a new head coach has continued since Gordon Strachan departed in October following the end of Scotland’s World Cup qualification hopes.

2017 Irn Bru Scottish Cup Final Dundee v St Mirren Mar 25th
Stewart Regan stepped down from his role as SFA chief executive last week
Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images

But it seems former Rangers chief Bain has no chance of taking up a role which seemingly has one key requirement - an impartial stance and no association with either of the Old Firm clubs - least of all the strife at Ibrox in recent times.

Here’s a selection of views received from journalists north of the border yesterday afternoon as we surveyed a few contacts on the Sunderland man’s prospects of landing the key role:

Not even been mentioned by anyone. No one associated with the Old Rangers would get anywhere near it nowadays.....

We were talking about it in the office on Friday and didn’t mention Bain’s name once....

I suppose he might apply for it but his Rangers connections mean he just wouldn’t be considered....

And there’s perhaps an even bigger reason the job might not interest the Sunderland CEO. This one from a source close to the SFA who suggested Bain simply hasn't been considered and even if he were, probably wouldn't apply:

It’s a role than only pays around £300k. And with Bain’s history at Rangers - and a fair bit of Celtic influence in the SPFL - I’d be surprised if he was even interested.

New Sunderland Manager Chris Coleman Press Conference
Martin Bain at least has experience of appointing managers - Chris Coleman is his third in 18 months
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Martin Bain’s annual salary at the Stadium of Light is likely to be north of three-quarters of a million pounds. Certainly former CEO Margaret Byrne was on a contract worth near to a reported £700,000 at the point she was forced to resign her post in 2016.

And in the absence of owner Ellis Short, Bain has a hugely expanded role at the helm of Sunderland with total control over daily operations and responsibility for managing the ever-shrinking budget at the troubled club.

Hibernian chief Leeann Dempster appears to be the front runner for the top vacancy in Scotland, one which poses a huge challenge for whoever takes it on.

Without a manager and having failed to qualify for a major tournament since 1998, the incomer would also be required to lead the debate on the future of the national stadium.

The Scottish FA’s lease on Hampden Park runs out in 2020 and some have suggested a new ground would be in the best interests of the nation's soccer team with Murrayfield mooted as a potential venue to host both rugby and football.