My links with clubs fell apart, says McKie
Gordon McKie has spoken for the first time about his departure as Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) chief executive after less than six months - confirming that the breakdown in his relationship with powerful first division clubs was the reason.
The Scot admitted Hong Kong soccer's worst-kept secret in an interview with The Herald newspaper in his homeland. 'Everybody loves football out there and there's a lot of money around,' said the 54-year-old, who was brought in to much fanfare under the government's Phoenix Project to revive the local game.
'But it just wasn't going to work. The first division clubs dominate the board, so there was a conflict with the guys who run the clubs. There were no games for the international team, no training camps, no coach, because they didn't care about the international team.
'I really enjoyed my time in Hong Kong, until I discovered that my recommendations were going to be blocked, so how can I improve it if they don't want to change it?'
McKie, the former chief of the Scottish Rugby Union, came under fire recently when it was revealed that he had been spending time in his homeland helping a consortium of bidders trying to take over stricken club Rangers.
When he eventually returned to Hong Kong, a settlement deal was quickly arranged to end his tenure, the HKFA blaming McKie's inability to move his family to Hong Kong 'for a number of personal reasons'.
Brian Leung Hung-tak, chairman of the HKFA, declined to comment as McKie had already vacated his position as chief executive.
Despite his disappointing time in Hong Kong, McKie, a chartered accountant, said it had not put him off a possible return to the sports industry. 'I feel that I've got something to offer sport,' he said. 'I get bored easily and I'm keen to find something to do. I can't play golf every day.'
Months Gordon McKie held the position of HKFA chief executive