The Scottish FA can confirm the departure of the national coach, George Burley, with immediate effect.

His assistants, Terry Butcher and Paul Hegarty, will also leave.

Gordon Smith, Scottish FA chief executive, said: “It is with regret that we announce George Burley’s departure. We now have four months until our next scheduled match, against Czech Republic, and will therefore utilise the intervening period to ensure we attract the best possible replacement to take Scotland forward.

“The decision was taken after a meeting with the board of directors and, subsequently, the national coach. The board was in unanimous agreement. It should be stressed that the decision was not a direct consequence of Saturday’s unacceptable 3-0 defeat to Wales but, rather, a realisation that the expectations of the supporters, the Scottish FA and George, himself, were not being met.

“I should point out that the Scottish FA stands by its decision to give the national coach our full support despite failure to qualify for the World Cup play-offs. It would have been negligent not to have given George every opportunity to rebuild and revitalise the squad in light of the improved performances in the last two qualifiers against Macedonia and Holland.

“Unfortunately, the adverse results in the two subsequent friendly matches against Japan and Wales provided confirmation that the improvement could not be sustained. On a personal note, I would like to thank George for his contribution and, on behalf of the Scottish FA, I wish him all the best for the future.”

George Peat, Scottish FA president: “I would like to echo the sentiments of the chief executive and stress that today’s decision has not been taken lightly. The board will now enter into a period of private discussion to ensure the Scottish FA finds the best candidate ahead of the qualification campaign for Euro 2012.”

George Burley: “I would like to take the opportunity to express my thanks to my backroom team, the Scottish FA, the players and the Tartan Army for the support they have shown throughout my tenure as national coach and I wish the national team success for the future.”