It now seems inevitable that Craig Levein will be dismissed, probably after he returns from a scheduled October holiday, and tellingly Stewart Regan, the SFA chief executive, refused a chance to confirm the manager would still be in his job for next month's friendly in Luxembourg.
Regan said that Levein's frequents claims of improvement had not been backed up by results, which suggested that the manager will be dismissed when the SFA board meets or holds a conference call to discuss his future. Some Scotland players were left with the impression that Levein expected to be sacked by the way he spoke to them after Tuesday night's 2-0 defeat in Belgium.
Scotland are bottom of their World Cup qualifying group with only two points from a possible 12. Losses in Wales last Friday and then in Brussels mean the prospect of reaching the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is no longer realistic.
Most supporters want Levein out, possibly to be replaced by Gordon Strachan, and the fans' views will be taken on board by those SFA directors who might otherwise be prepared to give the manager more time. Levein is under contract on a £400,000-a-year salary until the summer of 2014 and he will not resign, but the SFA can sack him and attempt to appoint Strachan, Alex McLeish, Walter Smith or Owen Coyle, all of whom are available without compensation. It is understood that Strachan and McLeish would be interested if the job became available.
Levein was appointed at the end of 2009 when George Peat and Gordon Smith were the SFA president and chief executive respectively, but now Campbell Ogilvie and Regan hold those positions and the manager's fate will be decided when they consult with the rest of the SFA board.
The board consists of Regan, Ogilvie, vice-presidents Alan McRae and Rod Petrie, SPL president Ralph Topping, Tom Johnston of the Scottish Junior FA and independent non-executive director Barrie Jackson. Levein will also be able to present his own case for staying in the job.
When asked if Levein would still have his job going into the Luxembourg game on November 14 , Regan said: "We've got to take time to reflect and sit down with the manager and the board. He keeps talking about improvement but results don't show any.
"The first thing to say is that we're all bitterly disappointed with the results that we've had, particularly the double header over the last few days. To find ourselves bottom of the group isn't where any of us predicted we'd be at this stage of the competition.
"The board will expect to understand why we are bottom of the group; why do we find ourselves in the position we are? We've gone into the matches with as much preparation as the manager has needed and we've tried to get off to a flying start and that hasn't happened.
"There are lots of questions about the impact of this particular start to the campaign. I've said we're bitterly disappointed and I'm speaking for Campbell, myself and the whole of the board when I say that the people we're most disappointed for are the fans, particularly those who travelled on Tuesday. I feel really sorry that we weren't able to deliver a positive result.
"It's important for us now to take stock of the situation, to reflect and sit down with the manager and the board and actually get a chance to talk about what's gone on over the last few games and talk about the future. Once we've had a chance to do that then clearly we'll be in a better position to decide on the next steps. Until then, we won't be in a position to make further detailed comment.
"As far as timetable is concerned, it's really as soon as we're able to do that. We've got a lot of discussions to undertake over the course of the next few days and try to plan what we want to do going forward. The whole process is part of the review that we go through with the board. Some of the discussions about the progress we've made, the results we've got, and where we find ourselves in the group, will all be part of the process. Once we do that, we'll be able to comment further.
"It's important to reflect on what's happened and put a plan together. Two points out of 12 is not where any of us wanted to be. We've come off the back of a disappointing double header. The match on Friday night [the 2-1 defeat in Wales] was one that we were really hoping to win and I think that was a key match."
Levein's input into the SFA's long-term strategies on player development, although welcomed and respected, will not be taken into account when his job is discussed. "We've got a squad of players that Craig's brought in to try to do a job. He spent time over the last campaign getting ready for this one and we came into this campaign with a lot more optimism. We need to sit down and review what happens next. Craig isn't responsible for the performance going forward. Craig is responsible for the national team.
"We've got to reflect on what's gone wrong. Why are we bottom of the group? And we need, as a board, to decide what happens next. When we've had the chance to sit down with him and the board we'll make decisions on what happens next."
After Luxembourg, Scotland play a friendly against Estonia at Pittodrie in February before the World Cup qualifiers resume against Wales at Hampden in March.