THE suggestion came direct from a Lisbon Lion. Jim Craig, speaking as the remaining members of Celtic’s 1967 team were inducted into the Scottish Football Hall of Fame, turned his attention towards the vacant Scotland manager’s position.

“Brendan [Rodgers] has the capability of managing Celtic and Scotland but whether he would want to do it is another matter,” said Craig. “If he felt he was up for it, I’d have no qualms about saying yes.”

Cue the predictable outrage. Why, certain Celtic fans will say, should our most successful manager in years dilute his commitment to the bread and butter for the sake of saving Stewart Regan’s skin? Why should we potentially derail our invincible, title winning juggernaut for the benefit of the SFA, an organisation most of us regard with suspicion?

Loading article content

Read more: Matthew Lindsay: Even a full-strength Celtic side would toil against superstars of "FC Hollywood" in Munich​

Rangers fans would be even more entitled to be apoplectic. Deprived of a solitary player considered highly enough by Gordon Strachan to feature for the national team since Lee Wallace against England last November, why should they entrust their players’ international futures to the serving manager of their greatest rivals? Surely there is a clear conflict of interest which would get in the way here, which would apply equally to followers of clubs throughout this land, many of whom already feel that their idols get a raw deal.

Okay, I get it. This is real life, not some kind of soccer simulator like Football Manager, where you could take stewardship of Albion Rovers and the Argentina national team at the same time with no apparent contradiction between parallel lives in Lanarkshire and Latin America. Even football managers have family lives to consider, and requirements for a certain amount of downtime. Brendan Rodgers is far too politically savvy to entertain such a notion, even if the SFA were ever brave enough to ask him to do it.

And for those brave/foolish enough to lead this managerial double life, results tend to be rather patchy. The reason Craig was being quizzed on the subject, of course, was because the venerable Jock Stein managed Scotland on a part-time basis whilst in charge of Celtic in the 1960s, quitting the national team post after failing to reach England in 1966.

Read more: Cristian Gamboa set to help Celtic take the game to Bayern Munich in absence of injured Jozo Simunovic

Then there is the example of Sir Alex Ferguson, who stepped up into the breach after the great man’s passing at Ninian Park in 1985. He led Aberdeen to a cup double that year, and took Scotland past Australia to Mexico ‘86, even if three wins from ten Scotland matches was nothing special.

But for those blessed with a certain brand of football obsessiveness and belief in their own ability, managing for both club and country CAN pay off. Two commodities which the Dutch tend to have in spades, Guus Hiddink has blended club and country twice and lived to tell the tale, bringing the curtain down on his four years as manager PSV Eindhoven with a year in charge of Australia.

At the 2006 World Cup, he took the Aussies further than Scotland have ever gone, all the way to a knockout defeat courtesy of an injury time penalty defeat to eventual winners Italy.

An FA Cup win meant he still had some credit left in the bank after Roman Abramovich persuaded him to take the Chelsea job whilst also in charge of Russia in February 2009. Then there is the wily Valeri Lobanovskiy, whose school of science with Dynamo Kyiv was so successful he was co-opted into three spells with the Soviet Union and one with Ukraine – the high watermark being taking USSR to the final of Euro 88.

Read more: Jupp Heynckes: Bayern Munich won't underestimate Celtic - they can beat us to a Champions League last 16 spot

Perhaps those crafty Soviets were onto something. Throwing extra cash at Brendan Rodgers for the use of his brain on international weeks would foster a badly needed sense of glasnost and perestroika in the Scottish game.

All those years of infighting between club and country, SPFL and SFA, could be eliminated, our hopes of a first major finals in 20 years plus handed to a man who works daily with most of the players and has a formula for their success.

With club v country rows, a thing of the past, maybe Rodgers would even be able to persuade Scott Brown to remain un-retired. Radical thinking alright. Too radical for some no doubt. But as ideas to re-ignite our national team go, is it any wackier than the SFA’s performance director ‘s own job share, parachuting Alex McLeish back in, or asking Lidl to get us Carlo Ancelotti?