Chief executive Ian Maxwell today defended the structure for selecting the Scottish FA president as he was grilled over a "blazer procession" selection process.

The Hampden chief faced questions at the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee meeting on Tuesday morning over whether there should be increased fan representation in Scottish football.

Scottish National Party MSP Ruth Maguire questioned Maxwell over the election process to appoint the president and vice-president of the Scottish FA - with suggestion from the Scottish Football Alliance that season ticket holders be included in a vote moving forward.

Currently, the president and vice-president positions are filled after club representatives are decided upon by member clubs of the association.

However, calls have been made for fans to be involved in a wider vote to avoid an "antiquated and undemocratic process and procession to office and blazer procession".

MSP Ms Maguire asked: "The Scottish Football Alliance recommends that Scottish football season ticket holders be allowed to vote for the president of the SFA.

"And they argue - and forgive me I am going to quote them directly - 'that this would replace antiquated and undemocratic process and procession to office and blazer procession with a fair voting structure'.

"How would you respond to that?"

READ MORE: Rangers confirm no away fans permitted for Celtic clash at Parkhead

"This is a suit jacket, not a blazer," replied Scottish FA chief Maxwell.

He then added: "The president is elected by the membership of the association and that feels like a fairly standard, fairly structured operational process that the members of the association would then elect who the president and the vice-president are.

"There are opportunities for fan-owned clubs to put forward a representative of their club for the position of president. That position can come from across the football family and can be put forward from any of the membership.

"It feels like from a structural perspective the membership determining who the president and vice-president are, that feels like hat makes sense."

However, Ms Maguire then further probed Maxwell on the issue, commenting: "That slightly pejorative language aside - it is a very nice suit jacket - could you see the benefit, though, in opening it up? We think about trust and that value of supporters and that trust in the SFA, that opening that up to making it more democratic could be beneficial for the game?"

Maxwell again defended the process in place as he insisted a firm knowledge and understanding of the football language is required in the roles.

"There needs to be an understanding of football though," he said.

"I think that has to be the case that anybody coming in as the president or the vice-president of a football association would need to have some sort of understanding of football and there is no better place for that to come from than from the membership, I mean..."

Ms Maguire interrupted: "But that's not how democracy works, everyone gets a vote and they decide who is going to represent them, I don't think there is a test."

A lost Maxwell then responded: "Sorry, I don't get the point."

READ MORE: Celtic hit back at Rangers over away ticket allocation dispute

Ms Maguire clarified: "What they're suggesting is that all season ticket holders can vote for the president, so I would assume, I don't know the details of how those elections would be tabled, but presumably qualified individuals with experience would put themselves forward. And then there would be some sort of voting process."

However, Maxwell was unmoved as he cited the fan involvement through club representatives being put forward. 

He stated: "I think if you take a step back, my point is clubs have the opportunity to put forward whoever they want. So season ticket holders at a club could take that decision to put forward someone from their club. So they would be effectively having a say in that.

"Because listen, trying to get Scottish football as a whole to agree on anything is a near-impossible task..."

Ms Maguire, however, insisted an election process - despite differing ideals amongst supporters - should be possible. She added: "We manage elections in other contexts so I don't think it would be beyond the Scottish public to vote for the president but I hear what you're saying. In principle, would you not be for more fan involvement?"

Maxwell then agreed over the importance of fan involvement, but sent out a warning over "very emotional" football fans potentially making "emotional decisions".

"Fan involvement is key in football, absolutely," said Maxwell. "I was at a club that was very engaged with supporters, football fans obviously want a voice, they want to be heard within their clubs' structure, they want a voice in how their club is run and the operation of that.

"We need to be careful as well because fans are very emotional - they are fanatics by definition - supporters make emotional decisions with running football clubs. But they need to have a voice, they need to be able to be heard and understood - that is absolutely right that they are given that opportunity."

Ms Maguire concluded by asking: "I don't think it is necessarily that fans want to run the SFA, it's maybe that they want more accountability and a say in who that executive is, do you see the benefit of that?"

Maxwell commented: "I think I have set out the position. Fans have the opportunity through their clubs to put forward whoever they feel would make the most sense from a club perspective. We have got a structure that is voted on by the membership and has been in place for a considerable time."