COWDENBEATH chairman Donald Findlay and six of his fellow-directors have taken over the day-to-day running of the Fife club and, in their first act in charge, have appointed Colin Cameron as manager.
Cameron, who will be assisted by Lee Makel, takes over from Jimmy Nicholl, who has left Central Park and is expected to be named this week as assistant manager to Kenny Shiels at Kilmarnock.
The Brewster family - brothers Alex and David, and Alex's son Scott - remain majority shareholders of the club and still own Central Park. But, in an amicable handover of power, they have all resigned from the board, and have signed a two-year security of tenure agreement, ensuring the team will remain at its present home until at least the summer of 2013.
The Brewsters and the new board hope to proceed with their plan to sell Central Park and build a new stadium in the town. The Brewsters would take the majority of the income from the sale, but have agreed that the club will have enough funds to build a new home.
"The Brewster family have resigned from the board and have handed full control of Cowdenbeath Football Club over to chairman Donald Findlay and his directors," club secretary Alex Anderson said last night. "The Brewsters will not be involved in the future running of the football club. No fee has been involved in this changeover. The club will still be in the ownership of the Brewsters."
Findlay, a former vice-chairman of Rangers, said that the takeover had fulfilled the ambition of the club's supporters for it to become a community-run venture. "Cowdenbeath fans wanted the club to be run by the community, and they have now got that with the Brewsters resigning from the board and handing over full control to the existing directors," Findlay said.
"We have come to an agreement to lease the ground on a game-by-game basis. This is an exciting challenge for the community of Cowdenbeath and we hope the public will get behind the club with additional support."
The lease agreement does not affect the team's security, but does mean the Brewsters will receive more money if, for example, the club has more home games as a result of a cup run or because of involvement in the play-offs at the end of next season. Last night Scott Brewster said that he, his father and his uncle were contented with the way in which the new arrangement had been arrived at.
"This time last year, it was envisaged that this should happen," he said. "We're quite happy with how the board meeting went on Saturday.
"None of us (ie the Brewsters] is what you would call an avid supporter.We've been quite open about the fact that buying the club was a property arrangement.
"We have agreed security of tenure for two years, which is what the Scottish Football League and the Scottish Football Association stipulate as a minimum for any of their member clubs. The new stadium will be owned by the football club."
The Brewsters retain ownership of the stock-car racing operation at Central Park, which remained profitable in recent years at a time when the football side of the business had been making a loss. The present plan is for the new stadium to have a racing track adjacent to it, with profits from that track going to the Brewsters.
Former Scotland international Cameron, 38, will be Cowdenbeath's full-time player/manager as the club bid to win promotion back to the First Division at the first attempt. Formerly a player with Raith Rovers, Hearts, Wolves and Dundee, Cameron had been player/assistant manager to Nicholl during the latter's 11 months in charge of the club.
Makel, also 38 and a former team-mate of Cameron's at Tynecastle, joined Cowdenbeath as a player in January after two years as a player/coach with Swedish side Ostersunds. His appointment as player/assistant manager means he has returned to the club just weeks after being freed as a player.
In March 2010, financial difficulties concerning the required upgrading of Central Park led Cowdenbeath to investigate the possibility of moving to groundshare with Dunfermline, Raith, East Fife or Spartans. For a time there was a threat to Cowdenbeath's very existence, and a possibility that Spartans would enter the league by the back door by buying control of Cowdenbeath.
The appointment last summer of the new group of directors was designed to be the first step towards securing the club's future and cementing its place in the Cowdenbeath community. This weekend's effective takeover by those directors has brought that design a step closer to being realised, and follows a season in which, despite relegation to Division Two, the club's footballing operations have come close to breaking even.