Dunfermline make new Allan Johnston deal top priority

Allan Johnston: Deal talks. Picture: SNS

Allan Johnston: Deal talks. Picture: SNS

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Dunfermline managing director Ross McArthur admits tying manager Allan Johnston down on a new contract is the Pars’ top priority as they start planning for next season.

The Fife outfit became the first club in Britain to seal a domestic title by sprinting over the League One finishing line on Saturday with victory over Brechin City.

Dunfermline will return to the Championship after a disastrous plunge into administration in 2013 triggered a fraught three-year spell in Scottish football’s third tier.

But after celebrating the league triumph at the weekend, Dunfermline are vowing not to let the grass grow under their feet.

Johnston and all of his first team players are out of contract this summer and McArthur admits their focus is on building a team for next season.

McArthur said: “We’re the first team in Britain to win a title and get promoted and that allows you to get moving in terms of planning.

“It’s particularly important next season when the League Cup starts so early, you’re not going to get a lot of time to do things.

“There’s been a lot of planning done behind the scenes over the last few months.

“I would like to think we would not encounter any obstacles with getting Allan signed on, I’ve got a good relationship with Allan.

“I don’t foresee any problems but you just never know until it’s done.

“There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be done and we want to get on to that as soon as possible.

“Allan and I have regular discussions and now we’re looking to get moving on that now that we have certainty.

“We can start to move forward.”

The Pars turned to Johnston last summer as the full-time club sought a way out of the financially-draining League One and the former Kilmarnock and Queen of the South boss has delivered in style.

The Pars have scored a staggering 78 goals in 31 league matches and are 13 
points clear of second-placed Peterhead.

McArthur has been delighted with the manager’s impact.

He added: “Allan is quite a quiet, unassuming character but he has a real, steely determination to succeed.

“He works really hard. I know how hard he works when he’s at the club, when he’s not at 
the club.

“He analyses every detail in terms of player fitness, strength and conditioning, opponents, potential signing targets – that’s really impressed everyone.

“Before we appointed Allan we spoke to a lot of well respected people doing 
our due diligence, so some of that does not come as a surprise to us as he was so highly regarded.

“It’s easy for people to say, ‘well, it’s Dunfermline – they’re the only full-time team in the league and their resources outstretch anyone else’.

“But you’ve still got to be 
professional and you’ve still got to win games.”

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