DUNFERMLINE assistant manager Gerry McCabe has become the latest victim of cost-cutting at East End Park. However, four axed first-team players are set to secure new clubs within hours.
Paperwork is being rushed through for departed Pars skipper Jordan McMillan as he prepares to join First Division title-chasing Partick Thistle. He is set to be joined at Firhill by fellow defender Andy Dowie. Paul Gallacher is also a man in demand and it is believed SPL high-flyers Ross County are close to sealing a deal for the former Scotland international.
Andrew Barrowman, previously top scorer at Dunfermline, is also in talks with another club with a view to a quick-fire move.
“I am delighted to say it looks as if a few of these boys are going to find themselves new clubs,” said Pars administrator Bryan Jackson. “I would not want to jinx it, but the SFA and SFL are working around the clock to push through registration transfers and hopefully everything goes through in time. We initially feared that there would be no chance of them finding anywhere else to play in the time-frame we have, so that would be one positive from a very difficult situation.”
Experienced duo Craig Dargo and John Potter, who it was believed would join the list of redundancies yesterday, have also been kept on, with Jackson describing Dargo as having made a “huge gesture” to remain on the books.
There was, however, less welcome news for McCabe, who ends his five-year association with Dunfermline. “We wanted to keep Gerry, there is no doubt about that,” said Jackson. “But, like all the other decisions, this was made on a purely financial basis.”
Meanwhile, Alex Smith last night praised Jim Jefferies for offering to work for Dunfermline for ‘next to nothing’ – but insisted club boards need to do more to ensure managers do not end up in the same predicament in future.
The experienced former St Mirren, Aberdeen and Dundee United boss watched his Falkirk team add to the Pars’ mounting off-field woes with a 2-0 derby win on Wednesday night.
However, the thoughts of the chairman of the Scottish League Manager’s Association immediately turned to his East End Park counterpart as the administrator’s axe began to fall on the players and staff of the besieged club on Thursday.
Jefferies revealed he had accepted a substantial cut to an already-low wage to continue in the post he took up 12 months ago after insisting “it’s not right to walk away when the club is going through difficult times”.
And Smith reckons the Pars could not be in better hands during their current sorry plight than the 62-year-old former Falkirk, Hearts, Bradford City and Kilmarnock manager.
Smith said: “I think what Jim’s done is typical of people working in football, that they really rally round and try to do their best. Jim knows how difficult it’s been for the players, going without wages and now some of them losing their jobs, and he’ll want to look after the ship until it gets through this period.
“Jim is doing his bit for the good of the club and that’s great that he’s doing that.
“A lot of people would possibly walk away and not want anything to do with it or want the responsibility of trying to win games in such difficult circumstances.”