DUNFERMLINE manager Jim Jefferies has denied claims that his players staged strike action on Wednesday but has admitted that his hard-pressed squad’s
patience had snapped after a string of broken promises over their late salaries.
Last month, the Pars had been paid only part of their wages for the second time in a row because of a severe cash-flow problem that has seen the East End Park outfit also rack up debts to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, and electricity firm Scottish Power. With the aid of fund-raising from supporters’ groups and revenue generated by a bigger-than-normal attendance at last Saturday’s home meeting with Hamilton Accies, the Fifers have made progress in easing those liabilities and also transferred the remaining 63 per cent of the players’ monthly money on Wednesday.
However, Jefferies is adamant it was his decision to send players away from the club’s Pitreavie training ground after seeing the impact another day of non-payment had had on his squad.
He said: “Some people said the players were on strike. The players have no intentions of going on strike. What happened on Wednesday was it sort of all came to a head, financially, because there had been three or four deadlines which the club had failed to meet for their salaries. The players would rather not be given deadlines, just be told when it’s going to be there.
“They were down. For the third time they had been told the money was going to be in on Wednesday. So, when they turned up at training and it wasn’t I could see there was a flatness.
“They weren’t on strike. They didn’t train on Wednesday because I sent them home. They were back in on Thursday morning, bouncing and ready to go.”
Dunfermline have launched a share issue in a bid to raise between £300,000 and £500,000, a figure which appears optimistic given supporters’ scepticism over the stewardship of the club.
The Pars Supporters Trust yesterday requested an “urgent” meeting with directors and majority shareholder Gavin Masterton in an attempt to “obtain clarity and transparency on the club’s financial predicament” after splits within the fan base emerged over how best to help ease the Pars’ current problems.