Donald Findlay back in football at the helm of Cowdenbeath

DONALD Findlay, who was forced to resign as vice-chairman of Rangers in 1999 after he was filmed singing sectarian songs at a supporters function, last night returned to football when he was named the new chairman of Cowdenbeath.

• Picture: Neil Hanna

Findlay, a leading Scottish QC, was vice-chairman of Rangers when was filmed at a post-season party in Glasgow after his side won the 1999 Scottish Cup singing The Sash.

Findlay was forced to resign from the Ibrox board, stand down as rector of St Andrews University and was fined 3,500 by the Faculty of Advocates. He later admitted to contemplating suicide. He said at the time his "conduct was not acceptable" and added in his resignation letter: "I regret any harm done to the club I care about deeply. I apologise unreservedly for the offence caused to anyone. I will continue to be the Rangers supporter I am."

But after 11 years out of boardrooms in Scottish football, 59-year-old Findlay will return next season as chairman of his native Cowdenbeath. The Fife club, newly promoted to the First Division, have gained his support after months of turmoil which saw them fighting a battle for survival following two years of heavy financial losses.

The club's position was stabilised by promotion to the First Division and the active involvement of the Cowden Action Group of fans which led to last night's announcement of a new board of ten directors including five supporters' representatives.

A club spokesman said: "We are delighted to announce our new board of directors with the eminent Scottish QC Donald Findlay, who was brought up in Cowdenbeath, as chairman and prominent Edinburgh businessman John Lints as vice chairman."

He added: "The new business model will involve the talents and experience of club supporters working in partnership with the majority shareholders, Alex and David Brewster in preparation for the eventual community ownership of Cowdenbeath FC. The immediate and medium term existence of the club is assured but there is still much work to be done to secure its long term future."

The first task of the new board when it meets tonight will be to draw up a shortlist from 12 applications for their vacant manager's job following the departure of Danny Lennon to St Mirren.