Airdrie have new Mackay in the frame

DON Mackay is favourite to take over as manager of Airdrie following the sacking of Gary Mackay yesterday.

The former Dundee, Blackburn Rovers, Coventry City and Fulham manager is expected to be installed by Steve Archibald, who was given the go-aheadto start running the club yesterday.

Provisional liquidators KPMG released a statement confirming Archibald as their "preferred bidder" to take over the club, and said he had beenpermitted to start preparing for the new season while the deal is finalised.

But while Archibald wastaking his seat at the helm ofthe Shyberry Excelsior, the long-suffering Gary Mackay was busy clearing his desk. It had long been anticipated that he did not figure in Archibald’s plans, and when the manager missed a training session taken by Archibald last week, it became clear that his days werenumbered.

"I am naturally very disappointed, but not totallysurprised, that my contract as manager has been terminated," said Mackay last night.

"I have been 100 per cent committed to the club since my appointment. The financial difficulties in which the club had found itself have been well-documented and led to me having to work in extremely difficult, if not to say impossible,circumstances.

"I am proud of what I have achieved at Airdrie, in particular the youth policy."

Mackay made strenuousefforts to keep the team together in the five-and-a-half months since the club went into liquidation, even after the release of 27 players last month. Headmitted that KPMG had shown their appreciation, and that he hoped Archibald would show similar courtesy when discussing any potential pay-off.

He said: "[KPMG] have expressed that they have been extremely grateful with my efforts in extenuating circumstances.

"I trust that the new owners will deal with my contractual situation in an honourable manner."

Although yesterday’s announcement represented a milestone in the process for Archibald, full control willnot be handed to him for some time. "Until the offer byMr Archibald has been finalised, the joint provisional liquidators are stressing that any arrangements put in place by Mr Archibald or his company are his responsibility, and that they do not commit Airdrie Football Club, nor the provisional liquidators, to any liability," said yesterday’s statement.

"It will now take at least five weeks before the creditorsdecide whether or not to approve Mr Archibald’s offer."

However, KPMG remain confident that the former Scottish international striker’s bid will eventually secure the future of the Diamonds. "The conferral of preferred bidder status, and the creation of a management agreement, are important steps towards securing the futureof the club," added the provisional liquidators.

Dundee United haveappointed a new director.Donald Ridgeway, 57, a Dundee businessman, joins the Tannadice board with immediateeffect. "Don is a United man through and through and has been a great ambassador for this club over many years," said club chairman Jim McLean.

United have a friendly fixture away to Forfar tonight.

Motherwell face Enkoping tonight, hoping to repeat the heroics of their opening night display in Sweden, when they routed Balstra FF 6-0. Derek Adams scored twice, while Derek Townsley, Ged Brannan, John Davies and Kevin Twaddle were also on target.

St Mirren have agreed a two-year deal with defender Jamie McGowan, who was released by Motherwell earlier this year.