Rangers visits would soften Pars’ relegation blow

THE administrator in charge of crisis-hit Dunfermline believes that prospective new owners of the club will not be discouraged by relegation to the Second Division – thanks to Rangers.

The Pars appear to be on the verge of dropping down a league after Wednesday night’s 3-0 defeat by Alloa Athletic in their play-off final at Recreation Park.

Only what would amount to a famous comeback in Sunday’s return leg at East End Park will now save the Fifers’ First Division status after they were plunged into a relegation battle following the deduction of 15 points for going into administration.

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A 6-1 second-leg victory over eight-man Forfar Athletic in the semi-final last Saturday was their emphatic response to a 3-1 first-leg deficit, but Jim Jefferies’ young outfit will find it more difficult against the Wasps this weekend.

It has been widely suggested that relegation could sound the death knell for Dunfermline as they battle to survive administration and the threat of liquidation brought on by debts of 
£8.5 million.

Experienced administrator Bryan Jackson has admitted the two home play-off ties have boosted his cashflow and the prospects of successfully negotiating the close-season month of June in advance of the aim of getting a company voluntary arrangement ahead of next term.

He reckons the presence of Rangers in the Second Division next term, which would bring in the extra income associated with two home games against the Ibrox club and the likely TV revenue, means interested parties will not be put off by an aggregate defeat by Alloa on Sunday.

He said: “If we win over the two legs that would probably change, psychologically, the mood, being in the First Division, and any funder coming in thinking ‘my income for next year might be better than being in the Second Division’.

“But then, in the Second Division, some people might take the view of how much is it going to affect us when we’ve got games against Rangers?

“Then, you’ve also got another factor, in what happens if reconstruction comes in before then? How does that affect the cash-flow for next season. It’s very fluid.”

Despite the financial boost of the extra play-off games and money from BBC Alba’s coverage of the final with Alloa, Jackson has again stressed the importance of supporters attending Sunday’s game in his efforts to keep Dunfermline alive.

He added: “Obviously, it’s a broken record, but the message is the usual one. The fans have been absolutely brilliant, the contributions have been more than we expected, but the reality is they genuinely need to keep on coming to save the club.”