Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Friday

Friday, 29th Mar 2013

29/03/13: JJ- "The problem at the Club is off the pitch and we need t

Jim Jefferies staring the face of reality

Jim Jefferies was in no doubt that Thursday 28th March was his worst day ever in football management:-

"I have never experienced administration before and do not know what happens. The Administrator's staff were very good in helping the players. They could not relate the names to who the players are and asked me to pick them out for them. That's all I had to do, I didn't need to read out the names in front of them, I had to go over and say look 'you are wanted to speak to them'. It was about me being able to identify who the girl wanted. She took them away into a separate room where she had the paperwork all ready for them to do.

"After we said our goodbyes and the boys disappeared I had to get the boys together in a small room and make the rallying call for tomorrow's training and they have taken that on board, come in this morning and they have to get on with it. They will never lose these boys as friends and anybody that has been working around here knows that these boys have been nothing but helpful. They are a real credit. Sometimes at a football club it is hard to get players to do things but they had a great spirit amongst them that helped them a lot. Its a shame but nothing surprises you in football."

Andy Geggan and Jordan McMillan leaving administrator's meeting

The Pars boss has consequently lost the majority of his defence just a day before he has to field a team to take on third placed Livingston at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium. Referring to the axing by the administrator of Paul Gallacher, Jordan McMillan, Stephen Jordan and Andy Dowie he discussed how he felt when he spoke to the media on Friday:-

"I have lost four of my back five but Kerr Young came in on Wednesday, John Potter can play in the team there and he is experienced. If Callum Morris is fit then obviously that would help but it could be a young defensive partnership that could nurture into being a very good one. It will take time for them to develop together and we will certainly have two young players at full back as well, one maybe not playing in his favoured position as well.

"No disrespect to the players who have left, the young boys have to get on with it now. It is an opportunity for them and we saw a young boy (Kerr Young) come in against Falkirk to play extremely well on his debut and we have to look at that and ask 'can the others step up and do as well as that'? If that is the case then at least on the pitch the Club can look forward to having a bit of a bright future.

"Certainly things have not been bright off the pitch lately and yesterday it all came to a head with boys leaving. When you look at the boys who played with them they will be wanting to do it for them as well. I just hope that these lads get fixed up very quickly because they deserve to be."


Jefferies recalled that going with youth had been the policy right from the start of this season and the U20 squad had been introduced into first team training when elsewhere that might not have gone down too well:-

"Sometimes experienced players can get a little frustrated by that but these boys conducted themselves well, bought into it and helped those young lads. They know that they have played a big part in those young players coming through In some of these training sessions they never got on their backs like I have seen happen at other clubs. Now we have to move on with that."

Jim didn't want to lose any players but accepted that he had to work with the Administrator Bryan Jackson:-

"He did it very informatively with the back up team who told them what they could and could not do. There was no delay and he and his team were a good team. It was not nice but there was no point in coming in this morning feeling sorry. We have all agreed in our own ways to take certain cuts and stay on until the end of the season and try and help the boys through it. In adversity there is always some light at the end of the tunnel, these boys have to grasp the opportunity to try keep Dunfermline. It is about staying alive and then staying in the league."

The Manager confirmed his commitment to the Club

"I have said all along that if things are going right I would sit down at the end of the season and decide if I still had the buzz to do it. Right now I would not change that, irrespective of the situation. I have tried to help the Club by taking a cut like others have done and hopefully we can get through this. At the end of the season I can sit down, find out what position the Club is in and if I hear the right things then I might have the desire to build further. We have actually taken on something that has been a great success - the Under 20s in a cup final and doing well in a league with 12 Premier League teams in it, five or six of them into the first team. It has been great on the pitch but the first team has been derailed because of all the antics off the pitch. We could have had a fantastic season; the problem at the Club is off the pitch and we need to sort that out."

The Manager clarified the situation when some players had offered to stay and play for nothing:-

"When you are made redundant you are made aware of what you can get paid from the government that needs to be accompanied with an official redundancy letter. It is like cancelling their contract so that they couldn't play because you need to be a registered player to play. Yes you could play for nothing but you would also give up the rights you have to benefits. It was a good gesture that some of the players had."

Players arrive at East End Park
Dunfermline Athletic players arriving for meeting with administrator

JJ felt that the players who left were all capable of holding down good contracts at other clubs adding:-

"I just hope that they have the time to complete a move. It is all about how FIFA view it.  Fraser Wishart and the league will give it very top priority, the problem is it depends on how quick somebody in Switzerland reacts.

"A lot of clubs have asked about the players position and there is quite a big interest in our players. They have not gone because we don't want them, they would be in the team tomorrow if they were here. They have gone because of the state of this football club, they were the higher earners and they have been the victims.

"Consider that they knew this before the game on Wednesday, a game that had to go ahead for financial reasons, that shouldn't have gone ahead at all. Players were reading on a website that there would be 'brutal' cuts tomorrow, they are quite intelligent and they would have known what the score was. To ask them to go out there and play the way they did. They gave their all and for me it was a pretty even first half in which we had the best chance of the game. At 1-0 we were well in the game, ok there weren't many chances at both ends but with possession we were the most dominant. I think it looked more like 1-1 than 2-0.

"To even be like that knowing that they were going to come in the next morning and maybe go, speaks volumes for their belief and willpower. They wanted to play and didn't do what they did against Partick Thistle, they didn't let it affect them. They learned their lesson from the Partick Thistle game and knew that wasn't the right way to go about things."

Jim Jefferies still does not know what the punishment will be from the Scottish Football League for the Club going into Interim Administration but is well aware that the gap between them in fourth and Cowdenbeath in ninth is just 12 points.

"We could be in a crazy situation where we are playing for a win tomorrow to take us above Livingston but then the following week we could be playing in a relegation battle if we are hard hit. We just have to accept what comes and get on with it. Whether these players make mistakes through being young and naive and inexperienced, they are not short of enthusiasm. These lads will try and make up for the loss of knowhow and knowledge of the game that the experienced boys had by making up for it in sheer effort and determination to see the Club through it."


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