Kilmarnock mass clear-out not planned, says Lee Clark

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark
Lee Clark took charge of Kilmarnock in February

Kilmarnock would not have to follow Dundee United in having a mass clear-out should they be relegated, according to Rugby Park manager Lee Clark.

Clark's side face a play-off final against Falkirk or Hibernian to preserve their Scottish Premiership place after finishing second bottom.

"There won't be turmoil here," he said about the possibility of relegation.

"But, if the worse-case scenario was to happen, we've got structures to come back even stronger."

United told eight players they would not be offered new contracts and manager Mixu Paatelainen was sacked, replaced this week by Ray McKinnon.

Kilmarnock have already released midfielders Jamie Hamill and Scott Robinson, as well as defender Ross Barbour.

And demotion would put the Ayrshire club under even greater financial strain after what they themselves described as "unsustainable" £724,406 annual losses when they were announced last month.

'Leaner' squad

"That situation [cost-cutting] won't happen here," said Clark. "That was part of my negotiations with the club before I got here and why it took so long for things to get over the line.

"We've got systems and structures in place hopefully for us to stay in the league."

Jamie Hamill
Jamie Hamill's second spell with Kilmarnock has ended

Kilmarnock were already flirting with relegation when Clark was appointed in February to succeed Gary Locke.

"I was well aware that games were running out and what could happen, so we've acted accordingly and had conversations," he said.

"That doesn't mean we're being negative. It's being a realist."

Clark insists he will be Kilmarnock manager next season whatever the outcome of the play-off but admits that, no matter what happens in the final, he will have to slim his 27-man first-team squad.

"It will be leaner next year," added the former Birmingham City and Blackpool boss. "It's about quality over quantity."

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