Dunfermline Athletic: John Potter axed as manager

John Potter
John Potter took charge at East End Park in December

Dunfermline Athletic have announced they are seeking a new manager, with John Potter stepping down to his former role as head coach.

Assistant Neil McCann is leaving the Fife club with the side sitting seventh and missing out on the promotion play-offs in Scotland's League One.

"The board has been forced to the conclusion that changes need to be made," the club said on their website.

"It has unfortunately not worked out for John in the way we had all hoped."

Potter had taken over in December after the resignation of Jim Jefferies, the 35-year-old former Celtic, Clyde, Dunfermline and St Mirren defender having been groomed as his successor.

The club said that former Scotland, Dundee, Hearts, Rangers, Southampton, Falkirk winger McCann had "decided it would be best for both parties if he moved on".

"The process of looking for a new manager starts now and we will immediately advertise for applications in the hope of making an appointment within three to four weeks," Dunfermline said.

"We believe that it is very important that the new manager should have experience of having successfully operated in the SPFL lower leagues."

Jim Jefferies and Neil McCann
Jim Jefferies and Neil McCann have both now left East End Park

Dunfermline, who became a community-owned club in 2013 following administration, have also appealed to their supporters for further financial help as they are forced into making more cuts as a result of missing out on a return to the Championship.

The Pars, relegated last season after losing a play-off against neighbours Cowdenbeath, started the season as one of the promotion favourites, being one of only two clubs with a full-time playing staff.

"The board recognised that only by returning to the Championship could DAFC remain as a full-time football club on anything other than a short term basis," they recalled.

"So substantial investments were made in the playing pool at the start of the season at the request of the manager to increase our chance of success.

"We will continue to operate next season with a core of full-time first-team players, with potentially some part-time players, although the practicalities of this will be discussed with the new manager."

Dunfermline presently have 24 first-team players and 11 academy players and this will be reduced next season to 18-20 first team players, with "about eight" under-19 players.

The club has 10 first-team players and five under-19 players under contract for next season.

Dunfermline anticipate a trading loss of £250,000 for the year to the end of May.

"Clearly, our club simply cannot afford to invest in the playing squad at the same level next season," they added.