Scottish Premiership ins and outs - summer 2014

By Clive LindsayBBC Scotland Sport
Ryan Gauld
Ryan Gauld has been sold to Sporting Lisbon by Dundee United

Scottish Professional Football League chief executive Neil Doncaster's catchphrase is the business-school cliche "moving forward", but the top flight he leads is very much in reverse.

All four representatives suffered defeats of varying degrees of ignominy and bravery in their respective European competitions before the start of a domestic season that will kick off with nearly half the Scottish Premiership squads weaker than they were last season because of financial constraints that will be tightened further after Celtic were left as the only team standing via the consolation of the Europa League.

Dundee, the Championship title winners, have been particularly busy in the transfer market and they and fellow newcomers Hamilton Academical are likely to prove competitive on the field of play, but they will not match the departed Hearts and Hibernian in terms of box office.

Celtic's dealings in the transfer market have been as lacklustre as their performances in Champions League qualifying under new manager Ronny Deila, although the capture of Craig Gordon could prove to be a coup if the goalkeeper has truly fully recovered from long-term injury.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila
Ronny Deila has replaced Neil Lennon as manager of champions Celtic

The Scotland international's arrival paved the way for the sale of England's Fraser Forster.

Even if Celtic had not used the £10m paid by Southampton on recruiting in the loan market and adding striker Stefan Scepovic from Spain's second tier for £2.3m, a fourth title in a row is all but assured given that the Glasgow outfit won the Premiership by a massive 29 points last season.

The Premiership also continues to haemorrhage its best home grown talent. St Johnstone could pocket nearly £1m for Stevie May should the striker be a success at Sheffield Wednesday, while Dundee United gathered around £6m for youngsters Ryan Gauld and Andy Robertson.

United, though, along with Aberdeen, who tested Real Sociedad before exiting the Europa League, seem destined for a runners-up dogfight after some clever summer transfer manoeuvres arguably strengthened their squads.

A motley influx from England's bottom tiers along with a variety of European nomads continue to pour in and lack of early success once more for his players of many nations led to the departure of Ross County's Derek Adams.



Marquee signing: Securing a striker for free who once cost Blackburn Rovers £2m-plus from Dundee United - and who should still be in his prime - will be viewed as a smart piece of business for Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. However, David Goodwillie's six goals in 22 games back on loan at Tannadice last season, followed by three in 13 for Blackpool, is hardly going to strike fear into Scottish Premiership defences. At 25, the often-troubled, thrice-capped Scot must know his second chances at the big time are running out.

Key arrival: Jeffrey Monakana made an instant impression on joining Preston North End after graduating from Arsenal's youth system. However, six months into an 18-month deal with Brighton, the flying English winger has been farmed out to Pittodrie, where the 20-year-old will hope to shine in red as much as former youth team-mate Jack Wilshire has at the Emirates.

One that got away: Before turning his attention to David Goodwillie, Derek McInnes wisely targeted Kris Boyd, who had revived his career in a second spell at Kilmarnock that led to 26 goals in 42 games and a recall to the Scotland set-up. However, whether the 30-year-old's decision was financial or emotional, the Dons could not compete with the lure of a return to Rangers, despite the Ibrox side's second-tier status.

Last season: 3rd

Prediction: 2nd. While Derek McInnes has been unable to add sufficiently to his squad to mount a serious title challenge, he has been able to retain his squad - unlike most of the Dons' rivals for the runners-up spot - while ditching the also-rans.

In: David Goodwillie, forward (Blackburn Rovers); Scott Brown, goalkeeper (Cheltenham Town); Ash Taylor, defender (Tranmere Rovers); Shaleum Logan, defender (Brentford). Loan: Jeffrey Monakana, midfielder (Brighton & Hove Albion).

Out: Josh Magennis, forward (Kilmarnock); Scott Vernon, forward (Shrewsbury Town); Calvin Zola, forward (Stevenage); Nicky Weaver, goalkeeper; Craig Burns, goalkeeper; Scott Rumsby, defender (Stranraer); Matthew McMahon, midfielder; Alan O'Sullivan, forward. Loan: Danny Rogers, goalkeeper (Dumbarton); Declan McManus, forward (Greenock Morton); Jamie Masson, midfielder (Brechin City); Joe Shaughnessy, defender (Falkirk). Loan ended: Alan Tate, defender (Swansea City)



Marquee signing: Beating the closure of the summer transfer window by a matter of minutes, new manager Ronny Deila at last managed to spend some serious money and will hope that Stefan Scepovic resolves a perceived problem on the striking front. The 24-year-old Serb has Europa League experience behind with Partizan and will repay a fair amount of the £2.3m fee should he match the 23 goals in 41 game strike rate he achieved with Sporting Gijon last season. However, that was in Spain's second tier and Scepovic remains a gamble.

Key arrival: Craig Gordon could save Celtic millions of pounds should he prove that he has fully recovered from the injury that kept him out of football for two years. Not just because the former Scotland, Hearts and Sunderland goalkeeper has talent but because it gives Celtic some peace of mind should they receive an offer they feel they cannot refuse for England World Cup squad man Fraser Forster.

One that got away: Whether he was not wanted any more (as he himself claims), a new contract was deemed too expensive (one suspects), or he was not keen to stay (as Celtic seem to hint), Georgios Samaras' six-year spell in Glasgow came to an untidy end. While he looks for a new club after impressing for Greece at the World Cup finals, Celtic have struggled on the European stage on which the forward who split many opinions so often proved their inspiration.

Last season: 1st

Prediction: 1st. Celtic could afford to keep the legendary biscuit tin closed and still win the title.

In: Ronny Deila, manager (Stromsgodset); John Collins, assistant manager; Stefan Scepovic, forward (Sporting Gijon, £2.3m); Craig Gordon, goalkeeper (unattached); Loan: Jo Inge Berget, striker (Cardiff City); Aleksander Tonev, midfielder (Aston Villa); Jason Denayer, defender (Manchester City); Wakaso Mubarak, midfielder (Rubin Kazan), John Guidetti, forward (Manchester City).

Out: Neil Lennon, manager; Johan Mjallby, assistant manager; Fraser Forster, goalkeeper (Southampton, £10m) Georgios Samaras, forward; Tony Watt, striker (Standard Liege, undisclosed); Denny Johnstone, striker (Birmingham City, undisclosed); Lewis Kidd, defender (Queen of the South); Paul Slane, midfielder (Ayr United); Michael Miller, defender (Greenock Morton); Jack Kirwan, midfielder (Airdrieonians); Patrik Twardzik, midfielder; Patrick McNally, defender. Loan: Dylan McGeouch, midfielder (Hibernian), Holmbert Fridjonsson, forward (Brondby); Jackson Irvine, midfielder (Ross County); Teemu Pukki, forward (Brondby); Amido Balde, forward (Beveren); Marcus Fraser, defender (Cowdenbeath); Aidan McIlduff, defender (Clyde).



Marquee signing: Having twice commanded a £2m transfer fee, once to Rangers then to Middlesbrough, Kevin Thomson ought to be the stand-out summer signing for promoted Dundee, especially as he is still only 29. However, two serious knee injuries earlier in his career have diminished his midfield presence and his second spell with Hibernian led to frustrating spells on the bench and ended in the despair of relegation.

Key arrival: German duo Thomas Konrad, previously of Eintracht Trier, and Luka Tankulic, Wolfsburg II, have been plucked from their homeland's regional leagues. But, with defender Konrad's starring role in a pre-season win over Manchester City and striker Tankulic's competitive debut goal against Peterhead, they could prove to be astute additions to Dundee's squad.

One that got away: Paul Hartley showed himself to be no respecter of reputations as he wielded the axe on some well-known faces he believed were expensive luxuries. However, goalkeeper Dan Twardzik did enough on loan to Motherwell to convince the Fir Park club to offer him a permanent deal after his Dens Park exit.

Last season: Championship title

Prediction: 8th. Paul Hartley received much media hype for leading Alloa Athletic to successive promotions and followed that up by finishing the job started by John Brown at Dens Park and winning the Championship, if only on the final day of the season. His reshaping of a title-winning squad shows he has a ruthless streak that could ensure they avoid relegation.

In: Gerry McCabe, assistant manager (Queen of the South); Kevin Thomson, midfielder (Hibernian); James McPake, defender (Hibernian); Simon Ferry, midfielder (Portsmouth); Gary Harkins, midfielder (St Mirren); Paul McGowan, midfielder (St Mirren); Thomas Konrad, defender (Eintracht Trier); Luka Tankulic, forward (Wolfsburg II); Paul McGinn, defender (Dumbarton); Greg Stewart, forward (Cowdenbeath); Philip Roberts, forward (Falkirk); Scott Bain, goalkeeper (Alloa Athletic); Grant Adam, goalkeeper (Airdrieonians); Dylan Carreiro, midfielder (Queens Park Rangers), David Clarkson, forward (Bristol Rovers).

Out: Dan Twardzik, goalkeeper (Motherwell); Christian Nade, forward (Raith Rovers); Gavin Rae, midfielder (Hakoah Sydney City); Craig Beattie, forward (Zebbug Rangers); Declan Gallagher, defender (Livingston); Ryan Conroy, midfielder (Raith Rovers); John Gibson, goalkeeper (Alloa Athletic); Steven Doris, forward (Stirling Albion); Stephen O'Donnnell, midfielder (Clyde); Stephen Hughes, midfielder; Matt Lockwood, defender; Sean Bonnett-Johnson, midfielder; Leighton McIntosh, forward; Grant Adam, goalkeeper. Loan: Jamie Reid, midfielder (Stenhousemuir); Kyle Benedictus, defender (Alloa Athletic); Dylan Carreiro, midfielder (Arbroath). Loan ended: Adam Cummings, defender (Motherwell).

Dundee United

Dundee United

Marquee signing: Cash from big-money summer player sales allowed manager Jackie McNamara to pay an undisclosed fee for Poland Under-21 cap Michal Szromnik. McNamara expects the 21-year-old, previously with Arka Gydnia in the goalkeeper's home top flight, to challenge compatriot Radoslaw Cierzniak for the number one jersey.

Key arrival: United will be hopeful that Jaroslaw Fojut can regain the form that led the central defender to sign a pre-contract agreement to join Celtic in January 2012. Unfortunately for the Pole, that deal fell through because of a cruciate ligament injury and the 26-year-old subsequently joined Tromso only to be released after a year following their relegation from the Norwegian top flight.

One that got away: While "mini-Messi" Ryan Gauld's sale to Sporting Lisbon caught the headlines, the 18-year-old's latter-season form suggests that he might not be a major loss in the short term. Andrew Robertson's transfer to Hull City will be more keenly felt unless Conor Townsend, who has made the opposite journey after spending last season on loan with Carlisle United as they were relegated from League One, can emulate left wing-back raids from the 20-year-old that provided much of United's goal threat.

Last season: 4th

Prediction: 3rd. Greater financial stability, combined with an influx of cash generated through sales of emerging talent, should allow Jackie McNamara to continue United's steady progress and perhaps challenge Aberdeen for the runners-up spot.

In: Michal Szromnik, goalkeeper (Arka Gydnia, undisclosed); Mario Bilate, forward (Sparta Rotterdam); Jaroslaw Fojut, defender (Tromso); Callum Morris, defender (Dunfermline Athletic); Charlie Telfer, midfielder (Rangers, compensation); Blair Spittal, midfielder (Queen's Park). Loan: Conor Townsend, defender (Hull City).

Out: Andrew Robertson, defender (Hull City, £2.85m); Ryan Gauld, midfielder (Sporting Lisbon, £3m); Gavin Gunning, defender (Birmingham City); Morgaro Gomis, midfielder (Hearts); Dale Hilson, forward (Forfar Athletic); Mark Millar, midfielder (Peterhead); Ross Gilmour, defender (East Stirlingshire); Jordan Allan, forward (Greenock Morton); Mark Russell, midfielder; Phil Anderson, defender; Luke Johnston, defender. Loan: Kudus Oyenuga, forward (Cowdenbeath); Michael Gardyne, forward (Ross County); Brian Graham, forward (St Johnstone). Loan ended: Farid El Alagui, forward (Brentford - Hibernian).

Hamilton Academical

Hamilton Academical

Marquee signing: Hamilton will view it is a bit of a coup that Danny Redmond turned down a new contract with Wigan Athletic to return to New Douglas Park, where he spent time on loan in 2012. The 23-year-old will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season, when he suffered relegation while on loan to Carlisle United in England's League One.

Key arrival: Dougie Imrie has been rescued from the despair of relegation from the Scottish Championship with Greenock Morton and given a second chance with Accies in the top flight. The 31-year-old's experience is already proving invaluable in helping the young squad at New Douglas Park cope with Premiership pressures.

One that got away: Goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert, who subsequently joined Championship outfit Raith Rovers, failed to agree terms on a new contract despite his play-off final penalty shoot-out heroics. Accies boss Alex Neil will expect Michael McGovern, who has had previous top-flight experience while on the books of Celtic and Dundee United before joining Falkirk, to be an equally able replacement.

Last season: Championship runners-up

Prediction: 12th. Hamilton were only beaten to the Championship title on the final day of the season. However, their play-off victory came against a demoralised Hibernian and, without strengthening further, they will find it tougher against some battle-hardened opponents in the relegation zone.

In: Dougie Imrie, forward (Morton); Michael McGovern, goalkeeper (Falkirk); Danny Redmond, midfielder (Wigan Athletic); Darren Hill, goalkeeper (Forfar Athletic, undisclosed); Kieran MacDonald, defender (Clyde); Jack Simpson, midfielder (Hearts).

Out: James Keatings, forward (Hearts); Kevin Cuthbert, goalkeeper (Raith Rovers); Lee Kilday, defender (Greenock Morton); Craig Johnston, forward. Loan: Aldin El Zubaidi, defender (Arbroath); Kieran MacDonald, defender (Dumbarton). Loan ended: Paul George, midfielder (Celtic).

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Marquee signing: Ryan Baptie thought he was close to making his first-team breakthrough with Hibernian but instead found himself part of the fallout from the Edinburgh club's relegation. Now the 19-year-old is Caley Thistle's only summer addition and has to compete at left-back with the much-praised Graeme Shinnie - unless, of course, Baptie's arrival is insurance in case of a summer sale.

Key arrival: Manager John Hughes has been true to his post-summer word - that there would be no signings ahead of the new season as he concentrated on retaining his present squad.

One that got away: Money has obviously been conspicuous by its absence at Caledonian Stadium, with John Hughes denied the heavy turnaround of players permitted for predecessor Terry Butcher.

Last season: 5th

Prediction: 7th. Without the luxury of overhauling a squad he largely inherited from Terry Butcher, John Hughes will be hoping that his players not only adapt better to his passing philosophy but that familiarity, continuity and their famed team spirit can set Caley Thistle apart from their rivals.

In: Lewis Horner, midfielder (Blyth Spartans); Ryan Baptie, defender (Hibernian).

Out: Conor Pepper, midfielder (Greenock Morton); Matthew Cooper, defender (Elgin City).



Marquee signing: Mark Connolly's career has failed to live up to the big-money billing since he was sold to Bolton Wanderers by Wolves for £1m in 2009. So much so that the defender was released by League One outfit Crawley Town in the summer. Now the 22-year-old Irishman has been given a second chance to shine in Scotland's top flight after a brief loan spell with St Johnstone in 2010.

Key arrival: Jamie Hamill has returned to Rugby Park a more experienced and wiser player after a three-year spell with Hearts that ended as cuts were made when they changed ownership and came out of administration. The 28-year-old utility man's leadership qualities will be vital as he aims to avoid a second relegation in a row.

One that got away: Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston is left with the unenviable task of replacing a striker who scored 22 goals in 37 appearances last season after Kris Boyd rejected a new contract and took a step down a division to join Rangers.

Last season: 9th

Prediction: 10th. Allan Johnston has not been a universally popular choice among Kilmarnock fans and could be the first Premiership manager under pressure unless summer signing Lee Miller proves to be a suitable replacement for Kris Boyd.

In: Gary Locke, assistant manager (Hearts); Josh Magennis, forward (Aberdeen); Jamie Hamill, midfielder (Hearts); Paul Cairney, midfielder (Hibernian); Mark Connolly, defender (Crawley Town); Lee Miller, forward (Carlisle United); Tope Obadeyi, midfielder (Bury), Euan Smith, midfielder (Hibernian); Chris Chantler, defender (Carlisle United); Michael Ngoo, forward (Kilmarnock), Darryl Westlake, defender (Sheffield Untied).

Out: Sandy Clark, assistant manager; Kris Boyd, forward (Rangers); Jeroen Tesselaar, defender (St Mirren); Antonio Reguero, goalkeeper (Ross County); James Fowler, defender-coach (Queen of the South); Sean Clohessy, defender (Colchester United); Willie Gros, forward (Oldham Athletic); Darren Barr, defender (Ross County); Rory McKeown, defender (Raith Rovers); Barry Nicholson, midfielder; Ismael Bouzid, defender. Loan: Euan Smith, midfielder (Clyde). Loan ended: Jackson Irvine, midfielder (Celtic); Michael Gardyne, forward (Dundee United); David Moberg Karlsson, (Sunderland); Vitalijs Maksimenko, defender (Brighton & Hove Albion).



Marquee signing: Lionel Ainsworth was a big hit at Fir Park on loan last season. The 26-year-old English winger had other offers after his Rotherham United contract expired but has opted to return to the club for whom he scored a healthy 11 goals last term.

Key arrival: Josh Law, the 24-year-old younger brother of Rangers midfielder Nicky has already made his mark with a couple of Europa League goals. However, for a player plucked from Conference club Alfreton Town to be Motherwell's only completely fresh addition to their squad shows just how limited the budget available to manager Stuart McCall is.

One that got away: Former Scotland striker James McFadden, yet to find a new club, had proved to be an expensive luxury - if not a spent force - and it is English defender Shaun Hutchinson who will prove to be a greater loss after the 23-year-old's growing reputation won him a move to Fulham.

Last season: 2nd

Prediction: 4th. Stuart McCall will find it difficult to defy the financial odds again and lead Motherwell to a third successive runners-up finish.

In: Dan Twardzik, goalkeeper (Dundee); Josh Law, midfielder (Alfreton Town); Lionel Ainsworth, midfielder (Rotherham United). Loan: Henrik Ojamaa, forward (Legia Warsaw); Mark O'Brien, defender (Derby County)

Out: James McFadden, forward; Shaun Hutchinson, defender (Fulham); Henri Anier, forward (Erzgebirge Aue, undisclosed); Adam Asghar, midfielder (Alloa Athletic); Lee Hollis, goalkeeper (Hearts); Euan Murray, defender (Clyde). Loan ended: Lionel Ainsworth, midfielder (Rotherham United).

Partick Thistle

Partick Thistle

Marquee signing: Abdul Osman's first venture in Scotland's top flight ended unhappily as Gretna not only finished bottom but went out of business. Now the 27-year-old English midfielder returns after spells with Northampton Town, Kerkyra in the Greek Superleague and Crewe Alexandra in League One.

Key arrival: Ryan Stevenson survived Hearts' financial meltdown only to be spat out just as the club burst clear of administration under a new owner. Thistle manager Alan Archibald will hope that being free of the off-field pressures at Tynecastle will allow the 29-year-old midfielder a return to the form that led to a brief move to Ipswich Town in 2012.

One that got away: It is typical of Scottish football that, just as a player stands out from the crowd, his head is sought by English bargain hunters. And so Wigan Athletic continued their romance with Scottish talent by snapping up 23-year-old left-back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

Last season: 10th

Prediction: 11th. Thistle have a thinner first-team squad this season and could struggle up front without the goalscoring threat of on-loan Sheffield United striker Lyle Taylor, who has moved on to Scunthorpe United.

In: Ryan Stevenson, midfielder (Hearts); Abdul Osman, midfielder (Crewe Alexandra); Danny Seaborne, defender (Coventry City); Ben Richards-Everton, defender (Tamworth), Nathan Eccleston, forward (Blackpool). Loan: Jake Carroll, defender (Huddersfield Town).

Out: Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, defender (Wigan Athletic); Isaac Osbourne, midfielder (St Mirren); Darren Brownlie, defender (Cowdenbeath); Lee Mair, defender (Dumbarton); Ross Meechan, defender (Stenhousemuir); Caolan McAleer, midfielder (East Fife); Mark McGuigan, forward (Partick Thistle); Gabriel Piccolo, defender; Jamie Hamilton, midfielder; Anthony McGuigan, defender; Ross Meechan, defender. Loan: Ryan Scully, goalkeeper (Dunfermline Athletic); Ben Richards-Everton, defender (Airdrieonians); Chris Duggan, forward (Queen's Park). Loan ended: Prince Buaben, midfielder (Carlisle United); Chris Erskine, midfielder (Dundee United); George Moncur, midfielder (West Ham United); Lyle Taylor, forward (Sheffield United).

Ross County

Ross County

Marquee signing: Liam Boyce had a trial for Celtic before heading to Werder Bremen. Although the striker only managed to make the German club's second team, he has since helped Cliftonville win the league title in his native Northern Ireland and earned four international caps.

Key arrival: Among manager Derek Adams' traditionally long list of "foreign" imports, there are potential gems, such as 25-year-old left-back Uros Celcer, who won a move to Parma after impressing with Slovenian top-flight outfit Gorica, and 22-year-old English striker Jake Jervis, who scored four goals in 15 appearances for Portsmouth last year and had a spell with Elazigspor in Turkey's top flight. But the best bit of business was to secure the loan return of midfielder Filip Kiss, the classy Cardiff City midfielder whose exploits in Dingwall last season led to a call-up to the Slovakia national side.

One that got away: Along with compatriot Filip Kiss, left-back Erik Cikos, who was on loan from Slovan Bratislava, not only helped lift County out of relegation trouble in the second half of last season but earned himself an international call-up for Slovakia.

Last season: 7th

Prediction: 6th. That prediction was made before an awful start to the season led to departure of manager Derek Adams. His successor will need to quickly blend a squad of many nationalities into a fighting unit if they are to live up to my pre-season billing.

In: Jim McIntyre, manager (Queen of the South);Uros Celcer, defender (Parma); Jordi Balk, defender (Utrecht), Tim Dreesen, defender (Fortuna Sittard), Ben Frempah, midfielder (Leicester City); Liam Boyce, forward (Cliftonville); Joe Cardle, midfielder (Raith Rovers); Jake Jervis, forward (Portsmouth); Antonio Reguero, goalkeeper (Kilmarnock); James Fenlon, defender (AFC Wimbledon); Rosario Latouchent, midfielder (Caen II); Darren Barr, defender (Kilmarnock). Loan: Filip Kiss, midfielder (Cardiff); Michael Gardyne, forward (Dundee United); Jackson Irvine, midfielder (Celtic).

Out: Derek Adams, manager;Neale Cooper, assistant manager; Ben Gordon, defender (Colchester United); Alex Cooper, defender (Falkirk); Gary Glen, forward (Livingston); Michael Fraser, goalkeeper (Elgin City); Evangelos Oikonomou, defender (Doxa Katokopias); Brian McLean, defender; Gordon Finlayson, defender (Elgin City). Loan ended: Yann Songo'o, defender (Blackburn Rovers); Jordan Slew, forward (Blackburn Rovers); Erik Cikos, defender (Slovan Bratislava); Michael Tidser, midfielder (Rotherham United).

St Johnstone

St Johnstone

Marquee signing: Simon Lappin will add experience to the Saints midfield, and can also be back-up at left-back, although his lack of first-team action while with Cardiff City may be a concern.

Key arrival: Brian Graham will hope to unleash his frustrations of being a bench man with Premiership rivals Dundee United after the former Raith Rovers striker switched to McDiarmid Park on loan.

One that got away: The long saga of interest in Scotland Under-21 striker Stevie May came to a close, with the 21-year-old choosing Sheffield Wednesday ahead of Rotherham United. Cash from the sale might fill a financial hole, but how will Saints fill the void created by someone capable of 27 goals from 49 appearances last season?

Last season: 6th

Prediction: 5th. Saints will remain stuffy and hard to beat, but with a thinner squad than last season and the potential sale of talisman Stevie May, they are unlikely to be able to improve much on last season's finish.

In: Loan: Simon Lappin, midfielder (Cardiff City); Adam Morgan, forward (Yeovil Town); Brian Graham, forward (Dundee United).

Out: Stevie May, striker (Sheffield Wednesday, £800,000); Nigel Hasselbaink, forward (Veria); Paddy Cregg, midfielder; Tim Clancy, defender; Chris Iwelumo, forward (Chester); Scott Gray, midfielder (Airdrieonians); Andrew Steeves, defender (Forfar Athletic); Kieran Stewart, midfielder (Arbroath). Loan: Zander Clark, goalkeeper (Queen of the South); Chris Kane, forward (Dumbarton). Loan ended: James Dunne, midfielder (Stevenage); Mark Davies, midfielder (Nottingham Forest).

St Mirren

St Mirren

Marquee signing: The son of former England winger Brian, James Marwood's 14 goals last season took Gateshead to the Conference Premier play-offs. At 24, he at last has the chance to prove he can score at a higher level.

Key arrival: Callum Ball's nine goals in 69 appearances does not suggest the Buddies have a prolific scorer. However, the 21-year-old released by Derby County after spells on loan with Coventry City, Torquay United and Notts County won a contract after banging them in during pre-season.

One that got away: Scotland's top flight lost one of its most impressive central defenders - and he maybe lost the chance of an international call-up - when Darren McGregor chose to join Rangers.

Last season: 8th

Prediction: 9th. Tommy Craig was a surprise choice to replace the axed Danny Lennon considering the former assistant was part of a regime criticised by some of their own players. The veteran manager will have a battle on his hands to unite the dressing-room and satisfy a sceptical support.

In: Jeroen Tesselaar, defender (Kilmarnock); James Marwood, forward (Gateshead); Mark Ridgers, goalkeeper (Hearts); Ross Caldwell, forward (Hibernian), Callum Ball, forward (Derby County); Isaac Osbourne, midfielder (Partick Thistle). Loan: Ellis Plummer, defender (Manchester City), Adam Drury, midfielder (Manchester City)

Out: Danny Lennon, manager; Eric Djemba-Djemba, midfielder; Darren McGregor, defender (Rangers); Paul McGowan, midfielder (Dundee); Gary Harkins, midfielder (Dundee); David van Zanten, defender (Dumbarton); Kieran Hughes, goalkeeper (Albion Robers); Chris Dilo, goalkeeper. Loan: Declan Hughes, midfielder (Cowdenbeath). Loan ended: Conor Newton, midfielder (Newcastle United - Rotherham); Josh Magennis, forward (Aberdeen - Kilmarnock); Adam Campbell, forward (Newcastle United).