Dunfermline's players have have had wages deferred for a second consecutive month after receiving less than half of their November salary.

The squad were made to wait until the last week of last month before being paid the balance of their October wages following an initial payment of around just two-thirds of their cash.

In a meeting with the club owner Gavin Masterton on Monday, Dunfermline were told they would receive just 25% of November's money until the club could find the funds to bring players and staff up to date.

Loading article content

The manager Jim Jefferies revealed an unexpected second instalment, of an unspecified amount, was delivered ahead of schedule yesterday but the East End Park squad have not been told when they can expect the remainder of their pay.

Jefferies explained: "Gavin's been keeping us up to date and he came down on Monday to meet with the players. November was always going to be a difficult month but the boys got 25% of their wages and there was additional money went into their accounts on Tuesday. That was unexpected because Gavin said it would probably be a week to 10 days before they could make another payment.

"It's never ideal but we did know that these two months were going to be difficult ones for the club and the boys have been kept informed. He has assured us that everything will be up to date by the end of the month."

Dunfermline have blamed a combination of relegation from the SPL, which they say cost at least £1m, changes at boardroom level and a dearth of home matches for their cash-flow problems, and are confident they will return to an even keel by the turn of the year.

Directors have promised the balance of an £81,000 tax bill due to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs will be cleared by the end of this month, with a share of the revenue from Saturday's Scottish Cup tie with Partick Thistle and home matches this month against Hamilton and Falkirk, as well as the January 2 derby with Raith Rovers, all feeding their optimism.

However, players and staff are being made to suffer in the build-up to Christmas, a difficult time of year, especially for those with families.

It is understood there is growing frustration and disappointment within the squad which Jefferies insists is understandable.

"There's not a lot we can do about it. The players have been fantastic at a difficult time, they've got on with it and have gone out on to the pitch and delivered results, which is all they can do.

"None of us is happy with it, but we would have been a lot more unhappy if Gavin had not come down and explained things. Hopefully what he said is carried through and players and staff are paid up as soon as possible."