Andrew Barrowman could be forgiven for feeling as though he has landed on his feet after being cut loose by Dunfermline Athletic, even if he is now standing on a trap door.
The striker was informed that he was one of seven first-team players to be made redundant at East End Park as a result of administration last week but has since agreed a short-term move to the Clydesdale Bank Premier League with Dundee.
That a seemingly fruitless battle against relegation is still a more stable situation than the one he left behind in Fife is telling. Barrowman was cut loose during a meeting last week with Bryan Jackson, the administrator who has taken charge at Dunfermline and was informed that it was unlikely he could be registered in time to sign for a new club. It seemed a low-blow for a player who was already winded by the severity of the situation in Fife, but his path into the dressing room at Dens Park was largely uncluttered.
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The striker was contacted by John Brown – Dundee's interim manager and a man who had coached a younger Barrowman at Rangers – and agreed terms. The move was then signed, sealed and delivered to Hampden with time to spare. It has been a similarly routine for the likes of Joe Cardle, Andy Dowie and Jordan McMillan, each of whom were released by Jackson last week.
It will seem like a small mercy for Barrowman. For the first time in weeks he is able to look ahead to games uninhibited by financial concerns – Dundee head to Kilmarnock on Saturday for the last fixture before the split – although the sharp pain of his redundancy will still take time to subside fully.
"Last week was the worst of my life. It was horrendous," said the forward, who previously played in the top flight with Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Kilmarnock and Dunfermline. "I have seen other clubs go into administration and you think to yourself 'that's terrible' but nothing prepares you for what it's like.
"We were told at the start of last week that we'd be going into administration. The next bit of news was that we faced brutal cuts. We were told that before the Falkirk game [a 2-0 defeat], which wasn't the best preparation. But that was nothing compared to Thursday when we were finally let go.
"Everyone was called into East End Park, Bryan Jackson spoke to us and explained the legal aspects of it. After that Jim Jefferies called out a list of names and that was the people who were being made redundant. It was horrible to hear your name being shouted out and my heart sank."
It very nearly skipped a beat when he answered his phone to Brown. "It's a huge relief because I thought there was no chance I'd get another club for this season because of the transfer deadline but then got the special dispensation from FIFA," he said.
"Dundee phoned on Friday night and I came up on Sunday to sign the papers. I had interest from elsewhere, including down in England, but I have decided to come here because I think it's the best move. I was a 15-year-old boy at Rangers when John was in charge of the youths. That was the last time I had spoken to him until we met up over the weekend, so I owe him for getting me back in."
The time for reminiscing will be short-lived since he has arrived at a Dundee side 14 points adrift and seemingly all at sea in terms of staying up. Brown hopes that his new striker will offer enough menace to keep his side going, though. "We've lacked a cutting edge," he said. "The other guys have had opportunities this season and not come up to the mark."