Dunfermline Athletic's players nearly discovered theirs on Wednesday; a further delay to the payment of their November wages leaving the squad short on cash and patience. It was thought that the situation resulted in strike action on Wednesday but Jim Jefferies yesterday insisted that he had sent players home as they simply did not have it in them to train.
It had been a show of sympathy from the East End Park manager. The players had agreed to have part of last month's wages deferred as the club fought to meet outstanding bills but a series of deadlines had passed without the sum being paid in full. It had proven to be a test of both the players' patience and their ability to budget.
The club have announced that the remaining 63% of wages have now been paid up and that a payment plan for an outstanding bill to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs is also on track, with £50,000 paid on time. That is mainly down to fund raising from supporters' groups and revenue generated by a large attendance at last Saturday's home match with Hamilton Academical.
However, that only came after a number of players were sent home from the club's training base have been left dispirited by the club's continued failure to meet their own deadlines.
"The players have no intentions of going on strike," said Jefferies. "What happened on Wednesday was it sort of all came to a head, financially, because there had been three or four deadlines which the club had failed to meet for their salaries. The players would rather just be told when it's going to be there.
"They have been struggling over the last couple of months, at this time of year. They were down. For the third time they had been told the money was going to be in on Wednesday. When they turned up at training and it wasn't I could see there was a flatness. I sent them home.
"There were one or two boys who couldn't get in because they couldn't afford to and there were a couple who had permission to miss training, so there wasn't that many of them in anyway. But when I looked at them I thought 'I'm not going to get anything out of the session' because I could see they were down."
The financial problems have also prompted Dunfermline to launch a share issue in a bid to raise between £300,000 and £500,000. However, the Pars Supporters' Trust yesterday requested an meeting with directors and majority shareholder Gavin Masterton in an attempt to "obtain clarity and transparency on the club's financial predicament". Supporters Direct have been asked to liaise with the club's hierarchy.