SCOTTISH football's game of managerial musical chairs hit a discordant note yesterday, when Tommy McLean became the manager of Dundee United just a week after returning to football to take charge of Raith Rovers.

The dramatic twist which saw McLean link up with brother and United chairman Jim McLean, at Tannadice - after they had sacked their manager - stunned Raith.

Club chairman Alex Penman said: ``We are all devastated.''

He said the move had taken the legs from under the club, adding: ``Tommy McLean said he would give 100% to the club but, unfortunately, these things happen in football.''

A spokeman for Raith Rovers supporters, Mr Fraser Hamilton, said it was a real slap in the face for the fans.

``I don't think many people will trust that man again after this. He has certainly lost a lot of respect and credibility as far as I'm concerned, it really is a disgraceful act.''

Referring to Tommy McLean's recent court dispute with Hearts, he added: ``As far as I know, he signed a three-year deal. It's unbelievable that a man who took a club to court for breaking a contract could have walked out on one himself.''

Mr Hamilton said he feared there could be trouble at Raith's next home game, which, ironically, is against Dundee United.

``I think there will have to be a few extra police at the game, because I'm sure tensions will be running high.''

Former Raith manager Jimmy Thomson, who was sacked last week, said: ``I've always said nothing would ever shock me in football but this is one of the craziest things I have ever seen in the game.''

Tommy McLean, who took up his Stark's Park role after being out of football for 14 months, left the ground with lawyer Jock Brown and appeared at Tannadice just a few minutes after Billy Kirkwood had been dismissed.

In charge of Raith for only one match - last weekend's 4-1 home defeat by Aberdeen - McLean admitted it had been a difficult decision to leave Stark's Park after such a short stay.

``I've had an agonising 24 hours dealing with this situation and, after much soul-searching, I reached the conclusion that for footballing and family reasons I could not pass up the opportunity to manage Dundee United.

``I have apologised to the board at Raith for the timing and feel that any damage to it has been minimised by my extremely short stay.''

Jim McLean said: ``We felt we needed someone with experience and a proven track record, and that is why we went for Tom.

``It is utter rubbish to suggest he is coming here because he is my brother. He will be given a period of time to prove himself, just like anyone else.''

He confirmed that United have agreed compensation with Raith for his brother's signature.