DUNFERMLINE have announced that chairman Ross McArthur is to stand down from the board after being subjected to ‘abhorrent’ personal abuse and attacks from supporters.

McArthur, who has been working for the club entirely on a voluntary basis since May 2014, will depart the role at the end of the season.

Dunfermline supporter McArthur was recently targeted by angry fans over the board’s decision to stand any under-fire manager Peter Grant, who was subsequently sacked on Sunday.

The club even made a statement at the start of last month to state that abuse levelled at the likes of McArthur was unacceptable.

McArthur was involved in the Pars United community group that took the Fife outfit out of administration in 2013 and oversaw the club’s sale to German investors in July.

A Dunfermline statement announcing McArthur’s intention to step down read: “DAFC chairman Ross McArthur has announced that he will be standing down from the DAFC Board at the end of the current season.

“Ross has been a member of the Board since May 2014 and was very much the driving force of the Pars United movement for well over a year before that.

“Ross has worked tirelessly, and on a wholly voluntary basis, for the club over the whole of that period. 

“Everyone on the DAFC Board is disappointed at Ross’s decision, which he made a few weeks ago, but fully understands why he wishes to stand down following abhorrent personal abuse and attacks to which he was subjected.

“Following the period in administration, under Ross’s guiding hand the club has, amongst other things: rebuilt its previously tarnished reputation within Scottish football; stabilised its finances; improved its accounting, compliance and management systems and controls; achieved promotion to the Championship; made significant improvements to East End Park and more recently navigated its way through the complicated Covid-19 protocols. 

“It was Ross who saw the necessity, and drove the process, to attract additional investment into the club, without which the club’s longer-term future could well have been uncertain. 

“He has also, and at great personal expense in terms of time and effort, represented the Championship clubs on the SPFL Board.”

Despite the team currently being rooted to the bottom of the Championship, Dunfermline made it clear that McArthur will leave the club on firm foundations behind the scenes.

The statement added: “Even though Ross will continue for the remainder of the season, the board would like now to place on record our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Ross for all that he has done for the club.

“Ross’s decision comes at a time when the club is on the brink of several, very important club infrastructure developments each of which, with the continued support of our new investors, is expected to crystallise before he stands down and which would never have been possible without his tireless efforts to make them happen. 

“These will very much improve the longer-term future prospects of our club, on and off the pitch. 

“So, when Ross stands down in May, the club will be in a very much stronger position than the club which came out of administration in December 2013. 

“Everyone associated with the club owes Ross a huge debt of gratitude for that. 

“Obviously, we will suitably express our thanks and gratitude at the end of the season when his tenure formally ends.”