Dunfermline have confirmed that chairman Ross McArthur will step down at the end of the season following “abhorrent personal abuse” directed at the Pars chief in recent months.

McArthur has been on the board at East End Park for seven years, working for the Pars on a voluntary basis, but as Dunfermline’s form on the pitch has nosedived, McArthur has been subjected to mounting abuse from fans – leading to him deciding to walk away from his position on the board.

Dunfermline Athletic v St Johnstone - Betfred Cup Quarter Final

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After reaching the Playoffs last season, Dunfermline have toiled this term and find themselves bottom of the Championship and without a win after the disastrous appointment of Peter Grant in the summer.

The former Scotland coach replaced Stevie Crawford in the hotseat at Dunfermline but struggled to find his footing in Fife, off the back of relegating Alloa last season.

Grant’s appointment, and ultimate failure, as manager sparked much of the anger towards McArthur but the Dunfermline chairman has felt the vitriol aimed his way has become too much and has decided to step away.

In a lengthy statement on the club website, the Dunfermline board paid tribute to McArthur as they expressed their disappointment at his decision to stand down from his role as chairman, saying: “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.

“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.”

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