Fifers unanimously decide on Brown

Billy Brown
Billy Brown

ONE meeting between East Fife board members and Billy Brown was all it took to convince the Bayview club the former Hearts assistant was the man for them.

The Fifers sadly parted company with Gordon Durie over the weekend, with the now former boss admitting his on-going health problems had created a period of uncertainty at the Methil club.

Durie had been absent from Bayview since falling ill after August’s fixture against Queen of the South.

Team affairs were handled firstly by assistant Gordon Chisholm, who subsequently left the club, before Brian McNaughton and Bob Malcolm took over.

However, following Saturday’s 5-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Elgin, Durie decided it’d be in the best interests of all parties if he stepped aside.

And the club didn’t waste any time in bringing in Brown, who made his interest in the position known to the club shortly after Durie’s departure.

Board member Eugene Clark told the Mail: “We had 17 applications if I remember and one of them was from Billy Brown’s representative saying he was interested.

“He hadn’t quite been on our radar but, once he met with two board members on Monday and then we discussed it at the board meeting, it was unanimous.”

Brown is primarily known for working along with current Dunfermline boss Jim Jefferies, with the duo helping Hearts land the Scottish Cup in 1998.

Mr Clark told the Mail that Brown had hinted he had been looking for a managerial position in Scotland, and had been keen to land the role at East Fife.

“What was important to us was that he spoke very highly of East Fife,” added Mr Clark.

“He had been here with sides to play friendlies and also played a part in the loan deals of Matthew Park and Mark Ridgers.

“He’s the manager here on a mutual agreement but there really hasn’t ever been any other way at East Fife.”

This weekend on-form Alloa visit Bayview with defender Darren McCormack struggling with a thigh injury picked up during the 1-0 defeat to Queen of the South.