McKinnon set to leave Raith to become Dundee United manager

Easter Road - Edinburgh - Fife - 
Premiership play-off 2nd leg - Hibs v Raith - 
Manager RAY MCKINNON applauds the fans after the final whistle - 
credit - FPA  -
Easter Road - Edinburgh - Fife - Premiership play-off 2nd leg - Hibs v Raith - Manager RAY MCKINNON applauds the fans after the final whistle - credit - FPA -

Raith Rovers will begin the search for a new manager after losing Ray McKinnon to Dundee United.

The Press understands that the 45-year-old informed the Raith board of his decision to resign this afternoon.

McKinnon had been hotly tipped to take over at United following the sacking of Mixu Paatelainen, with speculation rife in the build-up to Rovers play-off matches against Hibs last week.

United made their move on Saturday evening, just hours after Raith’s defeat at Easter Road, and although the initial approach was rejected, the Tangerines were eventually granted permission to approach McKinnon after an offer of compensation in the region of £30,000 was accepted by the Raith board on Sunday.

And following three days of talks with United chairman Stephen Thompson, and much pondering over his future, McKinnon has decided to call time on his Raith career after just one season in charge.

The news will come as a disappointment to Raith, who had offered to give McKinnon a bumper new contract, which still had a year to run, as well as an increased playing budget for next season.

The Press understands that the former United player gave serious consideration to the offer, and was 50-50 earlier in the week, but the lure of a return to his troubled former club proved too strong.

McKinnon will now face the unenviable task of turning around the fortunes of an ailing United side recently relegated to the Championship, and who were today docked three points by the SPFL for fielding an ineligible player in a recent victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The Raith board will meet tomorrow to start the process of looking for a new manager and draw up a list of candidates.

For more on the story, pick up tomorrow’s Fife Free Press.