Elliot is our player, insists Raith chief

Calum Elliot is embroiled in a signing dispute between Livingston and Raith Rovers
Calum Elliot is embroiled in a signing dispute between Livingston and Raith Rovers

RAITH Rovers insist that they have no case to answer in the signing dispute surrounding former Hearts forward Calum Elliot.

The Kirkcaldy club announced on Tuesday that they had signed the 26-year-old on a one-year contract.

However, First Division rivals Livingston are also claiming to have secured the player on a similar agreement, signed in April, while Elliot was still with Alloa.

Raith chief executive Eric Drysdale told the Press: “Calum was registered with Alloa and had his contract extended on a short term basis to cover the play-offs.

“He was released from that contract immediately after the play-offs and at that point we agreed terms and signed him.

“It transpires that he has had prior discussions with Livingston as well. I don’t want to go into the details of what happened in those discussions - that’s a matter between the player and Livingston.

“But we are satisfied that we have acted in good faith and signed a player who was a free agent. He will be a Raith Rovers player for the forthcoming season.”

Livingston claim that Elliot signed a pre-contract agreement with them on April 29, however the Press understands that the player had a change of heart after becoming unhappy over the way the deal was handled.

As it stands Elliot is registered to neither club as Scottish Football League rules prevent players from being registered while the transfer window is closed.

Both clubs could now attempt to register the player when the window re-opens on Monday, however, Rovers are confident that they have all the necessary paperwork to complete the signing.

Raith assistant-manager Paul Smith concluded the deal for the former Scotland under 21 internationalist in the absence of manager Grant Murray, who is on holiday, and he is happy to have signed a player with SPL pedigree.

“We watched him in the play-off games for Alloa and he did really well,” Smith said.

“He is big, strong lad and has good link-up play.

“He’s not a direct replacement for Brian Graham, and we’re not expecting 27 goals from him, but we know we’re getting a technically good player.”

Rovers also completed the signing of former Livingston captain Liam Fox on a one-year deal late last week, while last season’s second top scorer, Greig Spence, and defender Dougie Hill have also signed for next season.

Goalkeeper David McGurn is also believed to have reached a verbal agreement to remain at the club next term.

On the capture of Fox, who was courted by rival first division clubs, Smith explained: “He is a good footballer first and foremost, but he also has great experience that will help the likes of Ross Callachan in midfield.”

Rovers are still in the market for a centre-half, left winger and striker.

“We’re looking to bring in another three or four but we’re really happy with what we’ve brought in so far,” Smith added.

“The team is starting to take shape but there’s certain areas of the park we still need to strengthen.”

Rovers remain hopeful of keeping Joe Cardle. The former Dunfermline winger is considering his options but has still not ruled out a return to Rovers after spending the final two months of last season at Stark’s Park.

Smith said: “Joe’s away on holiday at the moment but we’re keeping in contact. We’d love to get him back - we’ve never hidden that fact.

“He’s a bit of a fans favourite because he gets people off their seats.”

Meanwhile, Allan Walker’s time at Raith Rovers has come to an end after the midfielder signed for Brechin this week.

Walker (27) spent the past five seasons at Stark’s Park but was not offered a new contract this summer.

Smith explained: “Allan has been a great servant to the club, but we just felt it was time to freshen things up in that area of the pitch.”

Raith have also organised a preseason friendly against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at home on Saturday, July 20, kick-off 3.00 p.m.