Final farewell for Raith stars?

SSFF 1813060 raith falkirk 'Brian Graham protests... - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
SSFF 1813060 raith falkirk 'Brian Graham protests... - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

RAITH Rovers players waved goodbye to the fans after their final home game of the season on Saturday.

But most of them were still none the wiser whether the 0-0 draw with Falkirk was their Stark’s Park swan song.

Such is the financial climate in Scottish football that with just one week of the season left, most clubs are still holding back from handing out contract renewals.

Raith finally kick-started talks this week, but for out of contract striker Pat Clarke, such end of season uncertainty is becoming the norm.

“A situation like this might have been unusual in years gone by,” he said.

“But the financial burden on clubs these days means they are reluctant to hand out contracts before they know their exact budget.

“It’s just a waiting game now - it always is this time of the season.

“I’ve heard a few rumours but nothing concrete.

“Staying at Raith would be an option - I’ve enjoyed my time here.

“It’s a good group of guys and I’ve enjoyed working with the manager, Paul Smith and Laurie.

“I’d like to hear what the club’s got to say, but I haven’t been spoken to as yet.”

Joe Cardle finds himself in the same boat after a particularly challenging season for the winger, who was made redundant by Dunfermline after the club plunged into administration.

“It’s not been an enjoyable season for me with everything that’s gone on outside football,” he said. “Hopefully next season can be a new start, but I don’t know what’s going to happen yet.

“I’ve been speaking to clubs over the last couple of weeks, but it’s just a waiting game.

“Hopefully I’ll know what’s happening in the next couple of weeks.”

The uncertainty among players seemed to add to the air of anticlimax after Saturday’s goalless draw.

“It would have been nice to give the fans a good send-off with a win in our last home game, but it was still a good professional performance from us,” Clarke said. “Chance for chance I think we deserved the victory.

“When I got injured against Dumbarton last month I never thought I would play again this season so it was great to get on for the last 20 minutes.”