Raith back Barry and aim to remain full-time as new chairman appointed

New Raith chairman Bill Clark.
New Raith chairman Bill Clark.

Raith Rovers are keeping faith with manager Barry Smith despite failing to win promotion back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Smith, who has a year left on his contract, was given the vote of confidence at a board meeting today, with the club also confirming its intention to retain full-time status in League One next season.

Rovers have also appointed a new chairman with director Bill Clark, who joined the board last year after making a significant investment in the club, taking over the reins from Alan Young, who tendered his resignation following Saturday's play-off defeat to Alloa Athletic.

Raith narrowly missed out on the League One title in Smith's first season in charge, finishing just a point behind champions Ayr United after a goalless draw at home to Alloa on the final day of the campaign allowed their rivals to pip them at the post.

That disappointment, in front of an expectant crowd of over 4400 at Stark's Park, was followed by an abject performance in the Championship play-off semi-final, where Raith went down to a 4-1 aggregate defeat to part-timers Alloa.

However, while failing to deliver promotion, Smith guided the club to 75 points - a total which would have won the league in any other season in recent history - while he also completed an entire league campaign unbeaten at home.

Smith will now begin the task of rebuilding his squad for a second assault on the League One championship with only Dave McKay, Ross Matthews, Lewis Vaughan and Liam Buchanan thought to be under contract for next season.

For more information on the club's plans for next season, pick up a copy of Thursday's Fife Free Press.