Robbie Raeside 'gutted' after shock axe from St Andrews United manager role

Robbie Raeside has been ousted by St Andrews United despite back-to-back promotions (Pic Alan Murray)Robbie Raeside has been ousted by St Andrews United despite back-to-back promotions (Pic Alan Murray)
Robbie Raeside has been ousted by St Andrews United despite back-to-back promotions (Pic Alan Murray)
In a bombshell announcement, Robbie Raeside has lost his job as St Andrews United manager despite having led the club to back-to-back promotions.

The 51-year-old former Raith Rovers defender leaves The Clayton Caravan Park Recreation Ground having led Saints to a runners-up finish in the East of Scotland League first division in 2023-24, securing a Premier Division berth for the next campaign.

Raeside told the Herald and Citizen: "The chairman (Fraser Ogston) has informed me that he wants to do a different management model next season. I think he wants to be more hands on with the football side.

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"Fraser is going to be a director of football and instead of having a manager he wants to go with a head coach.

"He knows that I’m the sort of guy to be a manager so he probably quite rightly thinks it won’t work between us any more.

"I’m gutted, very disappointed, because I was looking forward to managing St Andrews United in the Premier League.

"It’s been two years of hard graft to get them there, not just by me, but by my assistant Garry Wright and the players.

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"As much as I’m very disappointed by Fraser’s decision, I respect the decision of him and the committee. At the end of the day, they are in charge and it’s up to them what they want to do with St Andrews United Football Club.

"It’s not up to me, I’m just an employee and I get on with it. I can walk away with my head held high. My remit on being appointed manager was two promotions in three years and I’ve done it in two years.

"The season we’ve just had was incredible, finishing second just three points behind Dunipace and ahead of Whitburn, Camelon and Newtongrange was a magnificent achievement.

"We beat three Premier League teams last season and got to the Scottish Cup second round proper where we had a fantastic performance at Albion Rovers where it was only a poor linesman’s decision that stopped us going on and possibly winning that tie.”

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Raeside has ironically just been named Fife Football Manager of the Year for the second year running with the Saints also named Fife Team of the Year and Scott Reekie and Lewis Sawers named in the Divisional Team of the Year.

An online statement by Saints secretary Scott Bryson in relation to Raeside’s exit was released on Wednesday night.

It read: “St Andrews United wish to announce that due to a change in our club’s management structure we have parted company amicably with manager Robbie Raeside.

"Robbie has achieved a great deal in his time at the club, arriving with the team languishing near the bottom of division 2 and taking us into the EOS Premier League with two consecutive promotions.

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"Last season’s Scottish Cup wins over Haddington and Auchinleck and the team’s performance down at Albion Rovers will live long in our memories.

"He leaves with an incredible 76% win percentage.

"We wish to thank Robbie for his services and wish him all the best wherever his management/coaching career takes him next.

"An announcement on the new head coach role will be made in due course.”

Raeside, who also formerly played for Dundee between 1996 and 2000, added in a statement released on the Saints’ X – formerly Twitter – account: “Personally I wish to thank the committee and everyone at St Andrews United but particularly the players and Garry Wright for their support.

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"I’d also like to congratulate the under-20s coaches Scott Meikle and Paul Farningham along with the young lads on their cup final win last weekend and I send them all my best wishes for their football futures.”