The East Fife Supporters Society announced late last night (Wednesday) that its ambition to take over the controlling share of the club had ended.
The group, often referred to as the Trust, had launched a bid to buy the shareholding last year.
However, four current East Fife board members, Jim Stevenson, Dave Marshall, John Barclay and John Donaldson, launched a separate bid themselves, and this was accepted by the club’s majority shareholder.
Despite continued attempts to open negotiations, the Trust now says its plans have been shelved.
A spokesman said last night: “The EFFS Working Group has decided to call a halt to our current campaign to buy the majority shareholding owned by Loraine Johnstone.
“We have approached Loraine directly with regard to opening negotiations but she declined to do so, explaining that she had agreed a deal with the current East Fife directors and the shares have been transferred to Bayview Fife Ltd.
“She is now awaiting the directors’ solicitor completing the transaction for the purchase of that company.”
The spokesman added: “We had taken the direct step of contacting her after many weeks of waiting without any real news about the current directors’ bid because we felt we needed clarification for all concerned.
“Thank you very much to all those who supported us both financially and in kind.
“We will be taking steps to return all donations over the next week or two.
“The opportunity may arise again in the future, either when the directors decide to sell their shares or if the Scottish Government does eventually implement a law giving supporters the right to buy their club.
“When that happens we will be ready to act again.”