Peter Grant GoneDate: Thursday, 4th Nov 2021
The inevitable has happened; while the news wasn`t unexpected, it was disappointing nonetheless to see a man who gave his all to the job of Manager of Dunfermline Athletic FC, lose his income and become unemployed.
However, his record speaks for itself and his dismissal was the only outcome left to the Board of Directors at East End Park.
Peter Grant, it has been reported this week, lasted only 156 days – which is the second shortest in the Pars` history. 18 competitive matches were overseen by Grant, following his arrival from Alloa Athletic in the summer. No wins in the opening 12 league matches has saw Athletic lie bottom of the SPFL Cinch Championship, a division Grant claimed he was ready to win with the West Fifers just a few short months prior.
In the end, Grant`s record will forever read as:
Appointed - 28th May 2021
Dismissed - 31st October 2021
Matches Played – 18
Matches Won – 3
Matches Drawn – 7
Matches Lost – 8
Win Percentage – 16.7%
Grant was brought in following the resignation of Stevie Crawford during the close season of 2021. Some Dunfermline fans had been calling for Crawford to leave and were happy when he decided to walk away. Some fans were sceptical about how successful the Club would continue to be, with Grant replacing Crawford in the dugout. Grant had just left his role at Alloa Athletic, following relegation from the Championship to League One.
Crawford, on the other hand, had just completed his second full season in charge, after taking over from Allan Johnston during the 2018-2019 campaign. Consistent improvement, albeit maybe not as quickly as some Pars fans would have liked, saw DAFC climb the league standings gradually at the end of every season. Come the end of season 2020-2021, Crawford guided Dunfermline to 4th spot in the SPFL Ladbrokes Championship, ultimately losing out on promotion to the Premiership with a 2-0 aggregate score-line defeat in the Play-Off Quarter-Finals to local rivals Raith Rovers. So the ambitions of Grant were not surprising, so the biggest surprise has to be the major decline in performance levels and results during season 2021-2022 so far.
When you look at Crawford`s record -
Appointed - 10th January 2019
Resigned - 18th May 2021
Matches Played – 88
Matches Won – 33
Matches Drawn – 21
Matches Lost – 34
Win Percentage – 37.50%
It shows you how crucial it is to win matches even when your side is potentially going through a rough patch and this is what became a good trademark of a Stevie Crawford side. Just as you thought the end was nigh, Crawford would manage to pull his squad back together and find enough results to climb the table and to be competitive. The issue under Grant, was that despite a dozen matches in the second-tier, it was always so close, yet so far, for the East End Park side.
The next manager will be a very crucial appointment it would seem in the history of Dunfermline Athletic. It is imperative that the West Fife side do not find themselves relegated come May, it could be catastrophic for the Club. With new German Investment coming into the Club and with the rumoured Training Ground and Yoyth Academy supposedly on the horizon, the good times could be about to return again for the Pars. So it is vitally important – whoever is appointed – can secure Championship status as an absolute minimum during the remainder of this term.
Early names mentioned include John Robertson, who seems to have a lot of fan support online already, alongside more inexperienced names such as Kenny Miller, Peter Leven and Kevin Rutkiewicz. Stewart Petrie is also a name which gets repeatedly passed about through the message boards and within the stands, but his job outwith football seems to be the stumbling block between Petrie remaining in charge of Montrose and a sensational return to the Athletic.
This Saturday will see the biggest match of the season to date, against second-bottom Greenock Morton. A victory would see Dunfermline leapfrog the Ton in the table, as well as secure their first 3 points of the season, in the second-tier. A win could help the new manager quickly and easily build momentum after they arrive.
A defeat could see a long and winding road to recovery for DAFC – hopefully, if the Club were to take the more difficult route, it isn`t the long and winding road to Stranraer, we have all been there and done that far too often in recent times !!!