Leishman – former Pars player and manager, and now honorary director – has been prominent in the search for a solution to the ailing club’s parlous financial position in recent weeks. The 59-year-old has been desperately seeking to pull together the factions that were split by owner Gavin Masterton’s tenure of the club before last week’s descent into interim administration.
Leishman helped lead a steering group set up in a bid to stave off a winding-up order before the collective admitted defeat ahead of last Tuesday’s deadline to pay a £134,000 tax bill.
Dunfermline have called a press conference for today, when Leishman, Bob Garmory of the club’s main sponsors, Purvis Group, and former club director Craig McWhirter are expected to set out their vision for the way forward as interim administrator Bryan Jackson continues his struggles to stave off liquidation.
Meetings involving representatives of various supporters’ groups took place over the weekend and yesterday as some sought a fan-led takeover of the club. Jackson’s initial assessment of Dunfermline was that the odds of survival were no better than 50-50.
All parties are now working towards the 11 April hearing set by Lord Hodge at the Court of Session last week to decide on whether to progress with full administration or pursue liquidation of the 128-year-old club.
Leishman said: “We have been having meetings all day and they will continue so we can put together a strategy for taking the club forward. We need everyone to pull together if we are to find a solution.
“We all want the same thing – for Dunfermline to survive and to enjoy long-term sustainability and hopefully we can produce a plan that will deliver that.”
Dunfermline Athletic interim administrator Bryan Jackson plans to contact Manchester United this week in a desperate bid to organise a glamour friendly which could aid the stricken Fifers’ survival bid.
Old Trafford legend and former Pars player Sir Alex Ferguson recently indicated a willingness to bring the Premiership giants north of the border for a money-spinning clash at East End Park. Jackson, who has previously helped Clydebank, Motherwell and Dundee through this crisis, will urge United to swiftly make good on that promise as he attempts to navigate the club through the toughest financial crisis he has ever experienced.
“There is no movement on it but there is still no reason to believe that it will not happen,” said the hopeful administrator, of insolvency experts PKF.
“We are still working away on that and it could be very important to us.
Jackson admits that the situation at Dunfermline, who entered administration last week under the weight of £8.5m debt, is exacerbated by the lack of assets at the club.