East Fife fans have dug deep to pay off their club’s £1,000 fine for refusing to take to the pitch against Clyde last week.
An online fundraiser by superfan Lee Gillies raised more than £3,000 in three days, thanks to supporters angry at the SFA’s “unfair” ruling.
It followed a decision by manager Darren Young and his players not to kick off against Clyde at Broadwood on Tuesday after a member of the home team returned a positive Covid-19 test.
The SPFL found the Fifers guilty of breaching regulations and issued an £11,000 fine, £10,ooo of which was suspended.
Lee, who hosts East Fife podcast Glory Days of Gold, said the Methil club had been punished for doing the right thing.
“They were protecting the players and their families, some of whom are pregnant,” he said.
“We felt the fundraiser was the right thing to do given what happened.”
Many of the people who donated were not even East Fife supporters.
£3,000 raised! Well done guys. You’re all amazing! 💛🖤💛🖤💛
— Glory Days of Gold. (@glorydaysofgold) May 3, 2021
“A lot of them are Dunfermline or Hearts fans or whatever,” said Lee.
“They disagreed with the way the club has been treated and donated for moral reasons.
“People were obviously angry about it because we hit £2,000 within 24 hours.
“It’s breath-taking how fast it’s gone. The fine was unfair.”
Lee, from Glenrothes, said the fundraiser was particularly important given East Fife is such a small club.
“The club has probably got between 200 and 300 really loyal fans and get between 300 and 500 at a home game,” he said.
“In terms of modern football, it’s not a massive fan base.”
SPFL announce outcome of East Fife disciplinary hearing.
Full details 👇
— SPFL (@spfl) April 29, 2021
The money raised will pay off the £1,000 fine and the remainder will be donated to the club.
East Fife thanks fans for their support
East Fife chairman Jim Stevenson was delighted to hear about the fundraiser.
“I would like to thank everybody who has supported us,” he said.
“It’s genuine support after our decision last week and it’s well appreciated by everyone at the club.”
I would like to thank everybody who has supported us.”
East Fife chairman Jim Stevenson.
East Fife will play a rearranged match against Clyde on Thursday.
Darren Young backed his players decision not to play last Tuesday’s match.
“When I spoke to the guys, three or four of them have partners who are pregnant so I definitely could not put guys like that at risk,” he said.
“The boys were also saying that if they played against players who have been around this guy then they might have to self-isolate through the track and trace.
“Will their employer pay them if they can’t work for 10 or 12 days?
“So that was it and I’ll back my players to the hilt.”
However, the SPFL charged the club for failing to fulfil the League One fixture and found East Fife guilty of breaking the rules, saying the on-field risk of transmission was very low.