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Dundee manager James McPake admits coronavirus cash crisis even more challenging for him than Livingston administrations

James McPake.
James McPake.

James McPake thought watching player after player lose their jobs at Livingston was bad enough.

A veteran of two administrations at the West Lothian club, the Dundee manager hoped he would never again have to experience such off-field stress.

Then came the coronavirus.

The pandemic is having a huge impact on the Dark Blues, with backroom staff leaving and players being asked to take big salary cuts.

Just this week, McPake has seen his assistant boss Jimmy Nicholl and captain Josh Meekings leave Dens Park.

Dundee’s season in the Championship won’t start until October 17 at the earliest and even then that will likely be behind closed-doors.

It is proving to be a challenge, that’s for sure.

He said: “We went into administration twice when I was at Livingston.

“That was tough seeing your teammates lose their jobs but I have never been involved in anything like this as a coach or a manager so it is new to me as well.

“As a club, we are trying to do the best we can to get out of this difficult situation.

“Other clubs like Aberdeen and Hibs, who are playing in a higher league, are having their struggles at the minute.

“It is a tough time and it is hard.

“I am just hoping we can get through it as quickly as possible and get back to normality, playing football again.

“I would love to be talking about football rather than things like wage cuts but that is the reality in every industry across the world.”

McPake was asked if he had sympathy for Dundee managing director John Nelms, who is overseeing the cuts, and owner Tim Keyes.

He replied: “I have sympathy for everybody, really.

“They don’t want to be doing it.

“They don’t want to see people losing their jobs and they don’t want to be asking their players to take wage cuts. I know that for a fact.

“They want to be doing what is best for the football club and John and Tim have done that.

“It is not as if they have gone out and brought this on themselves being reckless and spending money.

“This has come on because of a global pandemic so yes I have sympathy for that but I also have sympathy for a whole host of people.

“People have lost their lives and there are businesses who can’t afford to run any more.

“But if we are talking solely about football then I do have sympathy for John and Tim because I know for a fact that it is hurting them that they are having to do this.

“I’m not just saying that–I know it’s true.

“I have been at this club long enough to know how they treat people and want them to be treated.

“So when things like this are happening, it is really difficult for them as well.”

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