Stevie Crawford has attributed his shock resignation as Dunfermline Athletic head coach to burnout, candidly confessing: “I just have nothing left in the tank”.
Crawford’s 28-month reign in charge of the Fifers officially came to an end on Tuesday morning, with chairman Ross McArthur reluctantly accepting his decision to depart and beginning the search for his successor.
The 47-year-old handed in his notice following a period of soul-searching in the aftermath of the Pars’ Premiership playoff quarter-final exit against Raith Rovers, which condemned them to a sixth successive season in the second tier.
“It feels like burnout,” said Crawford. “I’m not ashamed to say that because I believe that shows the dedication I had to the job. I did wonder whether it was worth trying to grind it out and get over this feeling. However, that is not fair to the club.
“I’m absolutely beat. It’s been 24/7 for 28 months.
“I reviewed the season in the early part of last week following the Raith Rovers game, then I spoke to Ross [McArthur] on Wednesday and took another three or four days and spent a little more time with my family.
“I started to look at my own situation and say: “I’m going to ask a player or member of staff to give 100 per cent moving forward — and I’m not convinced I’ve got 100 per cent left myself.”
“The candle has been burning at both ends and I can’t let my love of the game force me away from it, in a more long-term way.”
Dunfermline’s stunned board, led by chairman McArthur and with input from the club’s German investors, DAFC Fussball GmbH, will now begin to assemble a long-list for the vacancy — having been previously planning for a future with Crawford at the helm.
Crawford, meanwhile, will take a breath, recharge his batteries and then seek a return to the dugout.
He has not been discouraged from life as a manager, even if he has learned some tough lessons the hard way.
Gutted for Stevie. A tremendous person who I’ve known a very long time & he loves the Pars. Fine margins just didn’t take chances v Raith in playoffs. Hoping he dusts himself off and has another crack somewhere else.
— Tam McManus (@The_Tman10) May 18, 2021
“I certainly wasn’t scared of management,” he added. “I’ve not done everything right — and not just the glaring obvious aspect of team selection — but it has been baby steps and I’ll forever be in debt for the support I’ve had.
“I’ve been allowed an opportunity to progress and develop in my management. I think it’s worked both ways because Dunfermline are in a better place now.
“It’s just about making sure that I learn from that experience and see where my future lies.
On behalf of the PST we would like to thank Stevie for his efforts as Head Coach. Stevie is a club legend and we are sorry that it hasn’t worked out, we wish him all the best for the future 🤍🖤 #PST #Pars https://t.co/mOWtYembld
— ParsSupportersTrust (@DAFC_PST) May 18, 2021
“I need to go away over the next few weeks or months and learn to manage my time better, in terms of delegating and infrastructure. That’s something I’ll get better at.
“But at no point have I said: ‘I don’t fancy going into a manager’s role somewhere in the future’. If anything, it’s whetted my appetite for that side of it.”