Ross McArthur is adamant the mental health of all Dunfermline employees will remain a top priority after previous head coach Stevie Crawford stepped down due to burnout.
While Crawford acknowledged that it was his own tireless work ethic that meant he had ‘nothing left in the tank’ after 28 months at the helm, that has not stopped chairman McArthur from seeking to learn lessons.
He is determined to ensure that support mechanisms are in place for new manager, Peter Grant, and any other member of staff who may be struggling within their roles.
It is a responsibility that Dunfermline already take seriously, having appointed a mental health ambassador, Eddie Martin, in August 2019. He has been on hand to aid players, coaches and the wider pool of Pars supporters.
“A football manager’s role, even at the level we are at, is full-on,” said McArthur.
“Then when you add in all the restrictions — there were a lot of unique challenges over last season which, allied with the way Stevie wanted to do things, we will all try to learn from. It is important to always be learning.
“I was speaking to Peter Grant and it was interesting to hear that in his first job at Norwich, Peter resigned for the same reasons as Stevie. It was just all-consuming and, as Peter will acknowledge, he has learned from that.
“You need to get the right balance and I’m sure Stevie will maybe do a few things differently next time. But we are living in the midst of a global pandemic, which made — and still is making — things so difficult.
“For our part, of course, we need to learn too.
“We have support mechanisms in place within the club. We are one of very few clubs to have a mental health ambassador.
“I’ve got a duty of care to every member of staff at Dunfermline and if there are things we can do better, then we certainly will.”
While Dunfermline have now embarked on their new era under boss Grant, McArthur was keen to pay tribute to Crawford — insisting that he is destined to be a success when he returns to the game.
‘He is a very good man — and that matters’
“He is an excellent coach, a dedicated worker and, although some people might not think this is important, a very good man,” added McArthur. “That matters.
“You need to go about things in the right manner, with good morals and treating people properly. He is highly respected within football, has fantastic contacts and is known for developing young players.
“We attracted players to this club that we wouldn’t have got without Stevie and I wish him all the best. I have kept in touch with him and will continue to do so. He is welcome back here any time.
“Although I know how disappointed he was not to go further in our bid for promotion, Stevie has helped this club move forward.”