Chairman Ross McArthur hopes DAFC Fussball GmbH’s takeover of Dunfermline Athletic represents a ‘rebirth’ for the Pars — less than a decade after the club was plunged into administration.
The Fife outfit have endured a roller-coaster period in their history, with the nadir coming in 2013 as their very existence hung in the balance following years of financial folly and mismanagement.
Fans, businesses and wealthy individuals all rallied together to front a fan-led purchase and ensure Dunfermline did not go to the wall.
However, with a growing acceptance that there was a natural ceiling to the Pars’ ambitions as a supporter-owned club, a new era began on Wednesday when the German consortium bought a 75.1 stake in the East End Park outfit.
“Hopefully this is the rebirth of the club,” said McArthur. “I hate to look back to that day when a gun was put to my head and I was told: “If you don’t sign this form, the club is going to go under …”
“We’ve all rebuilt the club, the community has got behind the club. We’ve steered the club from that horrible point in time.
“We’re still not where we want to be and there is growth to be achieved. But it has to be sustainable. Particularly given everything we’ve gone through — it can’t be back to boom or bust.
“It’s a far cry from those dark days.”
DAFC Fussball GmbH are fronted by former St Pauli player, coach and director Thomas Meggle, ex-Davis Cup tennis professional Damir Keretic, Nick Teller and Dr Albrecht Gundermann.
The quartet — albeit only Meggle, Keretic and Teller will be on the board of Dunfermline — boast a wealth of experience in sport and business.
And investment in a training ground, youth academy and community initiative will be among the top priorities amid a plan to build a sustainable club, rather than spending big on the playing squad.
“It is a bit surreal to be here now. I was pinching myself when I first met the guys, thinking: “Why do they want to invest in Dunfermline?” laughed McArthur, who will remain as chairman.
“For them to make this commitment now allows us to make investments and changes in the infrastructure around the club that we wouldn’t have been able to do without this investment.
“So to get this level of certainty in very uncertain times is fantastic news for the club and, in my time as chairman, is the most exciting day I have had.”