The future of Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith will be discussed at a board meeting following the Fifers’ failure to win promotion.
The Stark’s Park outfit crashed out of the Championship playoffs on Saturday, with their 2-1 defeat against Alloa sealing a chastening 4-1 aggregate exit against a Wasps side that finished 15 points behind them in the League 1 standings.
The fallout was immediate as chairman Alan Young quit less than an hour after the full-time whistle, calling time on his four-year stint at the helm and surrendering his position as a director.
The 64-year-old, who also oversaw the ill-fated appointments of Gary Locke and John Hughes, took “full responsibility” for Rovers’ latest flop.
He stated: “I have tendered my resignation as chairman of Raith Rovers. I have also resigned as a director.
“I take full responsibility for our failure to return to the Championship this year and would wish the club all success for the future.”
Meanwhile, there is uncertainty surrounding Smith’s own position.
The former Dundee and East Fife manager is contracted to the club until the summer of 2019 and, following their defeat against the Wasps, he emphasised his belief that he is the right man to guide Raith to promotion next term.
However, Smith acknowledged that the decision will ultimately be made by the club following talks. To that end, there will be a quickfire board meeting on Tuesday at Stark’s Park.
The first order of business will be to appoint a new chairman to lead the club, before discussions turn to whether the remaining directors – including owner John Sim – still have faith in Smith and the budgets for next season.
Meanwhile, Rovers captain Kyle Benedictus admitted the future is uncertain after the play-off defeat.
The former Dundee defender, who missed the majority of the campaign with a broken leg, is hoping to remain at the club for a second attempt at escaping the division after his former side – he helped keep Alloa in the Championship in 2014-15 before leaving for Stark’s Park – ended the Raith dream over the course of three games in eight days.
“I’ve not spoken to anybody yet, but that’s my contract up, like most of the boys,” he said.
“I’m sure it will take a couple of weeks before people get spoken to.
“Of course, I’d like to stay. I’ve been here a few years now, and getting into the top four in the first year was a positive, but the last two have been disappointing.
“I want to play a part in getting this club back into the division it wants to be in because, realistically, we should be in higher league than we are.”
Raith’s play-off exit followed on from the setback of failing to clinch the league title on the final day of the season in front of 4,400 fans at Stark’s Park last week.
“Ourselves and Ayr were favourites and it went right to the wire,” Benedictus said.
“What happened last week maybe took the stuffing out of us for these two games, but I thought there was a lot of effort, we just couldn’t get the goals when it mattered.
“It’s not promotion, but it’s not been a bad season – we just missed out with one game to go and Alloa have been our bogey team this past week.
“The is the first time we’ve been beaten at home all year. The away form has not been good enough throughout the whole season. It was the same the year before and it’s cost us.
“It’s heartbreaking for the fans and we know how much it means to them.
“All I can say is that it hurts us as players as well, but as a club we need to pick ourselves up, and whoever is going to be here next year, we need to go again.”
Raith went into Saturday’s second leg needing to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg in Alloa.
Smith made five changes to his side, and switched to a 4-3-3 formation, but despite a positive start, the hosts were unable to find the vital breakthrough.
And when Jordan Kirkpatrick opened the scoring on 39 minutes with a superb free-kick, Alloa’s aggregate lead was extended to three, and Raith were left needing a second half miracle.
Defender Euan Murray offered a glimmer of hope as Rovers finally got on the scoresheet, firing home the rebound after heading against the crossbar eight minutes after the interval.
However, Raith were unable to make pressure count and Ross Stewart took advantage of the space left at the back to break clear and fire past Graeme Smith to put the final seal on a deserved win for Jim Goodwin’s men with 10 minutes remaining.
Alloa now meet Dumbarton in the Championship play-off final after the Sons saw off Dick Campbell’s Arbroath 3-2 on aggregate.