Scottish First Division Dunfermline AFC "claim to be on the verge of a fan-based takeover," according to Alan Temple of SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY. Dunfermline is close to securing the “substantial investment” which would rescue them from the precipice of liquidation. Owner Gavin Masterton, who owns 94% of the club, has "reportedly agreed to give up his entire shareholding, paving the way for a 'supporter-led' model." Due diligence will be carried out Monday "which will allow the potential investors to analyse the Dunfermline accounts and, if they are comfortable with the numbers, a takeover bid will be imminent." This scheme effectively represents “the last realistic chance to save [the] club.” Chair John Yorkston has "hinted one of the potential investors is a Swiss-based figure." Yorkston said. "We have been speaking to a gentleman who spends a lot of time in Switzerland. He contacted me over a week ago, I met him at Edinburgh Airport at the beginning of the week and we had discussions and these discussions about investment are ongoing" (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY, 3/17). The BBC reported Dunfermline said a "number of fans have expressed an interest in making substantial investments in the club." This comes after "a failed bid from fans' consortium The Pars Community to buy Masterton out." On Friday, Dunfermline said The Pars Community was "unable or unwilling to demonstrate" that it had the funds to complete a buy-out, with the fans' organisation saying it was "extremely upset at the outcome of its endeavours" (BBC, 3/16).
Scottish Premier League side Heart of Midlothian has handed interim Manager Gary Locke "a massive League Cup Final boost by giving him the manager’s job on a permanent basis," according to Gordon Waddell of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The 39-year-old "has been in interim charge for the past three games since John McGlynn was axed." Locke, assistant Darren Murray and coach Edgaras Jankauskas "have been given deals through to the summer of 2014." Despite former Dundee United boss Peter Houston having talks -- and even getting as far as agreeing terms last week -- Dir Sergejus Fedotovas "made the announcement that Locke was their man via the club’s website" Saturday. Fedotovas said, "We considered several people for the job and were close to making an appointment of what we believed to be the best of outside candidates" (DAILY RECORD, 3/17). The SCOTSMAN reported Locke confessed his appointment as manager of Hearts had come "as bit of a surprise." Locke said, "I’ve been happy with the way things have gone in the last couple of weeks and hopefully we can finish the week on the ultimate high by bringing the cup back to Tynecastle. But it’s great, I’m delighted to get my future sorted out and I’m really looking forward to the cup final" (SCOTSMAN, 3/17).