A FIGHTING fund to allow fans to help Dunfermline Athletic in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has been launched this afternoon.

With all football in Scotland suspended until at least April 30, various supporters groups came together earlier this week to organise a contribution scheme to help bridge the gap created by the remainder of this season's fixtures being suspended.

In a statement released yesterday, Pars chairman Ross McArthur said that the club faced "substantial financial challenges" in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which has resulted in East End Park being placed in total lockdown from today until the end of next month at least.

With three scheduled home games not taking place, he admitted that it would "damage the cash flow of the football club", with a shortfall of £20,000 anticipated in both April and May.

Now, however, a fans' 'Support the Pars' campaign has been launched, in which donations can be made via the Pars Supporters Trust, through a 'justgiving' page that has been set up, or by handing cash or cheques to the ticket office portacabin in the south west corner of the stadium on April 11 and April 25.

A statement announcing the campaign's launch said: "To aid our beloved football club, in these difficult financial times, several representatives from the various supporters groups across the Pars Family have come together this week to launch a fighting fund to help bridge the gap created by the suspension of this seasons remaining fixtures.

"After meeting our club chairman earlier this week, we were given our club’s approval to do so and use of the club’s official media channels to support our campaign.

"We wanted to do this with a purpose in mind, and it has become clear that DAFC are looking at a shortfall of £20,000 in April, and a further £20,000 in May as a direct result of having the home games against Greenock Morton, Arbroath and Partick Thistle cancelled.

"Therefore, it is hoped the fans ‘Support the Pars’ campaign will help our club through this unprecedented situation.

"Pars fans are being asked to make donations in three particular ways over the coming weeks: 1. The Pars Supporters Trust, as a fully audited Community Benefit Society, has made their bank account available. You can make an online bank transfer to sort code 80-06-55 account number 00662309 stating reference “STP”; 2. A “Just Giving” page has been set up. Go to our JustGiving page here; www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/supporttheparsfund, and 3. Supporters will be able to hand in cash or cheques at the “home” ticket office portacabin in the South West corner of the stadium on each of the next two Saturdays we would otherwise have been playing an SPFL Championship match on 11th April and 25th April. The ticket office will be open between 2pm and 3pm.

"Unfortunately, we’re not able to offer anything in return for donations but we can guarantee everything donated will go straight to DAFC.

"We’d be delighted with any donation you are able to make and, based on supporters’ suggestions, if you can donate £100, £250 or £500 it would clearly go a long way to helping us reach our target and if you can spare more than that it would be fantastic. If a number of supporters who would normally “walk up” to East End Park on match day, donated the equivalent cost of their match ticket it would prove invaluable.

"We fully appreciate that many people will not be able to make a financial contribution right now – if that’s you, please don’t worry, support comes in many forms. Most of all, we continue to encourage you all to follow government and NHS advice and look after yourselves and one another."

If you have any questions regarding the 'Support the Pars campaign, please contact Drew Main on andrew@dafc.co.uk, or by calling 07809176509.