THE “aura” of Peter Grant was too enticing for Pars chairman Ross McArthur to resist as he made his move for the “infectious personality.”

McArthur unveiled the club’s new manager to the Press on Friday morning and insisted that the 55-year-old was always the “frontrunner” for the position.

An initial meeting between the two was only supposed to last minutes but Grant and McArthur ended up chewing the fat for what felt like “10 hours”, Grant had joked..

The former Alloa Athletic boss asked a key question of McArthur during that meeting, and told the Press: “The biggest thing for me when I spoke to Ross, the first question I asked was if he was a Dunfermline supporter? When he said ‘yes’, I said that makes me excited because you are representing the football fans. That is always important.

“It was the same with Mike Mulraney. Mike was an Alloa supporter and he wants the best for his club.

“It was important for me that Ross knows what the Dunfermline fans are wanting to achieve. We all get criticism when things are not going well, that’s part of football. I have lived with it all my life but when he spoke to me and spoke about Thomas (Meggle) in Germany, it was important that I spoke to them and I was really excited by their plans looking ahead.”

Meggle, one of the investors in the Pars and sports director at FC St Pauli in Germany, also had a discussion with Grant about coming to East End Park, and highlighted the 4-1 fixture between Alloa and Dunfermline in October last year, with Grant the losing manager on that day.

Grant said: “People know what a job you are doing and Thomas was on the phone and talking about the performance we (Dunfermline) had against Alloa when they beat us 4-1.

“I thought it was quite bizarre that he was talking about that game. He said that you played very well in the game and Kevin (O’Hara) came on as a substitute and scored a hat-trick.

“That impressed me more than anything probably, the fact that he wasn’t working off anything else other than seeing how the Alloa team tried to play.”

Grant was asked about the length of his contract but stated coyly his plan was to be at the club for a “long time”.

McArthur will hope his appointment pays off and Grant’s target of achieving promotion to the Premiership becomes a reality.

He stated that other candidates were considered but Grant met the criteria set and was “delighted” to secure his services.

“I had that very long meeting with him and it was very worthwhile,” McArthur said.

“We had a long Zoom call with Thomas as well and he was integral to this whole appointment as much as anybody else was.”

During those discussions with Grant, it became clear that he was the man for the job, the chairman added.

“If you’re speaking to someone and they talk with the enthusiasm and passion that Peter does, it rubs off on you,” he said.

“The guy’s got charisma and there’s an aura about him.

“You don’t play 400-odd times with Celtic and have been involved with management teams at some of the clubs he has down south - and won trophies, got to cup finals and finished in the top six in the Premier League - without having qualities.

“It was great to speak to him and share our ideals on how we want to take things forward.”

News of Grant’s arrival was met by a mixed response from the club’s supporters having been acutely aware of Grant’s recent resignation from part-time Alloa having failed to keep them in the division.

However, McArthur stressed that fans should not judge him on that fact due to the nature of part-time football and conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

He stated: “You can’t judge him on that (being relegated).

“I spoke to Dick (Campbell) a few weeks ago and I said the same thing to him, for part-time teams last year, it was really, really difficult.

“With the pandemic restrictions and the limited time they got with their players, Dick and Peter both did a remarkable job at their clubs. The fact Alloa, with the lowest budget, were able to compete the way they did under Peter, it’s like comparing apples with pears.

“When you appoint a manager, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s about ensuring you get the right manager with the right credentials that you’re looking for to take the club forward.

“Peter knows, like everyone else, that you’re judged by results but also on how you develop players and how the team plays.

“That’s what we want to continue to do; to continue the good work Stevie (Crawford) had undertaken following Allan’s (Johnston) tenure at the club.

“We want to make players better and play in a style that will be appreciated by the fans.

“I don’t know what fans have been saying as I don’t go on social media and suchlike.

“Dunfermline fans always get behind their club and support it through thick and thin. They’ve shown that over the years.

“Peter knows the expectation level of this club but he’s had that all his playing career at Celtic so that won’t scare him.”

Grant will have “full authority in terms of the football department”, McArthur confirmed, with Meggle supporting him as a board member rather than sporting director.

He added that Grant was also happy with the “competitive budget” he will have at his disposal.