Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The last couple of years hasn't seen a lot of highs for East Fife. Following the Championship win in 2008, there's been a few good wins, a few vital wins, some fine performances and some breathtaking goals. The problem's been none of these things have come at a consistant enough level to make us have what we could class any of the last three seasons as a successful one.

One of the standouts those has been Bobby Linn. Well, at times anyway. Sometimes, especially last season, Bobby was posted missing in a lot of games. It was frustrating because we all knew what his abilities were and we wondered why were weren't seeing it. Was it the tactics? Was it the player? He's one of those players though that can be quiet all game and then produce that one bit of magic that has all the fans talking about just him for the rest of the week.

This season we've seen the return to the Bobby we know and love. He was on fire pre-season. Banging in goals for fun and hat-tricks galore. He started the season well, scored some breathtaking goals, dipped a little, but is back on form again and was one of the standouts in the weekend gubbing at Pittodrie.

With his form and skill, it's not a surprise that Clubs have come sniffing about Boaby in this transfer window and the rumours are that Falkirk, Dunfermline and a Maltese club have all expressed interest in signing him. He can certainly play at a higher level.

With Bobby being out of contract in the summer and free to move on without a fee on a Bosman, East Fife are faced with a mighty dilemma and it's one that hasn't gone unnoticed by the fans.

The dilemma goes way beyond should we sell him or keep him, it's about East Fife's ambition, hopes for the rest of the season and financial state.

The chances are pretty high that Bobby will go in the summer and if we look for too much money just now, clubs will just wait till then and someone will probably come in and sign him on a pre-contract. We'll get nothing for him out of that.

With that in mind and with the state of many clubs in Scotland at the moment, even selling him now could possibly net only £10,000. A pittance really for a player like Bobby, but it would be the first "decent" money we would have got for selling a player in a long time.

Linn is clearly one of East Fife best assets on the pitch just now and when a club like East Fife has an asset like that, we aren't usually in a position to keep hold of it for that long.

Selling him would dent our push for the promotion playoffs. In fact, it could propel us into the relegation mix once again, especially since our other main goalscorer, Kurtis Byrne, has returned to Hibs at the end of his loan spell. Also what message does it not only give the fans, but also new boss John Robertson about the ambition, or rather the severe lack of it, at the club?

Realistically, I don't want us to get promotion this season as I don't think we're ready for it as a club and it could do more harm than good. Another First Division season of humpings ala Bone era and that could put more fans off for good than bring new ones in. I know Cowden seem to be getting by, but I really don't see us doing that.

I'd much rather have a season for Robbo to lay the base for a proper push next season. I don't was to see us going down though and a player like Linn can prevent that.

Selling Linn for a small five figure fee will also set off even more alarm bells amongst the fanbase about the perilous state of the Club's finances. The AGM accounts and losses made for horrific reading. If we're desperate to lose our best player just to get some money in the coffers then things are truly dire.

So what should East Fife do?

Keep him till the end of the season. Lose him on a free, but secure our Second Division safety, whilst sending a message to the fans that we don't need to sell our best players every time.

If Bobby does go though, then all at AFTN will wish him well in his new haunt. Just as long as it's not at the Rovers of course.

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