his 2000th day in charge (Aug 21st 2007) at Rugby Park, Jim Jefferies
has watched his stock steadily rise after the damaging association with
Bradford City, he has willingly taken a hit on his own earning
capacity; a gesture that not only underlined his commitment to Killie
but also emphasised the gravity of Killie's finances.
I first spoke to Jamie Moffat, he said he wanted someone with a track
record and I had experienced a similar situation at Hearts, I was from
the east and was not the people's choice. I knew that. But if things
turned sour, I was assured there would be no panic and we would see it
through. A change of manager, somebody without that experience, may have
had serious consequences for this club. I had a three-year plan and the
problems began after that second year. I could have left then but we
stuck to it."
"They could not keep
throwing money the way they were or the club would
gone out of business. Simple as that. In my second year at the club, had
the new business plan not been accepted by the bank, we would have been
fairly close to administration. If I was over budget, then I would have
to say how I would
recover the money, usually at the next available transfer window. The
expectation levels never dropped, even though I did not have the
luxuries Bobby (Williamson) did to take the club into Europe."
"I remember Walter Smith
telling me a story about when he met with Dick Advocaat at a reserve
game, he( Advocaat) couldn't believe why a manager would stay that long
at a club. I can see it from both sides but sometimes if you are
comfortable in your surroundings why leave?
"It's not a lack of
motivation. This is not an easy job. It gets harder every year. We have
stayed in the top five which is unbelievable when you consider that,
financially, we should be with St Mirren, Motherwell and Dundee United.
We are winning our league every year."
On Staying on at Killie…
"I stayed, accepted a new contract and settled in Troon, which made a
difference in the way the supporters reacted towards me, I wanted to
show those who did not want me there what I could do; win them over. I
think I have done that. I always looked at 60 and thought that was a
good time to retire but if the desire is still there - and you can see
it in other people - why stop for the sake of it?"
the future of Naismith…. "It has been torture for him and
torture watching him on his own with his thoughts. He has taken advice
from people left, right and centre and has ended up looking like a
zombie; he has been walking about in a trance. I told him if it affected
him I might have to take him out the team but he comes to life in
training. I have never kept anything from him and he appreciates that.
The Old Firm have so many strikers, I wonder if he would be better
playing regular football here because, at 20, that's all you want to do.
He wrote a great letter saying sorry and I think he just had enough of
the turmoil inside his head. In his letter to me I think he used Derek
Riordan's situation as an example but sometimes the money can soften the
blow. At his age, there is no rush."