Campbell Money 20/11/2002 – 27/8/2004)

‘Israel’ Campbell Money was born in Maybole on 31st August 1960 and came to Ayr United claiming to be a genuine boyhood fan. He moved into management with Stranraer, winning the Second Division title in 1998. Money started his senior career with St Mirren, whom he joined from Dailly Amateurs in 1978. As a result of his move to full-time football he was obliged to give up a career in the police force. Money became Saints regular goalkeeper and became a fans favourite for his part in the side’s 1987 Scottish Cup win.

After successfully running Ayr United’s youth development to where he had come in 1999 from Stranraer, and his team became to Scottish Professional Youth League Champions in 2000/01 and then again in 2001/02 and his team lost to Rangers in the 2002 Scottish Youth Cup Final. On becoming the club manager he immediately recalled the matches he attended as a young boy particularly being amongst the record crowd against Rangers in 1969. He had the satisfaction of now being able to promote so many of his youths to become first team regulars.

He managed to steady the Ayr United ship, bereft as it was of the big wage players from the Cup Final days. One of his first matches, a 4-0 win over Arbroath, saw many of his teenagers score for the club. Other good wins followed and Campbell himself won the manager of the month award in February 2003. The team finished 6th in the league and the youth team won the league for the third year running.

The following season was full of expectation as a good crop of young players were brought together. However results did not go well and Campbell Money and a relegation battle develoiped. By 21st February they were in the bottom two but a 2-1 win against St Mirren lifted them clear. But by 13th March a 2-1 defeat at Raith Rovers took Ayr to bottom place, one point behind Brechin City. A 0-0 draw on the last day at Fallkirk seeled Ayr’s relegation. Not one for making excuses Campbell Money took the flack from the supporters. Despite this relegation Campbell Money was given a new two year contract to the bemusement of most fans.

The following season saw disastrous results with Ayr also being knocked out of the Challenge cup and CIS cup early in the season. With fans calling for his resignation United suddenly found themselves in severe financial difficulties with an unexpected inland revenue bill throwing the club to the brink of administration. In immediate cost cutting measures Campbell Money and assistant Norrie McWhirter were asked to go part time and take a wage cut. When they refused the writing for them was on the wall and they were dismissed late in August 2004.

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