THE group which is set to take over Morton has warned that the club is in dire financial straits and now faces a fight for survival.

Morton Club Together directors say the future of the club is on the line after a Cappielow cash crisis was exposed by the sudden departure of manager David Hopkin just 48 hours before today's important clash against Dunfermline.

He is understood to have quit over a dispute with chairman Crawford Rae about finances at the club.

The Tele understands the manager was facing the prospect of having to cut his playing squad and instead decided to resign, immediately followed by coach Dave Timmins.

Fans investment group Morton Club Together, who are due to take over in the summer, say they are 'disappointed' at Hopkin's exit but say there are much bigger problems to address.

A spokesperson for MCT said: “With the season only two months old, and shortened due to Covid-19, the impact on the remainder of the season of losing a manager is undoubtedly a concern.

"From our work on progressing towards the transition to community ownership, it has become clear to us that the club is in a difficult financial position.

“We understand that this is an unusual season and realise that planning for this campaign was difficult to predict and project with any accuracy.

"Despite this, and with MCT’s significant financial backing, the former manager was provided with a budget we are led to believe was the best the club could offer.

“The budget, which may have been viewed as far from ideal by some, allowed for a first team of 22 players to be retained and recruited.

“The club have publicly advised in their statement that the manager has resigned to help with the financial challenges faced.

“Whilst this may be a commendable action, we also do have concerns on both the consequences and the responsibility now placed on any managerial successor.

“Nevertheless, the fiscal situation faced by the club is clearly significant."

The group now has two directors on the Ton board and says it has gained more insight in recent weeks on the financial situation at Cappielow and now holds 'concerns which go beyond the present managerial situation'.

They said: “The reality is the future of the club is at stake right now.

“For MCT, the focus remains on being that future for the club.

“Through our feasibility work, and dealings with the club, we believe that a fresh start will not only be beneficial but is crucial for the future of the club."

Officials from MCT, which is already pumping £10k a month into the club, has urged fans to sign up and strengthen their hand at a critical time.

Their spokesperson said: “We know it is tough in the face of ongoing adversity, but we would ask that all Morton fans come together and get behind MCT, allowing us to move Morton forward into a new era in our history, one that will have fans at the heart of it.”

“We will be updating on our progress behind the scenes, and the work ongoing towards the transition, early in 2021, but for now we ask that Morton fans everywhere who want change, and want a fresh start, get behind MCT.

“Together we have the potential to give Greenock Morton a fresh start, something that it is clear to us that there is an appetite for.

“In the immediate term, we hope that whatever managerial outcome is reached will be one that helps give stability and gives fans a renewed resolve to help get the club through the remainder of this season."