Jim Jefferies backs Lee McCulloch to become Kilmarnock landlord following the departure of tenant Lee Clark

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Former Kilmarnock manager Jim Jefferies insists Lee Clark was the ideal tenant, but has backed Lee McCulloch to become the dugout landlord.

Jefferies used to rent his Troon flat to Clark until he sold the property two months ago and was surprised to see the Englishman vacate the manager’s post at Kilmarnock on Tuesday to takeover at English League One side Bury.

Assistant manager McCulloch is favourite to be named as Clark’s successor but is unlikely to make a decision until after Sunday’s visit of Aberdeen.

Clark used to be Jefferies’ tenant

The former Rangers and Scotland midfielder joined Killie initially on a player/coach role in summer 2015 under Gary Locke and Jefferies, who managed Kilmarnock for eight years, insists McCulloch would be the natural replacement.

He said: “Lee has been the assistant manager there and worked under Lee and he is an obvious candidate if he wants it.

“That would keep the continuity, he knows that boys that are already there.

“He would be favourite. He’s learned under a few managers there, I think he would deserve a chance to take it up.”

Jefferies was surprised by Clark’s swift exit having been his landlord while the 44-year-old was in charge at Rugby Park.

He added: “When I left Kilmarnock, I had a flat in Troon and I initially had a girl in there that used to work for the club.

“I put it up for sale after that but Lee approached me and asked if I would let it out to him, I said I would but at the same time I would keep it on the market and I asked him if he could help out with the viewings.

“We used to text back and forward although I knew him well enough anyway having been down south.

“He looked after it great. He said to me, ‘tell your wife I’m OCD when it comes to keeping flats clean’ because he had traveled about as a football manager.”

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Former Hearts manager Jim Jefferies has returned to football as sporting director at Edinburgh City, but insists he is not interested in a dugout comeback.

The 66-year-old has been out of work since resigning as Dunfermline boss in December 2014, and stated at the time that the East End Park post was likely to be his last in management.

Jefferies, who led Hearts to Scottish Cup glory in 1998, has already turned down the chance to become director of football at Lowland League outfit Gala Fairydean.

But with League Two newcomers City short of experience in the professional game, former Hearts, Kilmarnock, Falkirk, Pars, Bradford and Berwick Rangers manager Jefferies reckons his vast contacts in the professional game can help Gary Jardine’s side.

Jefferies said: “I know Jim Brown, who’s on the board, and he phoned me up and thought I might be interested in helping them.

“I said I’m not interested in interfering on the football side, that is purely up to the manager but if ever Gary wants to speak to me about something after a game, then I’ll give him my opinion.

“Coming up from the first time, they lack a lot of experience and networking at that level and they’ve asked me to come in until the end of the season and give them help and advice.

“I’m not here to take over, I’ve had plenty of chances to do that with other situations.

“They’ve got a great set up with the youths and all that would take more time. I’m going to concentrate on helping Gary and the club and I can speak to people with my network.

“I’ve come across a lot of people in the game and you can always phone them up for a chat.

“It’s got the juices flowing again and I’m excited about going in there and helping them out. They’ve got plans to build if they survive this year.

“I’m quite looking forward to it, I said I wouldn’t go back into the dugout but if something got me at the right time then I’d look at it.”

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