PAUL PATON insists Dunfermline saved him from the prospect of part-time football this summer after revealing he would have needed to work two jobs to stay at Falkirk.
The former Dundee United, Partick Thistle and St Johnstone midfielder was facing a significant pay cut following the Bairns’ relegation to League One.
He claims he could not have got by without taking on work outside of football.
So the Northern Ireland cap admits he was delighted to negotiate his release from the Bairns to cross the Forth divide to join Dunfermline.
He explained: “When you get a bit older and you’re taking wage cut after wage cut, it’s almost better to go part-time and get a good job. When you get older you think about these things.
“But when a club of the stature of Dunfermline comes in, with the chance to play at a higher level, even though you could make more money going part-time, I had to take that.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to lie, my wages were dropping to a level that I just couldn’t afford to play full-time football for.
“I would have had to have got near enough a full-time job if I had stayed at Falkirk.
“So, I thought about a whole lot of different things, but when Dunfermline came in it was on the same kind of deal as I was on last season and I thought ‘I’ll give it a chance’.
“I didn’t want to bow out of full-time football with a relegation from the Championship, that’s not something I would have been happy with, and I was delighted to come here when the manager phoned me.
“It’ll happen one day but I still feel good and I couldn’t let an opportunity like this go.
“I’ve fought through my whole career to try to play at a good level. I’ve managed to do that and I want to stay there for as long as possible.”
As well as suffering relegation with Falkirk, last season saw Paton diagnosed with type one diabetes.
The 32-year-old admits it was a tough time for him on and off the pitch but he is happy to have got to the root of the problem and is confident he still has plenty of time left in the game.
He added: “I had a hard season last season. I had an illness and I’ll have an illness for the rest of my life. It was undiagnosed and untreated until October, so it was very hard for me.
“I knew something was up but as soon as I got it sorted and knew what was wrong I felt my energy levels from then until the end of the season were much better.
“I felt better within myself and I was up there as the top runner in the data from training and games.
“Now, I’m treating myself every day and I feel great, and I’m just looking forward to getting back playing football again.”