Dunfermline will be a welcome addition to the SPL
Dunfermline Athletic's return to the Scottish Premier League is great for Scottish football.
The Pars are a wonderful old club with a fine footballing history.
They also have the potential support to match that history, as the 11,000 crowd at the recent Raith Rovers game proved.
The side which Jim McIntyre has built will, once a few key areas have been strengthened, hopefully prove a welcome addition to the top division.
Jim McIntyre (centre) follows in the footsteps of some very successful Dunfermline bosses
Dunfermline have had mixed fortunes in their 126-year history.
But their return to the top flight after being relegated in 2007 is welcome because everything required for the SPL is in place at East End Park.
They have the stadium, a big support base, and a loyal board of directors who have constantly dug deep into their own pockets to ensure the club's survival.
But they are worth noting because they represent an era when the Pars and Scottish clubs could compete with the best that Europe had to offer.
It's 50 years since Jock Stein won the Scottish Cup with a fine Dunfermline side, beating Celtic 2-0 in the final at Hampden after a replay.
The Pars repeated that feat in 1968 triumphing 3-1 in the final against Hearts, with George Farm at the helm as boss.
With 46 appearances in Europe in total, the club have a very decent record against the continent's finest.
Under Stein's command they reached the European Cup Winners Cup quarter-finals in 1962, losing 5-3 on aggregate to Ujpest Dozsa of Hungary. The season after that, they beat Everton in the Fairs Cup.
Then met Spanish giants Valencia, losing 4-0 away before winning 6-2 at home, only to lose out in the play-off game.
Under Willie Cunningham they lost the 1965 Scottish Cup final 3-2 to a Celtic side by then under the tutelage of Jock Stein.
The Pars came third in the league, just one point behind the two top sides Kilmarnock and Hearts. Rangers finished fifth that season, Celtic eigth.
The season after that, Cunningham took Dunfermline to the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup quarter-finals where they lost to Real Zaragoza.
In season 1968/69 Dunfermline hit their high point.
Having qualified for the European Cup Winners Cup, courtesy of beating Hearts 3-1 in the Scottish Cup final, they narrowly lost out in Europe's second trophy, going down 2-1 on aggregate to Slovan Bratislava.
European nights in the 60s at East End Park witnessed massive crowds snake down the Halbeath Road as the Pars took on top sides like Everton, Valencia, Stuttgart, Athletic Bilbao, Olympiakos and West Brom - when 26,000 turned up to watch.
It was a golden age of Scottish football and Dunfermline Athletic were right at the very forefront.
The Pars are unlikely ever to witness those kinds of times again, but they will bring to the SPL good crowds, Scottish football's liveliest mascot, Sammy the Tammy (stripped of his cardboard tank, no doubt) and chairman John Yorkston, who is never frightened to voice an opinion no matter who it upsets.
So next season, the SPL will once again echo to the sound of the Skids as Dunfermline take the field to the strains of 'Into the Valley'.
Great song, great club, great to have them back.