The new millenium brought a bright spot for Shire. The team collected some silverware by winning the Stirlingshire Cup and they reached the semi-final of a national competition in 2000 before losing to Livingston in the Challenge Cup.
Financial problems have been the lot of many part-time teams in Scotland for many more years than they would care to admit.
And in the summer of 2002 Shire were faced with a situation where money was really tight. It was a plight not unlike the one secretary Finlay Potterhad to deal with in November 1937. The deal, as far as the players were concerned was pretty much the same; wages were being cut and you could stay at the lower rate or find yourself a new club.
New coach Danny Diver had minimal experience of management and things did not go well. Only two of 36 games were won, both against Queen’s Park, and Shire were last, 15 points adrift of Elgin City.
The following year under Diver then Steve Morrison only five points had been gained by the last day of the season. Shire had lost 26 games in a row and only a final day victory over Elgin City saved the club from gathering the fewest points ever in a single season.
The next campaign saw the club amass 22 points in finishing last for the third year running. It would have been a lot worse had it not been for three successive wins in the space of a week in March.
In 2005 new manager Dennis Newall brought in some wiser, more experienced pros and had the team as high a seventh for a while but he
couldn’t find success where others had failed and eventually the baton was passed to former player Gordon Wyle, who had been assistant manager at Clyde.
But with the same wage restrictions in place Shire made it four last place finishes and then the Scottish League started taking an interest. A rule was put in place ; two last place finishes in a row and risk losing full membership status, four in a row and face being voted out of the league.
Wylde did his best, reducing the gap between Shire and the rest to nine points by the end of 2006/07 but the club was that summer forced to ask the league not to rescind its full membership. It was successful.
At the same time English businessman, Spencer Fearn negotiated his way into the club, promising investment and the end of minimal wage payments. After protracted negotiations he won control of the football operations in a complex agreement with the previous major shareholder.
But after five successive last place finishes, and Shire on a final warning about their performances from the league things couldn’t go wrong. At the start of the 2007/08 season Shire were a sensation, briefly top of the league, but things fell flat and when Jim McInally took over in March the club was last again. McInally revived things and on the last day a win over Montrose sealed ninth place. It was a bittersweet day though, because it was Shire’s last game at Firs Park. It was being sold for houses and a move to Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview went though.
Fearn’s backing allowed Shire to invest heavily in experienced players and in 2008/09 the bad days seemed over. The promotion play-offs were achieved but defeat to Cowdenbeath meant no party.
The same happened the next term, with a third place finish but defeat in the play-offs against Forfar. In the summer of 2010 Mr Fearn left the club, requesting his shares be left to the supporters to turn Shire into a fan-run club.