Notice of A.G.M.

Trust10aNotice is hereby given the Annual General Meeting of the Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society Limited will be held in the Dean Suite, Park Hotel, Kilmarnock on Monday 9th December 2013 at 7.15pm prompt.

Agenda

1 Introduction.
2 Apologies
3 Last AGM minutes
4 Chairman’s report
5 Treasurer’s Report and Financial Statement.
6 Reappointment of W White & Co as Auditors to the Society.
7 Elections to the Board/announcement of results.
8 Trust objectives 2014.
9 Any Other Business.
10 Close

By order of the Board

Nigel Fitzsimmons
Secretary
Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society Ltd
Registered Office:
Duncan McLean & Co, 81 John Finnie Street,Kilmarnock, KA1 1BG

Notes
A member entitled to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote in their place. Such a proxy need not be a member of the Society. The appointment of a proxy should be in writing to the Secretary, and in order to be valid, the form of proxy must be received by the secretary not less than 48 hours before the time fixed for the holding of the meeting or any adjourned meeting. Valid forms of proxy arriving at the PO Box address by close of business 2 days prior to the meeting will be deemed to satisfy the above criteria.

A copy of the standard form of proxy is attached to this letter. Completed forms should be returned to the Secretary at PO Box 26103, Kilmarnock, KA1 1YN before 5pm on Saturday 7th December 2013. No person other than the Chair of the meeting can act as proxy for more than 3 members.

Admissions to the Annual General Meeting of any shareholder or proxy entitled to attend will be on production of this notice.

The Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society Ltd (The Killie Trust)

An Industrial and Provident Society registered with the Financial Services Authority

Register Number 2620RS

The Wisdom of Crowds Part Three

Buy a brick at Rugby Park

Having attended the Supporters Summit 2013 at the English Football Associations new centre of excellence at St Georges Park, which was hosted by Supporters Direct and the Football Supporters Federation. This event was attended by supporters from across all Europe. These supporters came from a wide range of clubs in a variety of situations. Some are simply trying to keep their club alive despite the best efforts of business minded people, others have lost that battle and have started their own phoenix club based on democratic community ownership principles. The Trusts from many of EPL clubs are working to keep their club grounded in their community with a local sense of identity and history.

The very next weekend we met up with an equally diverse group of Scottish football supporters at the Supporters Direct Scotland Club Ownership Summit at Stirling Albion. Here we met supporters who already own their football club or in a very good position to take control of the destiny of their club or believe that community ownership is the only sustainable future for their club.

So what have learned from meeting all these football supporters?

The position of our football club and the deteriorating relationship between He that “runs it” and its supporters is almost the default position for football clubs today. The single person ownership model is more prevalent than at any other time. A lot of football clubs are run with a cavalier disregard for the fundamentals of economics, business planning, marketing, social responsibility and sound financial planning. Sadly this includes our own club. Most of the clubs that make use of these basic business tools are clubs where fans have a strong voice or they are the outright owners.

Clubs that become community owned know that their most important asset is the supporters because without them there is nothing. A good relationship must be built and maintained with them to ensure sustainability off the pitch which ultimately helps to bring success on the pitch. At the Supporters Summit 2013 Tim Connelly the Vice President of Sales for the Green Bay Packers, the only community owned club in the NFL, said “if our customers are angry with us we have missed the point”. He also observed that Green Bay are in the subscription business “we want people to keep coming back and signing up for longer, to do that we have to give them something they want, they have to have a sense of community with the club”.

Back in Kilmarnock however, our Chairman seems unwilling to engage with the local community. Our attendances are dwindling, a 16% reduction in home attendances last season alone1. The average age of Killie supporters is rising so we are facing a demographic time bomb. We are a club that is in danger of literally dying out in the next 50 years unless we start trying to reverse this trend now. There is no vision or plan to reverse this trend coming from the boardroom. The local community is the biggest and most likely source of new supporters for us. As a football club our very existence depends on developing a long term and comprehensive strategy to bring in new supporters. This means Killie have to be at the very heart of the community.

The Trust has developed a number of projects that promote education, health and well-being in our community that also raise awareness of Kilmarnock Football Club. These projects have all been designed to be sustainable over a long period of time which is vital if the club is to start growing its support again. We realised from the start that we had to use the minimum amount of club resources as these are in very short supply. The K-Steps programme is just one of these projects. We have several others at an advanced stage of readiness, but they have been sitting on the shelf for over 18 months. The key element to going forward with these projects is the engagement of the club. The Trust has made several attempts to engage with Mr Johnston on the subjects of community development, the use of volunteers and community ownership. These were generally rebuffed and those that did move forward took so long to do so that the opportunity was lost or the conditions for club involvement were such that the board of the Killie Trust would have been at risk of breaking its own operating rules.

So where do we go from here? People say that community ownership cannot work at big clubs but the Champion’s League final this year laid that myth to rest once and for all. We, as a community, need to take the destiny of our football club into our own hands.  There are great examples of community ownership across the UK.

There is no quick, easy answer to the difficulties our club faces, but the current chairman has no plan to take our club forwards and is unwilling to accept any support other than cash. Our Football Club should be doing great things in our community right now. Things that would start to reverse the inevitable decline we are in right now. However, short-termism is the order of the day for the Chairman and one man board of Kilmarnock Football Club.

There is no white knight waiting in the wings and anyone that claims to be a white knight needs to answer some very serious questions about their plans.  People keep on asking “where is the alternative”. WE, the supporters of Kilmarnock Football Club, founded in 1869, are the alternative. Fans are always the bank of last resort. When everything has been run into the ground and every line of credit fails and the gates are about to be locked forever, the fans pull together. They find a way to put aside their differences and take that step into the unknown and take control of the football club they love.

It is happening right now at Dunfermline. Pars UNITED have been named the preferred bidder. The only other bidder decided to remain anonymous and this lack of transparency appears to have affected their chances.

It is happening right now at Hearts. The Foundation of Hearts has put in a very strong bid for the club and we will know soon if it has succeeded.

Are Hearts or Dunfermline fans any smarter than Killie fans? No. The only reason we will fail is because we fail ourselves.

What can we do?

Reference

1. Kilmarnock Standard 12.07.2013, page 103, John Livingston.

Statement on Behalf of Ayrshire Businesses

Statement from John Gall (MD of Brownings the Bakers), on behalf of Ayrshire businesses regarding KFC:-

BrowningsLogo2TRANSTonight a group of like-minded business people from Kilmarnock met to discuss their concerns about the current state of affairs at Kilmarnock Football Club.

The local businesses represented were Braehead Foods, Brownings the Bakers, The Coffee Press, Costley & Costley Hoteliers, Fortress Security & Alarms, Hamilton Tarmac, The Klin Group, Microtech Support, Modway and the QTS Group.

The group has unanimously agreed that the only way they can continue to fully support the Club is if there is a change in regime.

A spokesperson has been appointed to request a meeting with Michael Johnston to clarify his position and discuss the way forward in the best interest of Kilmarnock Football Club.

John Gall
Managing Director
Browning’s the Bakers
Block 1
Bonnyton Ind Estate
Kilmarnock
Ayrshire
KA1 2NP

COG moves up a gear with the launch of The Killie Trust Business Network Meetings

The Killie Trust held the first of many Business Network Meetings(BNM) on the 7th of February 2013 at the Coffee Press in Bank Street, Kilmarnock. These meetings are part of the the Trust’s Community Ownership Group initiative, their aim is to build closer relationships between local businesses and the Trust. These relationships will be vital for the long term sustainability of Kilmarnock Football Club and the local community.

The Coffee Press in Bank street, Kilmarnock

The Coffee Press in Bank street, Kilmarnock

We invited a wide variety of local businesses to this meeting and after everyone had settled down with some tea or coffee and a bite to eat the evening got started.  Nigel Fitzsimmons from the Trust Board outlined the format for the evening and gave a brief presentation followed by a question and answer session. Nigel’s talk covered the history of the Trust, it’s objectives and recent activities. These activities include the Community Ownership Group or COG as it is known.  There is an ever growing list of football clubs in community ownership across Europe, the UK and Scotland. Some of these include Dundee in the SPL, Swansea City in the EPL and most of the Bundesliga clubs; Germany provides some of the best examples of sound financial management, fan involvement and community ownership.

Nigel then moved on to explain the Trust’s Community Partnership initiative.

This initiative aims to promote local businesses which have similar aims and objectives to the trust and which have worked in partnership with us on a project or event.

Finally we had a question and answer session with a wide ranging discussion about the Trust movement, COG and the partnership initiative.

This was a very positive meeting and it was great to speak to so many people who have similar objectives and have the good of Kilmarnock the football club, the town and the community at heart.  Everyone understands that COG  will not be a quick fix but we must start somewhere.  This meeting confirmed to the Trust that we have to build a greater understanding of our aims across all parts of the community. We agreed to give everyone regular updates on progress.

There will be many more of these meetings. We are also more than happy to speak to any local group as well.  If you are interested in attending a BNM meeting or you would like us to give a talk about the Killie Trust and COG,  please email the thechairman@killietrust.org.

Remember to look out for #COG and #killietrustbnm on twitter.

http://www.thecoffeepress.co.uk/Default.asp

Meeting with Club on 21st August 2012

Representatives of the Killie Trust, KFCSA and Kilmarnock Football Club met last night to discuss recent events. Chairman Michael Johnston told the supporter’s organisations that he was looking at the possibility of Kilmarnock FC becoming a Community Interest Club (CIC) and all parties agreed to further investigate the possibility of such an event. The setting up of the Killie Trust’s Community Ownership Group (COG) Fund was ratified by its members on Saturday and fundraising activities shall commence with immediate effect.

SGM on Community Ownership (COG) Report

The Killie Trust has consulted with its members about taking forward a plan to bring KFC in to community ownership. This has always been an objective of the Killie Trust, but recent events have forced us to take a look at the bigger picture and the consensus of the Trust Board is that we’ve now got to revisit one of our primary objectives and concentrate our efforts on community ownership in one form or another.

A meeting was held after the game against Motherwell on the 18th of August, which was very well attended. This meeting is only the first step in what could turn out to be a long journey, and there could be a lot of twists and turns on the way which we have to be prepared for. The Trust had done a little bit of work on this however so that there was something tangible to discuss.

The Trust is going to call this initiative the Trust’s COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP GROUP Fund, or COG for short and we’ll keep any money raised in a separate account. So if we talk about the Trust’s COG Fund from here on in then you’ll know what we are referring to.

The Trust Chairman outlined the three proposals to the meeting which were:

1.  All COG funds raised will be used for the purpose of bringing Kilmarnock Football Club into community ownership. The society aims to own over 51% of the club.

2.  The use of £9 of the annual membership fee of £10 for adults will be put towards the Trust’s Community Ownership Group Fund; this will be reviewed on an annual basis.

3.  To undertake on behalf of the society’s members all discussions and negotiations that are required to effect a transfer of ownership of Kilmarnock football club to Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society Ltd.

The Killie Trust is founded on the principles of democracy, openness and transparency. The negotiations that will be undertaken may require a confidentiality agreement to be entered into. The Trust will endeavour to keep its members as informed as possible and will aim to minimise the scope of any agreement, but there will be times when the board of the society are unable to keep members as informed as they should be.

There were some questions from the members including Cathy Jamieson the local MP and Killie season ticket holder before the proposals were unanimously agreed to by the meeting.

The Killie Trust board will now get to work on a plan of action to take this forward.