Supporters Direct Press Release: 5th Dec 2014

Supporters Direct Scotland suggest trial period for reintroduction of alcohol to Scottish football

Supporters Direct Scotland is asking decision makers and all relevant parties to consider a trial period for the reintroduction of alcohol in Scottish football stadiums.

Following the inaugural SFA Convention at Hampden Park earlier this week, SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan confirmed that initial discussions have already taken place with Police Scotland regarding lifting the ban on alcohol that has been in place since 1980.

Earlier this year, Supporters Direct Scotland, in association with the SFA, conducted extensive research into supporters’ perceptions of the alcohol ban. 62% of participants in the survey were in favour of lifting the ban, with 72% backing the introduction of a small-scale trial of selling alcohol in Scottish football stadiums.

Andrew Jenkin, Head of Supporters Scotland said: “Although there was a majority in favour of lifting the ban, there are other aspects which should be considered before any decision should be taken regarding the ban on alcohol in Scottish football.

For example, consideration should be taken regarding the varying demographics of match-attending football fans. Our research revealed that the majority of female supporters were opposed to any relaxation of current legislation, as were respondents over the age of sixty.”

Scottish football has made impressive strides in improving its image over the last thirty-five years, with several clubs taking greater responsibility for the health and well-being of their supporters. We encourage those involved in these discussions to consider all relevant factors in any decision made regarding a change to the current restriction on alcohol in Scottish football.

For more information please contact:

Supporters Direct Scotland

Michael Wood: 01786 845 606

About Supporters Direct Scotland

·       Supporters Direct helps fans to set up democratic cooperatives (known as supporters’ trusts) to gain influence in the running and ownership of their clubs.

·       SD represents over 200 supporters’ trusts and similar organisations England, Scotland and across Europe, with over 600,000 members.

·       To find out more about the research conducted by Supporters Direct Scotland, please visit ScottishFans.org/research

COG Working Party Press Release – 11th February 2014

KILMARNOCK FC SUPPORTERS GROUP MAKE OFFER TO PURCHASE THEIR CLUB

The Killie (Community) Working Party, established with support from  Supporters Direct Scotland, has announced its intention to make an offer  to purchase Kilmarnock FC’s Chairman’s entire shareholding.

garybioGary  Torbett, on behalf of The Killie (Community) Working Party, said: “We  would like to acknowledge the work being undertaken by the Chairman of  Kilmarnock Football Club to make the club debt free and would positively  encourage him to make every effort to come to an agreement with the  club bankers and other significant lenders to reduce the debt to zero.   The Killie (Community) Working Party would like to make an offer to  purchase the Chairman’s entire shareholding if this can be achieved.”

“This  offer would be contingent on a fair valuation of the company and the  completion of a satisfactory due diligence process.  This purchase would  be undertaken by a new Community Interest Company (CIC) with a  democratically elected board.”

Scottish-FansPaul Goodwin, Head of Supporters  Direct Scotland said, “I met with Michael Johnston, on behalf of The  Killie (Community) Working Party, on Friday [7th February] and conveyed  the outline of the supporters’ offer.  I reiterated SDS’ willingness to  assist in progressing this offer to a satisfactory conclusion for both  parties.”

Gary Torbett added: “We see this move as a genuine step forward as we prepare to get our club back.

Unfortunately  there remains concern amongst supporters with the long term position of  the club and we firmly believe that fan and community ownership is  where that lies rather than relying on a single majority shareholder who  won’t be around for ever.  The only constants at any club are the fans  and the community it is based in.”

“We will shortly launch our formal efforts to raise the money to take  the club into community ownership and we hope that the business  community – both private and public – as well as community groups and  supporters will get behind us.”

Kilmarnock fans have a history of successful fundraising and  community involvement. Over £100,000 has been directly raised for the  Club’s youth development programme and a number of initiatives driven by  The Killie Trust have seen financial awards to a many community based  projects in recent years.

The Killie (Community) Working Party is made up, in no particular order, of:

  • The Killie Trust
  • The Kilmarnock FC Supporters Association
  • Minority shareholders in Kilmarnock FC
  • The Business Club
  • Young Kilmarnock

Issued on behalf of The Killie (Community) Working Party by Supporters Direct Scotland.

For further information please contact Paul Goodwin on 07702 252519 or Gary Torbett  on 07905 478179

Killie Trust statement – 22/07/2013

COGlogo

In April 2013 Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society Ltd (The Killie Trust) made a formal approach in writing to Mr Johnston, Chairman of Kilmarnock Football Club, to express a desire to enter into dialogue with him regarding the way ahead to community ownership of the Club. This approach was made on The Killie Trust’s behalf by a well respected law firm. In his response Mr Johnston requested that The Killie Trust, through their legal representatives, submit a draft Confidentiality Agreement for his further consideration. A document which, in the opinion of The Killie Trust and their advisors, can be considered suitable and appropriate was duly forwarded to Mr Johnston on 27th May. This document has been neither accepted nor rejected by Mr Johnston. Our legal representatives have contacted Mr Johnston in recent weeks for an update on the matter and have not, as yet, received any response.

Fans Groups Statement: 15/7/13

Trust10aThe Killie Trust, Young Killie, KFC Supporters’ Association and affiliated clubs would like to encourage all Kilmarnock FC Supporters to attend Wednesday’s friendly match against East Fife to show our support for the new management team of Alan Johnston and Sandy Clark. In what has been a pre-season of unrest for many of the Kilmarnock faithful, all the organisations want fans to turn out in numbers to support the team and to show that despite any planned protests against the current regime, the team will get our moral and vocal support from the outset.

At the match, we would encourage fans to wear scarfblue and yellow scarves and t-shirts, the colours that now symbolise the majority of supporters lack of confidence in current chairman Michael Johnston. For those not kitted out already, there will be scarves available at the match in return for a donation to the Trust’s Community Ownership Group (COG) initiative. T-Shirts can be purchased online at rainbowink.co.uk or at Rainbow Ink’s shop in Bank Street, Kilmarnock.

Killie Trust Board member Peter Telfer said, “Wednesday is a great opportunity for the supporters to show their backing for our new manager, he needs to know that our ‘We are Killie – Johnston Must Go’ banners are not aimed at him! Alan had a successful playing career with us and I think it is safe to say that we all hope that his managerial career follows suit. Kenny Sheils may not have been everyone’s cup of tea but in general he was well liked and respected and his dismissal and the way it was handled was shocking. The last thing we would like to see now is another promising manager lose his job on a technicality in the same manner, that is not how the Killie family treat our own.”

Peter added “The blue and yellow idea came from the fans forum on the internet and I think it is important to remember that the fans are the only constant at any football club as without us clubs simply would not exist, which is something that the current chairman has literally not taken on board. Sadly Michael Johnston has not been representing our views or running the club in the best interests of the fans or the local community and that has ultimately cost him our support. While we remain 100% behind the manager and his squad we cannot stand by and watch as the club we love is systematically eroded by the one man board, if he was a true Killie fan he would do the honourable thing and walk away.”

The match kicks off at 7:45pm at New Bayview in Methil with admission prices £6 for adults and £4 for concessions.

Killie Trust Board Statement on Kilmarnock Redevelopment

Trust10aThe Killie Trust would like to congratulate Diageo PLC and the Klin Group on their announcement of the proposed development of an indoor arena and associated facilities in Kilmarnock. The Killie Trust has long been involved in attempting to bring community-based multi-sports facilities to Kilmarnock. This fantastic and unique community-based venture would bring much-needed jobs and attract visitors back to the town, as well as providing the local population, organisations and businesses with top quality facilities. The Killie Trust looks forward to working closely with Klin Group in the consultation process to begin shortly.

Barry Richmond, Chairman of the Killie Trust stated: “From a community perspective we as a Trust are excited by what the future holds and that is not something that we have been able to say for a long time. I sincerely hope that other community groups will recognise the significance of these proposals and that we as a collective, in partnership with the Klin Group and the legacy of Diageo, can help put Kilmarnock back on the map as Scotland’s top provincial town with a heritage to be proud of and a future that is bright.”

Nigel Fitzsimmons, Secretary of the Killie Trust stated: “The Macklin family are strong advocates for the regeneration of Kilmarnock and the revitalisationof this community. Their vision and commitment are in harmony with the community targeted objectives of the Killie Trust and we are delighted to be involved in this exciting development”

Trust board member and Vice President of Kilmarnock & District History Group Gary Torbett said: ‘Kilmarnock has a long history of innovation, promotion and excellence in sport. The proposed development ensures this would continue for generations to come and truly gives the area a sporting and socialhub to be proud of. The rewards of having such a magnificent facility at the heart of the community would be significant and give us all a future to be proud of. Well done to Diageo and Klin group for their positive vision.”

COG Press Release 24th November 2012

The Killie Trust would like to update our members on the current state of play with our community ownership (COG) plans in the approach to our AGM, which will be in the Park Hotel on Monday 17th December. We launched the initiative back in August and had hoped to firm up plans in the months following but unfortunately circumstances dictated that we had to put things on hold.

We were informed, by someone working closely with the club, that there had been an offer to buy out the majority shareholding and of course this would have a major impact on how we were going to progress our plans. Further investigation revealed that this information proved to be correct but that the board of director had rejected what appeared to be an excellent offer given the perilous state of football in Scotland and the debt carried by our club.

While we are extremely disappointed that there will be no change in how the club is currently run, it only serves to strengthen our resolve in bringing community ownership to Kilmarnock Football Club. We now plan a series of meetings, bringing together like-minded local businesses to support our long-term aim in ensuring the club’s survival.

Fans of other teams have found out the hard way that the only people that can be relied on to put the interests of the club first are themselves; we should learn from what has already transpired and not get caught out the same way. We currently have a good manager and squad of players who we will continue to support 100% but it is imperative that we prepare ourselves for the inevitable changes that are on the horizon and community ownership, now or a few years down the line, should be our ultimate aim.

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.

Killie Trust Statement Regarding Rangers Newco Vote

The Killie Trust would like to disassociate themselves from the actions of the Kilmarnock Football Club Chairman at the SPL meeting on Wednesday. It was important that we, as a club, were seen to be taking a moral stance as opposed to acting in self interest, and it is felt that we have been misrepresented by our majority shareholder and sole board member in this case. His refusal to vote was clearly not in the best long term interests of the club as it cast a shadow of doubt over our own integrity in this sorry affair.

We hosted an open meeting in conjunction with our Supporters Association last week which Michael Johnston attended and a unanimous show of hands from the floor should have left him in no doubt that Kilmarnock supporters were not in favour of any new club being allowed entry directly into the top division based purely on financial reasons. This was also backed up by various on line polls which indicated that 98% of those whom voted were also of the same mind, and we are more than certain that the “consultation”, which the club paid for and then apparently decided not to act upon, would have reflected the same; although the results of said “consultation” were kept out of the public domain and not made available to those whom voted.

The decision taken by the SPL is indeed a momentous one and we hope that the fans of the clubs affected can now concentrate on getting behind their teams and ensuring that the embarrassing scare-mongering predictions of Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan, who should be considering their own positions at this time, do not come to fruition. If ever it was more clear that we need only one governing body for a country our size it is now. We sympathise with all football fans out there who have been victims of so-called business men that have systematically taken their club apart and we hope that such supporters will have a major say in how their club is run from here on in. The only good thing to come out of all this has been the refreshing way in which most clubs have responded to the wishes of their fan base and we hope that the clubs in the SFL will respond in a similar fashion and not be bullied into accepting change they do not want, when it comes to doing the right thing there can be no compromise.

We have the opportunity over the coming season to start getting our house in order and we hope that Supporters Direct and fans in general will be given a say in the direction that Scottish football will take. The major stake-holders in our game cannot and will not be ignored any longer because without the fans there would be no clubs and the time has come for us to reclaim our place at the table and ensure that commercial greed and self interest no longer dictate the decisions that have to be made. We are all in this together and together we can get Scottish football back on its feet, from the bottom division to the top, anything less is simply unacceptable.