From The Archives: FFTF Crossbar Challenge

000_0051At half time of the last home game of the 2003/2004 season 10 Killie fans donned their boots and took to the Rugby Park pitch to promote the recently introduced Fifty for the Future scheme by having a go at the “crossbar challenge” which was made famous on Sky Sports “Soccer AM” TV show. If you aren’t familiar with it, each person has to strike a dead ball from the centre spot (or edge of the centre circle in this case) and hit the crossbar. Quite simple really…..but also really hard.

Though not a fund raiser it was used to embed the idea of FFTF firmly in everyone’s mind. Judging by the success over the course of that scheme, I would say it worked.

000_0050000_0049000_0047000_0048000_0046000_0044000_0045Oh and no one managed to hit the bar, not unlike the TV version most weeks.000_0043

Advertisements

Your Club Needs You

Today heralds what will hopefully be our final league game of the season at Rugby Park. Much depends on the result of tonight’s game as it appears after yesterday’s results that who will finish in the play off place is now between Hibs, Partick and ourselves. Needless to say that we want to avoid that eleventh position if at all possible and we would like to encourage all Killie fans to get along and lend the team their support for what can only be described as a crucial match.

No matter what the result is, the team will also need our support at Easter Road on Saturday and it would be a real boost if we could also get as many fans along to that as well. It took a determined performance by Tommy Burns’ Dad’s Army back in 1994 at the same venue to secure our top division survival back then and a huge traveling support proved to be a real boost to the players. No matter what has gone before this season, it is time to be the twelfth man again and hope that our faith and support will be rewarded with a fitting result.

Good luck to all concerned and come on the mighty Killie!

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.

Football Fans In Training (FFIT)

Football Fans In Training (FFIT) is coming back to Rugby Park.

The club will be running this excellent programme from the Monday the 18th of February. This programme is aimed at men over 35 who have a waist larger than 37 inches and want to do something about.

The programme starts Monday the 18th of February for 12 weeks.

Time 6.00-8.00pm

Venue: Rugby Park

For more information contact Paul McDonald at Rugby Park or email him on pmcdonald@kilmarnockfc.co.uk or call 01563 545309

Here is FFIT official site and also for your viewing pleasure is some video from the BBC from the first time it was at Rugby Park. See if you can spot anyone you know.

 

Good luck to anyone who goes on to participate.

Stand Up (If You Love Killie) 6!: A Preview

With Christmas and New Year outta the way, time to plan your next night out, why not make it with us?

StandUpWebAd6

Friday 22nd of February 2013 sees the return of Killie Trust comedy in the form of Stand Up (If You Love Killie) 6! Since its inception, our comedy night has gone from strength to strength and showcased some of the best acts on the Scottish circuit, next February will be no different as Ray Bradshaw returns to run the show as our compère having enjoyed it so much last time. Ray is currently embarking on a series of dares for his upcoming festival shows, one of which isn’t to be a Partick Thistle fan which he does simply because he wants to.

Also on the bill this time up will be Gary Little, a Glasgow comedian with a colourful past who has been in comedy ten years come 2013 so is in his testimonial season, Scott Gibson will also be with us, from Paisley he has gigged all over Britain since starting in 2010 and was even gigging all around Ontario Canada this year as well as alongside Kevin Bridges and Frankie Boyle at The Stand. Further to those two is Teddy Ross, who has written for TV and radio and also is editor of Scottish Comedian FC blog and podcast which has the views of Scottish comedians on fitba (funnily enough). Finally completing the line up is John Speirs, Kilmarnock fan and resident he has “papped out in the first round” of Scottish Comedian of the Year 2012 on his CV and he was at Stand Up 3 so this marks his return. All in all a fantastic line up for you all to get excited about, so what about those tickets?

Well, 2013 is a new year but the price is still the same, £15 to laugh your head off on a Friday night. As always all money raised goes toward The Killie Trust and you can get yours by calling 07429615232 or visiting the Trust Desk which is situated as always in
the Park Hotel on match days. You can also purchase tickets on Eventbrite and pay via Paypal – http://killietrust.eventbrite.com/

Plenty of ways to get involved.

Here also is some links to find out more about our acts.

Ray Bradshaw

twitter: @comedyray

website: www.idarerayto.com/ where Ray is taking on dares which will form the basis of his Glasgow Comedy Festival show this year. Feel free to dare him to do something.

Gary Little

twitter: @biggarylittle

youtube:

Scott Gibson

twitter: @bigscottgibson

website: http://scottgibsoncomedy.com/

Teddy Ross

twitter: @comedyteddy

podcast: Details on how you can subscribe to the Scottish Comedy FC Podcast which Teddy hosts and edits.

John Speirs

twitter: @ruudkerouac

blog: The Nhoj

Killie Trust AGM

Trust10aThe Kilmarnock Supporters’ Society

An Industrial and Provident Society registered with the Financial Services Authority Register Number 2620RS

Notice of Annual General Meeting
Notice 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 17th December 2012 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 Resolution 1: audit of accounts
8 Resolution 2: adoption of new model rules
9 Resolution 3: To adopt the Board Membership and conduct policy
10 Resolution 4: To adopt the standing orders for society board meeting policy
11 Resolution 5: To adopt the standing orders for general meetings policy
12 Resolution 6: To adopt the disciplinary policy
13 Resolution 7: To adopt the election policy
14 Elections to the Board/announcement of results.
15 Trust objectives 2013.
16 Any Other Business.
17 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 available on request to Secretary@killietrust.org. Completed forms should be returned to the Secretary at PO Box 26103, Kilmarnock, KA1 1YN before 5pm on Saturday 15th December 2012. No person other than the Chair of the meeting can act as proxy for more than 3 members.

K-Step: How it Works

Following on from yesterdays blog about how K-Step came to be, here you can read how its all done.

We’ve all heard the one about our school years being “the best years of our lives” but is that really the case. I’m sure we’ve all got mixed memories of our time trying to work out that unsolvable algebra problem, making sense of a William Shakespeare soliloquy or translating the thought “when’s that bell gonny ring” into French.

What if you were going to school in the morning KNOWING you were going to learn about the history and all aspects of the famous Ayrshire Killie??

One of the main objectives of the Killie Trust is to bring our football club closer to the community and attempt to generate a love of all things Killie in the hope that we can increase our supporter base. You don’t need a maths degree or 20/20 vision to see that attendances at the Theatre of Pies are down and we can debate over many hours (and a right few beers) what the root causes are.

Talking about ways to increase attendances is one thing but in this financial climate it’s time to put words into action and follow King Kenny’s mantra about supporting your local team. So, where better to start than to get right into our schools and get Primary 5/6 youngsters passionate about the KILLIE!

With this in mind, the Trust talked the idea through with a then unemployed local K-Step3student teacher, Lesley Sandison. Over a period of time, a programme was devised, which fitted comfortably with the education department’s Curriculum of Excellence, to use the attraction of the football club as a means of encouraging pupils in their verbal, written, aural and social skills. The Kilmarnock Supporters’ Trust Education Programme (K-STEP) was born.

The programme is spread over six two and a half hour sessions. The Trust also lend the class a small camcorder which pupils take turns to use to record all their activities throughout this period. They can later transpose this to DVD to look back on at a later date.

K-STEP 1

With a Killie flag as a backdrop instead of Big Ben, pupils take turns to act as newsreaders, reading out key chapters in the 143 glorious years of our famous old club.

Using these key chapters, they then create a timeline frieze and decorate it with some pictures showing past glories and the famous faces that have played for our club over the years. The completed 20 foot frieze thereafter takes pride of place on the classroom wall.

This newly gained knowledge about the history of the club is then put to the test with a game of KILLIE QUIZBALL, a Monopoly-style board game with various pitfalls and questions to be answered along the way before someone can be crowned CHAMPIONNEE!

K-STEP 2

We can’t get by in life without using numbers and football is no different. Squad numbers, attendance numbers, match scores, not to mention the big numbers involved in money matters.

Pupils discuss how a football club can make money and what the Club has to spend money on to ensure a match can take place.

Their arithmetical skills are tested when they are ‘given money’ to spend in the Killie Shop and Snack Bar and they examine match day profit and loss accounts.

One important revenue maker with the Club is selling replica football kits so the pupils set about designing a strip for the famous ‘blue and whites’, the winner to be judged by Kenny Shiels himself.

K-STEP 3

A debate ensues on what a ‘manager’ is and what makes a good manager? Pupils get to pull together all their good points and fill in an application to the Chairman to be considered for the position of manager at Kilmarnock F C.

Once they have become manager, they must buy a team and keep it within the Chairman’s very strict budget restraints. Pupils mull over a pool of players, weighing up their cost, positional strengths and weaknesses before coming to a decision on which eleven forms THEIR team……and don’t forget the Chairman’s VERY strict budget restraints.

K-STEP 4

This session is all about teamwork and co-operation. Players can’t perform without the help of their teammates and if one part of the team doesn’t perform, prepare to lose the game.

Various exercises take place to show the benefits of working as a team and how you can achieve your goal if everyone co-operates.

The session finishes in the gym hall with ‘parachute games’ which test their teamwork to the max.

K-STEP 5

The KFC Community Department visit the school and deliver an input on healthy eating and nutrition and their knowledge is tested by way of a quiz.

This is followed by an exercise session in the gym hall where pupils can work up a sweat during some fun-filled games.

Killie players visit the class for the last period of the day and are grilled by up-and-coming journalists on all aspects of their life and experiences…..and even probe about THEIR time at the school.

K-STEP 6

The last session involves a visit to the hallowed ground at Rugby Park.

Pupils are given a guided tour through the stadium, hearing about all the various artefacts and memorabilia on display, while trying to fill in questions relating to them on a fact sheet.

They also visit the Board Room, home, away and referee’s dressing rooms, the medical suite, get to come out of the tunnel to the pitch-side and sit in the dugouts.

Then, its light refreshments followed by a short prizegiving where everyone gets a ‘goody bag’ and a diploma signed by Kenny Shiels and Jimmy Nicholl officially certifying them as Killie fans.

To try and cement a bond between pupil and KFC, our Club generously donate tickets to the school for home games which fall within the six week K-STEP programme so pupils can take in the whole match day experience first hand. Hopefully this taster will make them want to keep coming back to Rugby Park to become the supporters of the future.

The Killie Trust very much believes that the future sustainability of our Club will depend on youth development and more integration between Club and community. Youth development on the playing front is, of course, very important but just as vital is youth development off the pitch. Supporters are the lifeblood of the Club and without them, KFC would not exist.

K-STEP is a structured way for players to visit Primary Schools and a vehicle for the Club to get its message across and hopefully increase our supporter base.

Let’s face it, with average home crowds of just over 4,000 in an 18,000+ stadium, we’ve got a lot of empty seats to fill!

Last year the Trust polled sufficient votes in a national RBS community competition to be awarded some money for this initiative, which has allowed it to be rolled out to several schools.

St. Sophia’s in Galston have recently completed the programme which will now move on to New Farm and Bellfield Primary schools in the New Year.

The Trust is on the lookout for suitable volunteers to become part of the team delivering the programme to local schools. It goes without saying that the more volunteers we have, the more schools we can reach.

If you’re interested in helping out or want to know more about the programme, please get in touch via email to – Killiehippo@aol.com or community@killietrust.org