Kilmarnock players get on the phone to lapsed fans
AS Scottish football clubs try to come up with innovative ways to battle through these difficult financial times, Kilmarnock have announced that their drive to garner extra support and, more importantly, cash, will involve players and management phoning lapsed season-ticket holders personally to try and coax them back to Rugby Park.
As of tonight, operation ‘Team Talk’ will commence, a venture which will involve Killie first-team players, as well as the management team, joining forces with the club’s ticket office staff to try and bolster sales in the run-up to next Saturday’s SPL opener at home to Dundee.
Captain Manuel Pascali and his teammates will be in the offices, calling fans and then trying to entice them to buy a season ticket. The idea to engage with fans in such a way came about during a chance conversation over lunch at the club’s training ground.
Manager Kenny Shiels, who is unable to add any further new faces to his squad as a result of financial constraints, said: “Clearly our club is going to experience some hardship as a result of the Rangers situation; one which was not of our making.
“However we are where we are and it’s important that we look forward positively and address any additional challenges that we may face as a consequence. Making up the shortfall in gate receipts will be a priority and when I heard that the club was planning to contact fans to encourage them to renew their season tickets I thought it was a great idea and I was keen to get involved.”
Kilmarnock were the only SPL club, other than Rangers themselves, who didn’t opt to vote the Ibrox club out of the SPL, with Rugby Park chairman Michael Johnston coming under fire for abstaining. However, Kilmarnock are far from the only club trying to rally their supporters in the wake of Rangers’ downfall. Last week, Hibs chairman Rod Petrie issued a statement implying that the club were some 3,000 season-ticket sales short of the number they require in order to ensure manager Pat Fenlon is able to cobble together the standard of team the supporters desire.
Aberdeen also issued a rallying call on their website entitled ‘The Time Is Now’ encouraging fans to back the club and also adding a live season ticket counter which informs fans how many briefs have been sold. It stood at just over 6,200 last night.
Meanwhile, Kilmarnock drew 1-1 at home to Championship outfit Huddersfield Town last night. Lee Johnson gave the Rugby Park side the lead after 20 minutes, before free-scoring Scotland cap Jordan Rhodes levelled seven minutes before the break for a Terriers side containing ex-Dundee United left-back Paul Dixon.
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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