List of priorities unveiled at Raith Rovers Annual General Meeting

Raith fans with shirts given to them by players after Saturday's match at Queens (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith fans with shirts given to them by players after Saturday's match at Queens (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
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Raith Rovers unveiled a list of priorities for the season ahead at the Club’s Annual General Meeting – with promotion to the Championship top of the list.

The AGM, held at Stark’s Park was chaired by John Sim and fellow director Ali More, joined by board members Tom Morgan and Andy Mill, and said that they hoped not only to make the step up from League One, but aimed to tackle the club’s financial situation.

They revealed that ownership of the club was split three ways: 75 per cent of shares were owned by Mr Sim’s company, Stark’s Park Properties (SPP), 18 per cent by Raith Rovers Holdings Ltd, with the other 6 per cent held by shareholders.

SPP also owns 58 per cent of RR Holdings, meaning Mr Sim has an overall stake of 86 per cent in the club.

The board agreed that the current ownership of the club was “too complicated” and that steps may be taken in the future to make it more straightforward.

The club currently has a deficit of £1.4m and Mr More, reporting on financial statements for the year end June 30, 2018 said the club had suffered financially from the drop to League One from the Championship in 2017.

He said that gate income had dropped by £240,000 adding that the club’s debt was “the biggest and most financial challenge we face” and admitted that he had faced sleepless nights over the current predicament.

Other financial setbacks included a 50 per cent reduction in money from falling under the auspices of the SFA, rather than the SPFL due to relegation.

At the end of that year, the club had just £12,181 in the bank and it was revealed that for an average home match, profit made stands at around £8000.

However, Mr More said that with new measures in place, the club aimed to break even by the end of 2019/20.

This would include cutting the playing staff from 28 to 21, and that five of the first team squad would be part-time players, though there would be scope to add loan players to the squad if finances allow.

The club also hopes to run with three modern apprentices.

He said, that in the past the club had been making little headway in tackling the debt, but added that the club had no outstanding liabilities.

Around 30 supporters and shareholders gathered for the Q&A section of the meeting where Mr More unveiled the list of priorities for the forthcoming season.

It included, promotion to the Championship, expanding the 200 Club capacity, improving the corporate hospitality, and a relaunch of the Player Development Fund.

There are also plans for installation of changing facilities to allow commercial letting, a commemorative strip to celebrate the 25th year of the Coca-Cola Cup win in 2014, a resolution of the Stark’s Park water supply and plans to make improvements to the Railway Stand.

When asked if the improvements were needed Mr More said the stand was in a serious need of repair and it would be unwise to hold off on fixing it any longer.

He also said he aims to hit 1000 season ticket sales, which currently stand at around 600.

It was stated that manager John McGlynn had been given his budget, which he was happy with, but Mr More said that more money could possibly be found if it was needed.

He said: “We [the board] can’t do this alone, everybody connected with the Rovers has to be in on this. Financially we have to get back to the club looking after itself. That means no borrowing and not spending what we can’t afford.

“It’s going to be really tough but I’m planning to break even on our income statement to June 2020.”