Kilmarnock fans group to look at community ownership

Kilmarnock Chairman Michael Johnston held talk with supporters earlier this month. Picture: SNS
Kilmarnock Chairman Michael Johnston held talk with supporters earlier this month. Picture: SNS
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KILMARNOCK fans have formed a working group to examine options for community ownership of the Ayrshire club.

The panel will work in partnership with Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) with the aim of involving members of local community and businesses in completing a fans’ buy-out.

Supporters Direct has over 400,000 members across Europe and assists supporters aiming to run their own clubs.

The group, who will hold their first meeting on November 1, say will follow the structure and approach undertaken by SDS at several clubs across Scotland in recent months.

The supporters’ panel is made up of the Killie Trust, the Kilmarnock FC Supporters Association, Minority shareholders in Kilmarnock FC, The Business Club, Kilmarnock Futures Consortium and Young Kilmarnock and the Disabled Supporters Group.

Paul Goodwin, head of SDS, said: “The structure of the Kilmarnock fans’ group will mirror those adopted by Pars United and The Foundation of Hearts. Representatives of the various supporters groups will join with representatives from the local community and business world to push their mutual desire to see their club become fan and community owned. In the short term SDS will chair the group with the intention of passing that role to a chairperson agreed by the group at a later date.

“The structure will see up to two representatives from each individual group, all working towards an agreed target. What we know is that the combined power of all groups with a shared interest can make significant progress towards fans and the community ownership. The aim will be to put the Kilmarnock fans in the strongest possible position to respond quickly to the opportunity to buy their club if, and when, it comes around.”

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston held talks with a local business group over a deal to transfer ownership of the club earlier this month following a long campaign by supporters unhappy with his stewardship of the club.

Johnston agreed to meet with the Kilmarnock Futures Consortium, a group led by Alan McLeish of the team’s sponsor QTS, and also including businessman Kenny Alexander, Chris McMail of local firm Microtech, and former Kilmarnock chief executive Ian Welsh.

The committee discussed an offer which will stipulate their stewardship of the club will entail a level of community ownership for supporters who have threatened to boycott matches.