Archive for the ‘RRFC News’ Category

Raith Rovers Takeover – an update

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Since initially hearing about the proposed takeover of Raith Rovers by Starks Park Properties a fortnight ago, the board of Raith Supporters Trust have participated in further discussions to discover more about the detail of the deal. Whilst nothing concrete has been finalised, we feel that it is important to share as much of this information as we can with our members, and will continue to provide regular updates as we learn more.

The proposals by Starks Park Properties stress the importance of the club operating sustainably within its means, and being an asset for our community. The Trust share these principles entirely, and we welcome the opportunity of exploring how this can happen in practice. Football is not an industry in which financial prudence and responsibility are rewarded in the short-term – in most seasons the leagues are won by the highest spenders, and the culture of “speculate to accumulate” dominates. The proposals from Starks Park Properties do not yet address this challenge, and we look forward to seeing a business plan which demonstrates how Raith Rovers could buck this trend.

We are excited by Starks Park Properties’ ideas for developing our home, and look forward to discovering more about what is planned. Despite its limitations it is a unique football ground, and in any redevelopment we will be keen to see this unique character retained while it is modernised to help the club improve its commercial performance.

We have approached John Sim to initiate discussions that will help us understand more about the takeover proposals and the plans for the club, but have not yet managed to speak directly with him. We believe there is broad alignment between how he would like to see the club operate and what we would like, and also hope there is some scope for flexibility in how any takeover happens. As we made clear in our statement last week, we believe in shared ownership of football clubs and observe that the most common route to clubs’ demise is when a single individual takes control – regardless of their intentions or the robustness of their initial plans. Football can be a precarious business, and we will strive to ensure that permanent structural safeguards are incorporated in any deal that takes place in the coming months.

If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions about the proposed takeover, please post them in the comments section of this post or come and speak to us at the Trust’s information point at our next home match.

Possible takeover at Raith Rovers

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The Raith Supporters Trust have been advised of the initial discussions between Starks Park Properties Ltd and New Raith Rovers Ltd regarding the proposed changes of ownership at the football club. We share the concerns of the boards of both companies that the football club must live within its means sustainably and play a long-term active role in the Kirkcaldy community. Relegation has brought additional financial pressure to the club, which was already struggling to thrive in challenging economic circumstances.

We intend to play as active a role as possible in ensuring that Raith Rovers navigates these challenges, and are open to discussing how best to achieve this. Supporters trusts will always be wary of situations where one individual can control the direction of the clubs we love; even with owners who have the best of intentions we have seen the dangers of this model play out in front of us. In our discussions over the coming weeks we will stress the need for permanent safeguards to be built into the structure of the club and its associated companies to protect Raith Rovers against this.

The supporters’ place on the board of the football club exists due to the hard work and generous financial contributions of Raith Rovers fans over the years. The Trust’s shareholding is owned on behalf of all supporters, whether they are members of the Trust, other supporters groups, or just as individual supporters whose contributions helped us to secure our voice in the Starks Park boardroom. We believe that it is imperative that the Raith Rovers supporters’ voice continues to be heard and that the wishes and concerns of the fans are fully considered in any changes to the structure and direction of the football club.

Raith Supporters Trust Increases Investment In RRFC

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

Keen-eyed Trust members will already know that we increased our investment in the football club last week. Mindful of the impact of Saturday’s postponement, and of the fact that this is typically a time of year when the club’s cash-flow is stretched, we chose to invest a further £5,000 in New Raith Rovers Ltd.

We were delighted to see the Jim McMillan Club and the 200 Club make similar contributions to the football club, and hope that our combined efforts – and the non-financial contributions of other supporters groups and individual volunteers – help the club through to the new year when we we have a more favourable run of fixtures.

RRFC website article

Fife Free Press article

Courier article

David McGurn Testimonial Pool Afternoon

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

mcgurnAs part of the programme of testimonial events for fan’s favourite David McGurn, there will be a pool tournament on Sunday 2 October from 2.00 pm at Styx Kirkcaldy.

Don’t miss the first of the events to mark “The Witch’s” service to Raith Rovers, which will include:

  • an exhibition pool tournament between Raith Rovers players and supporters
  • photo opportunities
  • auction of Rovers memorabilia
  • surprise guests

Tickets are £15 each, include food and automatic raffle entry, and are available online at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/david-mcgurnstestimonial-pool-afternoon-tickets-27286163650

2016/17 Season Ticket Pricing

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Last week, the club announced season ticket prices for next season’s campaign. Whilst we at the Raith Supporters Trust appreciate that developing a pricing policy is a complex task, one for which there is not a single ‘right answer’, we would like to share our thoughts on the newly-announced prices, and the issues that they raise. We requested advance notice of the new pricing structure ahead of its public announcement, but this request was regrettably declined – we are therefore making public the feedback which we had hoped to be able to offer constructively for consideration by the football club’s board before reaching any decisions about pricing.

table

Firstly, we welcome the ‘early bird discounts’ that have been announced, particularly in light of our possible promotion to the Premiership. In the last few seasons these offers have seen the club benefit from significant numbers of season ticket sales prior to the close season, allowing them to set budgets for the coming season, and to support the manager in his efforts to prepare for the coming season. We anticipate that this offer will be similarly successful this summer.

We acknowledge the need to increase revenue to the football club, given the lower than anticipated attendances over recent seasons. This is not a unique situation for Raith Rovers – many clubs across Scotland are faced with the same issue, which is not helped by changes to scheduling to accommodate TV coverage. It has been disappointing to observe that the improvement on the park has not seen significant increases to our attendances. However, we are sceptical as to whether increasing prices will do anything other than further erode our attendances, but accept that it is possible that the increased revenue per supporter will outweigh the impact of declining attendances in the short-term. It is our firmly held view that one of the club’s greatest priorities for the medium- and long-term should be to grow the fanbase, and believe that increasing the price of every category of ticket will make that objective harder to achieve.

Turning to the issue of the different price changes for each category of season ticket, we are particularly disappointed that the smallest increases are for adults’ and senior citizens’ tickets, and that the largest increase is for children’s tickets. A 67% increase in the price of any product or service would be an unusual event, but the fact that the price of one category of ticket has increased by so much more than other categories concerns us. We question the wisdom of this particular decision, how it fits within the club’s strategy, and what consultation took place in order to arrive at it.

Our understanding is that there were around 250 junior season tickets sold this season, and even if every one of them was renewed for 2016/17 the additional revenue to the club would only be £5000. It is our opinion that this revenue would be better found elsewhere.

We note that five Premiership teams currently offer free season tickets for children, and only two clubs have priced their tickets at more than this new £50 price. Of the current Championship teams, there are fewer clubs offering free or low-priced junior season tickets. It is not only on the field of play that we aspire to emulate clubs in the top tier!

Increasing the number of children attending regularly was earmarked as a priority several seasons ago, and a lot of time and effort has been expended by a hard-working group of volunteers in order to achieve this. The Roary Club has been running over the past two seasons, with over 460 members, and has been hugely successful. Kids are rewarded for regular attendance at matches, receiving a range of rewards throughout the season, and it is clear from their reactions how much these mean to them. Anecdotally we hear from their parents that ‘the nag factor’ has a knock-on effect on them – on some Saturdays they attend games that they would otherwise have missed, just because their child is determined to get as many Roary stamps on their card as possible! In a survey conducted at the end of last season, 95% of respondents felt that the Roary Club had improved the match day experience for their children, and 75% said it had improved their own match day experience. It also showed 38% identifying cost as a barrier to attending games. This figure rose to 55% amongst non-season ticket holders, and was the biggest factor the club have complete control over – weather and quality of football were stated as the only bigger barriers.

From earlier research that we commissioned through our supporter survey in 2009, and again in 2013 to inform the priorities of a volunteer group tasked with increasing attendances and improving the matchday experience, we mapped the life-cycle of a typical Raith Rovers supporter. This research found that supporters typically begin following Raith Rovers as a child, consolidate their allegiance as teenagers, before establishing themselves as lifetime fans in adulthood. Significant ‘drop-off points’, where fans are most likely to stop attending regularly, were found to be in teenage years (as they find other things to do with their time and money), and in adulthood when starting a family (due to financial pressures and football not being considered a suitable thing to do with young children). Our greatest opportunities to grow the fanbase is therefore to get as many young children as possible to begin their football-supporting life at Starks Park, to make it affordable and desirable for them to continue attending as teenagers and young adults, and to encourage parents of young children to think of an afternoon at the football as a family-friendly environment and price that family activity competitively in comparison with other leisure activities.

In conclusion, we observe that the largest increases in season ticket prices will directly impact supporters (and potential supporters) at these three critical points in the supporter life-cycle, and we would like to offer our support to the football club in finding innovative ways to overcome the detrimental impact of these changes.

RRFC Supporter-Director: Election Result

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Voting for the position of Supporter-nominated Director closed at 10pm on Friday 26th February 2016, and the results have been counted and verified.

Election Result

The candidates received the following number of votes:

  • Gordon Adamson 180 (equivalent to 51.28% of votes cast)
  • Alan Russell 168 (equivalent to 47.86% of votes cast)
  • There were 3 Spoilt Ballots (0.85% of votes cast)

Accordingly, Gordon Adamson has been appointed to the board of the football club’s holding company, New Raith Rovers.

The Role

The successful candidate will be appointed to the board of the football club’s holding company, New Raith Rovers. It may also lead to the person being appointed to the board of the football club. The position exists because of the ongoing collective investment that fans make through their supporters’ organisations.

Electorate

There was a total electorate eligible to vote (on a one person, one vote basis) of 1100 people, made up of adult members of the Raith Forum of Supporters Groups plus Raith Rovers adult season ticket holders:

806 voters were eligible to vote online

294 voters were eligible to vote by post

Turnout

Total turnout for the election numbered 351, equivalent to 31.91% of the total electorate.

226 votes were cast online (equivalent to 28.04% of the online electorate)

125 votes were cast by post (equivalent to 42.52% of the postal electorate)

There were 3 spoiled ballots, equivalent to 0.85% of the total electorate.

Comment

Secretary of the Raith Trust – James Proctor – said “I’d like to place on record my congratulations to Gordon Adamson on winning the election to become the latest Supporter – Director of Raith Rovers. I look forward to him continuing the good work done by his predecessors Dave Wann, Tom Phillips, Alex Condie and Ali More.

Throughout the election process Gordon and his rival for the role, Alan Russell, presented themselves very well, particularly at the hustings event where they outlined their ideas on how the role should be carried out and conducted themselves in a manner befitting the role of Supporter – Director”

Additionally, the record turnout in this election demonstrated that supporters have a part to play in shaping the future of their football club”.

RRFC Supporter-Director: Hustings Event

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

Yesterday evening, a hustings event was held for the election of the RRFC Supporters-Director in the 200 Club. There was a lively discussion and a lot of great questions for Gordon Adamson and Alan Russell to answer.

The full recording of the session is available here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The session was chaired by Steven Lawther from the Raith Supporters Trust. Thanks to all who came along and submitted questions.

Supporter-Director Hustings

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

The Raith Rovers Forum will be holding an open hustings event on Tuesday 16th February at 7pm in the 200 Club at Stark’s Park. The event will give fans a chance to question the two candidates for the post of Supporter-Director. The two candidates Alan Russell and Gordon Adamson will outline their plans for the post and fans will be able to ask questions of both candidates. All fans are invited.

Fans that are not able to attend can submit questions via the relevant thread on Raith Rovers Fantalk or direct to the chair Steven Lawther at steven@redcircle.email

 

Format of event

Venue: 200 Club, Stark’s Park, Kirkcaldy Start time: 7pm , Tuesday 16th February

Welcome and explanation of the format from chair Steven Lawther (2 minutes)

Opening remarks (7 minutes per candidate)

Q&A session (Approximately 40 minutes)

Closing remarks from candidates (2 minutes per candidate)

RRFC Supporter-Director: Election Open

Monday, February 8th, 2016

Nominations for the position of Supporter-nominated Director have now closed.

The Candidates

There have been two nominations submitted to serve in this role: Gordon Adamson and Alan Russell.

Further info on the candidates can be viewed below.

The Role

The successful candidate will be appointed to the board of the football club’s holding company, New Raith Rovers. It may also lead to the person being appointed to the board of the football club. The position exists because of the ongoing collective investment that fans make through their supporters’ organisations.

Votingballot-box-shutterstock_140456059

Voting opens today and closes at 10pm on Friday 26th February 2016.

To vote in this election, voters must be current adult members of any of the Raith Forum groups (Jim McMillan Club, 200 Club, Supporters Club, Rovers Down South and Raith Trust) OR an adult Raith Rovers FC season ticket holder.

In a departure from previous elections, voters can now cast their vote online; emailed instructions on how to do this will be sent out to all eligible individuals in the next 24 hours.

Those individuals who have not submitted an email address to any of the Forum groups (or Raith Rovers FC for season ticket holders) will receive a postal ballot form in the post in the next week.

Hustings Event

There will be an election hustings event scheduled early next week (w/c 15th February 2016) where voters will get a chance to hear the 2 candidates speak, as well as an opportunity to put any question to the candidates. Details will be confirmed and announced by the end of this week.

 

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Ally Gourlay (1962-2016)

Monday, February 8th, 2016

allyLike all Raith Rovers fans, and many others from across Scottish football, we were saddened to learn of the death of Ally Gourlay in the early hours of Sunday morning. Ally was one of those rare people whose infectious enthusiasm for life rubbed off on everyone he met; and since his diagnosis in early 2014 his bravery and positivity were inspirational and humbling.

Ally will be very sadly missed.

http://www.raithrovers.net/23313/ally-gourlay.htm