The Community bid to secure the long term future Raith Rovers has taken 2 significant steps forward. Fans who have taken out loan fund notes have voted unanimously to release the cash to Reclaim The Rovers to support the bid. The 100% backing came in a postal vote conducted over the past fortnight. And the backing came as the fans’ representative on the board of the new company was formally unveiled.
Long-standing Raith fan Alisdair (Ali) More will be the Reclaim The Rovers’ director on the board of the New Raith Rovers Ltd – the company already set up and in place to take control once the deal with West City is done.
Ali, a key figure in the drive to negotiate a deal, was voted on to the board and will serve for at least the remainder of this season while the transfer of power is concluded.
“I am delighted to accept the NRR position in the interim to try and it’s an honour to be the fans’ representative on the Board. We will review this at the end of the season because we feel that it is important that fans have a direct say in who will be representing them on the New RR Board.”
The positive moves underline that the campaign continues to make progress behind the scenes with the aim of striking the best possible deal as soon as possible in a bid turn Rovers’ season round, and herald a new era for the Kirkcaldy club.
The vote from the loan note holders was crucial to this week’s announcements.
Ali explained: “Although it may seem like a formality, it was important that the Loan Notes holders were given the chance to have their say on the proposed deal. We were confident that we would get a convincing majority for the right deal, but we were still absolutely delighted when every vote cast was in favour.”
He added: “With Reclaim the Rovers having agreed on Monday to use the money raised throughout the campaign for the deal, this means that the fans have now concluded their side of the bargain.”
Ali will now be the fans’ figurehead on the board of the new company which will run the club after a successful takeover and which will have a much clearer focus on its own community working closely with fans, businesses and major players across the town.
His business background will be crucial in driving New Raith Rovers ahead, and his links with the fans will keep the club firmly in touch with its roots.
Kirkcaldy-born Ali (28) graduated as a prize winner in Business Studies from Napier University in 1999. He was sponsored by Hewlett Packard and continued his studies to qualify as a chartered management accountant whilst working full time as a business analyst.
He currently works for Agilent Technologies in South Queensferry as a Global Financial Analyst, which allows him to travel all over the world working with people from different backgrounds and cultures. In 2003, he was awarded the top employee accolade by the Agilent CFO for outstanding achievements in finance.
Ali has been part of the campaign since its launch, working on the finance group’s business plan as well as taking part in negotiations over the deal.
Speaking from India, where he is on business, he said: “I got involved because I am a lifelong Rovers fan and, because I am a qualified accountant with significant business experience, I couldn’t sit back on the sidelines and watch what was happening and do nothing.”
And he praised the fantastic efforts of supporters and volunteers who have driven the campaign – and urged them to keep on working hard to secure the club’s future.
“I want to acknowledge that what we have achieved so far has been amazing,” he said, “but the hard works starts from here. Reclaim The Rovers was only stage one. If we want to move things forward, everyone has a part to play. We need everyone’s backing now, but this is not just a financial plea – it’s a plea for everyone to engage with us.
“I want to listen to the views and more importantly, I want people to become involved whether its skills or spare time. That’s a part of what a community club needs to be about.”
Details of the new board have yet to be divulged while negotiations continue, but Ali revealed: “The directors of New Raith Rovers will not necessarily be the same as those on the board of Raith Rovers, although that may initially be the case until we can stabilise the ship.
“Over a period of weeks and months, changes will need to take place so that we have a workable longer term organisational model between New Raith Rovers and the football club. This needs to be addressed by the New Raith Rovers board.”