Raith Rovers Takeover – an update

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.

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3 Responses

  1. Stuart Gray says:

    We must not get into a situation where the club could go bust….EVER, but also we need a board with some ambition that we could one day return to the top flight and hold our own. Starks park has suffered in recent years through lack of maintenance the stands need painted and something needs done with the railway stand. A safe standing area would be good for fans who like to stand. I’m all for playing on grass but if an artificial pitch generates income, fine needs must. If anymore bulbs go out on our floodlights we’ll be parking our cars round the pitch to light it up. Something done to increase hospitality options but I can understand our main stand limits what we can do. Ask at schools about why the kids choose not to follow the Rovers, I find it very frustrating how Dunfermline, Falkirk, Inverness, Ross County and clubs like that get much bigger crowds then we do with populations round about the same as Kirkcaldy, and we have glenrothes close with another fair size population.

  2. Alan says:

    I agree with Stuart above on all his topics. But the one that sticks out for me is the ambition of the club. There is next to no ambition from this BOD what so ever. We never look to seek potential sponsors/income from outside the local area. Regardless of team/manager we always hit a wobbly patch same time every year which pretty much rules out the possibility of ever getting promoted. We never seem to have a team that plays passing football. Yet we the fans get fleeced with the same rubbish every year from the bod. Im not keen on plastic pitches but the income generated wont go a miss. And also agree the stadium could do with a wee lick oh paint and a freshen up. Still a bit weiry over this takeover but if found genuine then we go for it.

  3. Andrew Vanbeck says:

    I’m sure there are volunteers that would be willing to spend some free time in giving the stands a lick of paint. My grandson and I are usually first in line for any volunteer work at Starks Park

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