David Goodwillie: 18/02/22 update

Earlier this week, the football club announced that it had reached out to supporters’ groups, and would be meeting with each of them over the coming weeks as part of its plan to repair the damage caused by its signing of David Goodwillie. We welcome this approach, and are one of the groups who have already met with the club’s CEO to begin these discussions. We’d like to give you an overview of what was discussed, and outline the key points we raised in our meeting.

The meeting was positive and productive, and we found the club open and willing to listen to our ideas and concerns, and also to understand our point of view on issues where we disagreed. The process of rebuilding the club’s reputation and the trust of fans and the wider community is likely to be challenging, but we are encouraged that there is a genuine desire to work together towards this goal.

While many fans have called for the resignation of those involved in this transfer, we have resisted doing so ourselves. Instead, we have challenged the remaining board members to take responsibility for their part in the transfer by supporting positive change, to make our club better. We are keen to work together towards a long-term sustainable model for the club, with governance and decision-making structures that are fit for purpose and which will prevent any repeat of the recent failures. There should be no place at Starks Park for anyone unwilling to support this process, and it is essential that the four remaining club directors – John Sim, David Sinton, Tom Morgan and Steven MacDonald – accept that they failed the club, its fans, and its community on January 31st and commit to the process of change.

We set out four immediate priorities for change, and look forward to these being incorporated in the club’s rebuilding plan alongside the priorities of other supporters’ groups:

  1. Rebuilding trust with the club’s volunteers, by demonstrating that the club’s values will guide everything that the club does, and that it still stands for the things that led volunteers to devote their time and energy to it in the first place. Many (but not all) volunteers have returned to their roles, every one of us deserves to feel that the club has learned from recent events and will not let us down again.
  2. Establishing clear roles and accountabilities at board level, a clearly defined decision-making process, and greater diversity at board level – not just in terms of their demographics, but by becoming a leadership group who represent the whole of the community that our football club serves, and put the community at the heart of every decision it makes.
  3. Ensuring a strong focus on fan engagement, by ensuring permanent democratic representation at board level for supporters. It was notable that our elected Supporter-Director and our Supporter Liaison Officer were the first to resign in protest against the signing of David Goodwillie, and the club must ensure that people with their integrity are listened to – the voice of the fans must be taken seriously. We hope that Raith Rovers fans can continue to be represented by people of Andy Mill and Margie Robertson’s calibre.
  4. Extending the existing arrangements for fan engagement to include a permanent ‘structured dialogue’ process. Building on best practice seen at other Scottish clubs and beyond, Raith Rovers should establish mechanisms to consult with supporters before difficult decisions are made, including a representative group of fans who can be brought into board-level discussions to provide feedback and fresh perspectives. Accountability for decisions should remain with the club’s board and staff, but with a checkpoint built into these decisions to ensure they are fully thought through.

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13 Responses

  1. Quinny says:

    Brilliant that the club is now starting to speak to the fans let’s hope this continues.It was disappointing that the didn’t listen before signing the player but that is in the past.We now look forward to hopefully a bright future and a future where the fans and nd board can all work together. Let’s learn and get right behind the rovers.

  2. Mike Langstaff says:

    May I ask how the CEO responded to the 4 priorities for change? Were these agreed? Agreed in principle? Noted? or Dismissed?

  3. Scott mcmartin says:

    Good update…balances the needs of all…the mistakes…accountability…what is a true community club.. how we move on…and what we can do to take us not just back to where we were but onwards….well done..

  4. Alan Russell says:

    Mike, good question. Probably “agreed in principle” is closest – definitely not dismissed. I think they want to gather inputs from as many people as possible before giving firm commitments on the detail of any action plan, but I was encouraged that these ideas seemed to land very well.

  5. Ryan bellfield says:

    All directors responsible for the signing of david goodwille should step down immediately that would bring responsible for there actions

  6. Jim Clark says:

    It’s encouraging that the Board seem to be in genuine listening mode, and here’s hoping that translates into positive action in due course, in accordance with feedback/suggestions/requests provided by the fans.

    It’s very pleasing that the Trust has provided this early update; hopefully other fans groups will be able to do likewise do that those of us not involved directly in any discussions are as fully aware as possible to the extent of any progress.

  7. Barry Morrison says:

    Did anyone check how the estimated 150-200k (transfer fee and full contract payout rumoured to be between 50-60k per year) layout for this muppet was going to be recouped?

  8. Kev Barretto says:

    Do you know if there is any possibility of the women’s team returning to the club to give a clear message of ‘zero tolerance’.

  9. Mike Langstaff says:

    Thanks Alan – it’s encouraging that the ideas did not immediately fall upon stony ground – let’s hope they are taken forward.

  10. Mike Langstaff says:

    Thanks Alan – it’s encouraging that the ideas did not immediately fall upon stony ground – let’s hope they are taken forward.

  11. Graeme Baxter says:

    Thabsl for this update Alan. Definitely a step forward in the right direction. Let’s hold their feet to the fire to ensure that all these words in their statement earlier in the week are converted into actions.

  12. Alan Nairn says:

    Thanks for the update.

    The Trust’s representatives met to negotiate with the CEO. The CEO has an unclear role in the club and has shown to have allegedly misled a major stakeholder or, best case scenario, be hugely out of the loop on decision making. The CEO has on the whole, been pretty anonymous since her appointment.

    Why did the Board fail to mention to the support that the CEO was married to Paul Smith when she was appointed? What was their motive?

    The Commercial Director that can’t see it’s a bad business decision (likely to have cost the club £150,000 – £200,000) to employ Goodwillie, especially having been forewarned two weeks prior to the signing, as well as the concerns raised by the two former directors.

    Will we see any positive action / movement of Club Officials before the season tickets go on sale for next season?

    There are, unfortunately, plenty of questions that need answers. The removal of certain Club Officials will be a red line for some fans. Until these are forthcoming, a vast majority of the missing 500-600 fans won’t return.

  13. paddy says:

    5. Sack McGlynn

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