A couple of relevant old Posts which answer the question are shared below. It’s crisis time. As YesKillieFans website says, now might be the time Killie fans decide enough is enough.
Let’s take the club into Community Ownership. Support the Trust. Support the Team. Change the Regime.
There is open talk now of what will happen WHEN our club folds. Not ‘if’, but ‘when’. The only uncertainty seems to be the timing of when the bank will reduce our club to ruin. Notice the wording: “…our club…”
In the killiefc forums, fans are debating “Kilmarnock 2010,” or variations thereof, as the concept club that will arise from out of the body of supporters and replace the current, crumbling, capitalist edifice that the “club” has become. What we have revered for generations as a joint fraternity of local adventure on the sporting world has been revealed as another sad little business that has overstretched its means, leaving desperate major shareholders no option but to seek recompense for their speculation. In these hard financial times, we are credit crunched.
Reading the forums, I’m reminded of this post from March this year :
The first point is that it’s not “our” club. It is the shareholders business. And a business’s purpose is to make money for the benefit of the shareholders, indeed it is it’s primary purpose and it’s legally obliged to prioritise shareholder’s best interests. Considerations of local interest, loyalty and community – and fans – can’t be reckoned on the balance sheet.
Despite being bailed out by public cash and being encouraged to support other businesses, the banks will be as ruthless as they always have been, as they must constitutionally be. As Mark Twain said, a bank is a fella that will loan you an umbrella when the sun’s shining but will demand it back the minute it starts to rain. The bank will protect KFC only for as long as it expects to recoup its shareholder’s money. When selling the assets looks the best bet they will do that. And the smart money says it WILL happen.
So assuming the current club will fold (adminsitration then liquidation), what options do the fans have?
- give up supporting club football
- support another team
- try to take over the club by a “fans buyout”
- try to save the club by fans investment, or encouraging a rich saviour to do so
- start again with a phoenix club
Lets examine the options…
- Giving up the drug might work for a number of fans. Already numbers are falling as traditional supporters find less expensive and frankly more enjoyable ways to use their spare time. Sure these folk still call themselves “fans” of Killie and will still ask boys returning from the game what the score was, but the traditional rebuke, “you should go to the game if you want to know” will no longer carry the same sting of shame. The whole Scottish game is in peril. The climate is changing across the country, but unfortunately it will take the disappearance of big town teams like Killie to get those in charge to recognise that they need to alter their purposes by Copenhagen-summit proportions to have a hope of saving it.
- Support another team?!! You’re joking, right? Sadly, there are some that will simply take the easy route and get sucked in by the OF. And they will be lost to us, dead to us, I say!
- Well, I suppose if we calculate that 5,000 fans could be found to contribute £2,000 each (with loans funded by the club’s primary financial partner of course!) then that makes £10m and we can pay all the debt and put the club on a good footing. But it’s not going to happen. The OF could raise this from their big fan base – they’d find 5,000 or so dafties nae bother, but even assuming we found 5,000 die-hards, the fans will want a share – the ownership of the club – for their money. It just will not happen and everyone will understand just now that they are practically throwing their money away, which leads us to option 4….
- No saviour is apparent. The world has moved on and football isn’t even the vanity investment it once was. The days of David Murray have gone. As for fans buying out the club, we have to assume this could only happen if the club is in liquidation and the fans are offered the assets by the bank under a finance deal similar to option 3. And a fans campaign, run by the Trust, might seem attractive. But it is highly unlikely we could raise the finance to buy RP. And the hotel and what’s left of the land and playing assets would be hived off. It would basically be a financial white elephant. Basically, if this unlikely scenario was to occur, the bank would achieve its highest return and that means squeezing every last drop out of the remainder of fans that still hold the faith. The suspicion is that this option would be nothing but a long, expensive, slow-death. And in which league would the club play? The SPL rules forbid a club in administration etc…so how would the ongoing finance be found?
- As you can tell, I’m not keen on the other options, so number 5 it is. But how would it work? Surely we would have to start off in the junior leagues! We would have to ask permission of the SFA for this new club to play. How would ownership be arranged? Would the Trust act on behalf of (in trust for) the whole Kilmarnock and environs community? Can the Trust prepare for this phoenix club under its current constitution? More importantly, could we resist any “big” investors and retain fan power?
In any case, we (the fans) will have to start preparing right now for the end of KFC, saving the Trust’s money, gathering what we can, storing it away from the current set-up’s seductive grasp.
But be warned: As the club dies, the sirens of pride, hurt, and false hope will be given voice by financial snakes that will whisper to our grieving hearts: save the club, use the money now, buy what we can, save what we can of auld Killie.
And many fans will want to save the club – “curs’t common sense, that imp o’ hell” will come in – fans will see a tradition dying and some of them will countenance only that the continued existence of this particular capitalist edifice will be “the same club”. Perhaps, in their hearts, they have already grown sick of it.
But this is what many fans are now challenging. What does it matter what shares an investor has? What does it matter that these shareholders owe millions? What does this amount to – other than a tradition of decades of mismanagement and erratic parsimony or financial imprudence? Was there ever a time we were happy with the running of the club? Our club?
Perhaps there was a golden era. Perhaps during the league win in the sixties, or during the (all-too fleeting) Fleeting and Moffat era. And the cup win in ’97 must be acknowledged as one of those life-defining moments for all who celebrated that achievement. I thank Fleetings and Moffats with all my heart for these great times. But I ask again – through all this – these good times and bad – “what is Killie?”
Did we celebrate the boost to Mr Moffat’s earnings that day in Ibrox stadium? Did we applaud the player’s bonuses? Did we cheer the shareholder’s stock market quotations in John Finnie Street that May night?
Of course not. We celebrated our community. The fan-base. Our joint achievement. For many of us it would be the only time in our lives that our town club achieved major success, making the football world take brief notice of us. And it was so sweet. And we were the club. Not a business. Not an investment, but a club. A community.
So what is Killie? It is US! Let’s make it so.
An old blues chanteuse – maybe Billie Holliday, but Google tells me, Trixie Smith – sang a torch song with tongue firmly in cheek: “I’m gonna love that man…till the day he dies.” We should support the current club to the death, but not beyond. The sensible thing would be to acknowledge the precarious position of the Kilmarnock shareholder’s club and start preparing the way for the Kilmarnock Fans Club.
Is Killie a patch of ground or a building (the stadium complex), or is it a group of football players (the team), or is it the company that is owned by some shareholders and businessmen, or is it the debt owned by the bank, or is it the name “Kilmarnock Football Club”? Obviously the complete package of all of these together makes up Killie – but my point is that Killie is not in essence any of these.
Is Killie not really us? The fans and the community and the tradition and the spirit?
Now this might sound all touchy new-age , but I seriously mean that Killie is what we see it to be – and what we decide it to be. It is what we choose to follow and support. That is the tradition.
Like all of you, I love my club to bits. But by natural means it changes all the time, from old stadium to new, from one lot of favourite players to new arrivals, from one manager to the next and from one chairman / owner / board to the next boss. It is always changing, but the one continuous thread that links us together is the shared experience and memory and heart and soul. We are the club. We are Killie.
So….what I’ve taken a long way of saying is….if it all goes wrong and KFC disappear due to financial ruin, it need not be the end. We can resurrect the idea we love. The club is us. We can start again and rise like a shining phoenix, meteor-like from the nether reaches of lower leagues, up through the ranks with the biggest and richest small club in the land, forcing our way back into the SPL once more. Debt-free and mighty. There will be obstacles and troubles, but we can do it. We can rise again.
Don’t despair. It might even be fun – it need not be the end. Have faith.
Yes, we can.
KTID, whatever happens.