Kilmarnock FC Takeover

Apologies for putting something of a more “personal” nature on here, but I couldn’t be bothered starting up another blog for the sake of a single piece.  Many of you will know that I’m a Kilmarnock supporter and that the club is currently embroiled in a takeover saga.  The intention of this piece is to raise some questions in the hope that some journalists will read it and ask the current chairman and the potential buyer.  I’m not in a position to ask these questions, but hopefully some of my followers are.

Questions for Michael Johnston

Michael Johnston is currently the Kilmarnock chairman and has come under fire from his own support after making a number of unpopular decisions during his tenure.  Matters were brought to a head by the recent sacking of popular manager Kenny Shiels.

  • On numerous occasions, you have claimed that you would be willing to sell the club if you received “a credible offer”.  What constitutes a credible offer in your eyes?  How much would you be willing to sell the club for, and what safeguards for the future of the club would be required?
  • You purchased the club for £1 in 2005.  Assuming your definition of a “credible offer” is a substantial amount more than that, what do you feel you have done to deserve to make such a large profit?
  • The club’s recent statement regarding Marie Macklin’s approach for the club claimed that her approach was “lacking in vision”.  What is your “vision” for the football club?
  • In your first season as chairman, the club had an average home attendance of 7071.  Last season the average attendance was 4647, a drop of almost 35%.  Do you feel that you are in any way responsible for this decline, and what steps are you taking to attempt to turn it around and attract supporters back?
  • Although you have reduced the club’s debt substantially – primarily via the sale of assets including land and players – the club still owes in excess of £9m.  What is your long-term plan to reduce this debt?
  • The majority of the club’s debt is owed to the bank.  How much control do the bank have over the day-to-day running of the club?  Would the bank have any influence over your decision to sell the club?
  • You claimed in a recent newspaper interview that you are saving the club the salaries of a chief executive and a financial director plus that of a general manager for the hotel.  What experience do you have in any of those roles?  What successful initiatives have you implemented during your time carrying out those roles?
  • In recent years, the club’s youth system has flourished, with players capped by Scotland at all levels from U15 right up to the senior squad over the past season.  Do you recognise the massive contribution which Kenny Shiels made to that youth system?
  • You have recently claimed that the club is proud of its youth system.  Isn’t it the case that you planned to scrap that youth system in 2005 and that it was only continued thanks to a campaign from supporters who raised funds to keep it going?  Do you now agree that you were wrong to have planned to scrap it?
  • You held a “consultation” on how the club should vote on the application of the Rangers “newco” to the SPL, and chose to abstain from the vote, claiming that 36% of “stakeholders” voted No.  Can you confirm that the 36% figure came from the total number of questionnaires sent out and not the actual number of responses?
  • You have regularly called dissenting supporters “a small minority”.  Do you feel that the vast majority of Kilmarnock supporters are happy with you as chairman?  Do you have any evidence to back this opinion up?

Questions for Marie Macklin

Marie Macklin is a local property developer who made a bid for the club in 2003 and made a further approach to Michael Johnston in September 2012.

  • Do you have a genuine intest in buying Kilmarnock FC in its current form, without the need for the club to go into adminstration first?
  • The club released a statement which claimed that you planned to demolish Rugby Park for housing and move the club to a new home on the site of the old Johnny Walker plant, which the club would not own.  Is this the case?
  • Do you have a business plan in place for the short, medium and long term future of Kilmarnock FC if you take over?
  • How would you set about dealing with the club’s debt if you were in charge of the club?  Would you make any personal investment towards reducing that debt?
  • Why did it take you so long to go public on your intention to purchase Kilmarnock FC?  Why did you choose to make that information public by having a statement read out by the supporters’ club rather than making the statement yourself?
  • Would Kilmarnock FC become a subsidiary company of Klin Group if you took over the club?
  • What would your plans be for the Park Hotel if you took over the club?
  • Do you have any plans to have supporter representation on the board if you take over?
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SPLstats

I will be continuing to mainly provide my stats on Twitter and Facebook, and I’ll basically be using this blog for overflow purposes.  It’s difficult posting some of my graphs and images on Twitter, so hopefully it will work a bit better here.