THE CAMPAIGN to bring Raith Rovers back under local ownership is up and running.

Directors Eric Drysdale and Mario Caira met with the consortium of supporters groups – the Supporters' Club, Raith Trust, Jim McMillan Club and 200 Club – and the Fife Free Press for the second time this week and made further strides forward as the joint effort to "Reclaim the Rovers" begins to gather momentum.

The fantastic work of the Trust in setting up the initial framework in February means that the fund-rasiing effort can start now.


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The campaign, however, needs YOUR help.

The club is about to enter the most financially unstable season in its history with owners West City developments no longer willing to fund cash shortfalls.

The consequences of doing nothing are too dire to contemplate.

And we need to act fast.

Each fan is faced with a choice.

You can either sit back, do nothing and watch the club wither further until it eventually succumbs to a place beside Third Lanark in football's graveyard.

Or each supporter and member of this community can rally round the fight to raise the money required to bring the club back to the people of Kirkcaldy.

580,000 may seem like a long way off but then so did the Coca Cola Cup final when Jimmy Nicholl took his troops all the way to Dingwall in the first round of the competition in August '94.

Since last week's Press kick-started the new campaign messages of support have been flooding in.

One of the first to register his backing for the "Reclaim the Rovers" initiative was current manager Gordon Dalziel.

The Raith boss is keen to see the club back in the hands of the community and he has pledged to support our efforts in whatever way he can.

The Raith Former Players' Association, led by club stalwart Ally Gourlay, is also to lend its services to the campaign.

Already a member of the heroic Coca Cola Cup winning team of 1994 has expressed a desire to assist in the fund-raising effort.

Julian Broddle, who played at left back on that historic day, has remained an avid follower of Raith since retiring from the game.

In a message sent to the supporters groups Broddle said: "I am devastated at the way this once proud club has become right now.

"To think it was only a few years ago when I was there, we were gracing the top football grounds in Scotland and holding our own.

"Those wonderful nights in the Coca Cola Cup and then Europe.

"I have played for many clubs in England and Scotland but can never forget my wonderful memories and hospitality from Fifers.

"Players will come and go but the supporters will always be there following the Club through the thick and thin.

"Never in my wildest imagination did I think that Raith Rovers would ever be in jeopardy.

"Let me know if there's anything I can do and I will try my best to help."

Former Raith manager, the legendary Frank Connor, is also backing the campaign.

In addition, the first major fund-raiser has been organised – a "Raith against Time" sponsored walk at the Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy on Saturday, July 2.

Sponsor forms for the walk, which will start at 1.30 p.m, are available from next week at the Fife Free Press office or through the Fife Leader, or from any of the organisations backing the campaign.

The campaign is in top gear and people are working hard to make it a success – it now needs YOU to make the difference.


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