Raith’s complex ownership structure revealed

Mario Caira is the largest shareholder in New Raith Rovers.
Mario Caira is the largest shareholder in New Raith Rovers.
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The complex ownership structure of Raith Rovers Football Club has been published by Supporters Direct Scotland.

The umbrella group for individual club trusts released the findings of its first index into the governance and ownership of clubs in the SPFL.

Mario Caria (29%) as the largest shareholder of New Raith Rovers, the company which effectively took over the club in 2005 by superceding previous entities, Raith Rovers Ltd and Raith Rovers Holdings.

The Turnbull Hutton estate (21%) is the second largest shareholder, while John Sim (17%), Raith Trust (11%), Val McDermid (9%) and unnamed ‘Others’ (13%) complete the structure.

The index builds on a Working Group Report on supporter involvement in football clubs (made up of the Scottish FA, SPFL, SD Scotland, Scottish Government and Sportscotland) which provided recommendations on reducing barriers to further involving fans within their clubs.

Some of these recommendations were ultimately not accepted or pursued by clubs, but are still regarded by SD Scotland as good practice, and have been used as the basis for the SD Scotland Index.

The report recommended the introduction of an annual independently assessed Supporter Involvement Award which would highlight good work being carried out by clubs around the areas of involving supporters within the governance and ownership of clubs

The index also examines the breakdown of ownership of SPFL clubs in a format inspired by the work of the Raith Rovers Supporters Trust, who have provided updates on ‘Who Owns What?’ at the club.

The information was gathered through publicly accessible records such as Companies House and club websites while supporter group representatives were approached for clarification and confirmation of the details.

Alan Russell, chair of the Raith Rovers Supporters Trust and SD Scotland Council member, said: “It can be difficult to really understand who owns our football clubs.

“Club ownership structures can be complex – none more so than my club Raith Rovers – and it can be confusing and time consuming to find accurate and up-to-date information. We often hear soundbites in the media about new investors and takeover deals, and only discover later that the true picture is not as simple as we thought.

“Through this work we have tried to keep things simple and transparent without losing sight of the crucial details. We will update the information periodically so that this remains as accurate as possible, and encourage anyone to use this as the first port of call if they want to know more about their club’s ownership and governance.”

The full index can be viewed at www.scottishsupporters.net.