Those in charge of struggling Kirkcaldy YMCA Junior Football Club have vowed to fight on after rejecting a potential takeover offer.
Current chairman Barrie Lessells took over the running of the club in October last year following the sudden departure of long-serving chairman Ramsay Budd, who resigned his post along with secretary Jim Douglas, following numerous incidents of vandalism and theft at the Denfield Park clubhouse.
Faced with the alternative of folding, Lessells, who is the husband of assistant manager Charlene, took over the helm, but the club remains at a low ebb, struggling financially while sitting bottom of the East Region South Division with just one point on the board, without a win in over a year, and heavy defeats common.
An 11-0 hammering by Livingston even earned a mention from Jeff Stelling on Sky Sports. On Saturday just past, the team were crushed 12-1 by Edinburgh United.
The bleak situation has led to a consortium of individuals with a history in junior football, including previous spells at YM, approaching the club with a view to becoming involved.
However, that approach was turned down, with chairman Lessells reinforcing his faith in current manager, Kenny Crawford, and insisting that plans are in place to restore pride and secure a brighter future.
Lessells told the Press: “I was approached by a particular party in regards to himself and a group of people wanting to have a meeting.
“They knew the situation we’re in and that the run of results weren’t the greatest and said they wanted to come in and help out.
“Some of these people have been involved with the YM junior club previously and chose to walk away when things got difficult.
“When I was given the club late last year I made the promise that we’ll fight through everything.
“We know the club is not in the greatest situation right now, and we don’t have the finances behind us to buy players in.
“The team we have are young boys and very inexperienced at junior level, but they are getting better and things will improve.
“What I want to do is build the club and make it stable not for the short-term, but for the long-term future.
“It’s not a quick fix.
“We can’t just bring people in who can plough money into the club and stick a bandage over it.
“I want to take us through this rough patch and gradually build up the foundations to make sure we’re stronger than ever and we’re there to last.”
Lessells believes that the consortium’s agenda is to oust those currently in charge and take over the club.
“Their intentions are good, but I don’t see why a group of people who previously walked away would want to come back and do it all over again,” he said.
“The impression I get is they want to come in, take over, get rid of the current management team, and possibly get rid of myself as chairman, and do things their way, which I don’t think is the best way forward for the club.
“I appreciate their offer, but at this juncture we’re not in a position to accept.”
Part of the current committee’s plans for the club include reestablishing lost links with the YMCA in Kirkcaldy.
Lessells added: “We’re in contact with Kirkcaldy YMCA just now to reawaken our affiliation with them and that’s still at the early stages at the moment.”
A spokesman for the consortium, who did not wish to be named, expressed frustration and disappointment at the club’s decision to reject their advances.
“We’ve put together a group of seven or eight people with various amounts of contacts and expertise at junior level on the coaching and management side,” he said.
“We all have the best wishes of the club at heart, and while we don’t believe the right people are currently in place, we would be happy to work alongside them to take the club forward.
“The club has been advertising the fact that it needs help, however, we have been told that our help is not wanted.
“We’ve been down to watch games and YM don’t currently resemble a junior side. I can’t see where the future goes from here.
“We want YM to be far better than they are now and our concern is that if things don’t improve, the club may fold.”
The group also claim that the current committee set-up at Denfield Park represents a ‘conflict of interests’.
“Our opinion is management should have nothing to with the running of club and vice-versa,” the spokesman added. “There needs to be a change.”
Despite managing just one victory since taking over in December 2016, head coach Kenny Crawford firmly believes he can turn things around.
“I remain as confident in my own and my staff’s ability now as I did when I took the job on and hopefully we’re here for the long haul,” he said.
“I’ve never been more determined in my life to make something work.”