Raith Rovers board apologise for David Goodwillie fiasco and take first steps to repair reputation of club
Raith Rovers have issued a fresh apology for the damage caused in what they call an “awful period” for the club.
The signing of Clyde striker David Goodwillie – ruled to be a rapist in a civil court case in 2016, although no criminal trial was held – caused widespread fury both inside and outside the club and further afield.
With the financial cost to the club caused by tearing up Goodwillie’s contract in a dramatic U-turn still to be confirmed, a statement from the club said such issues were still under discussion.
Last week Rovers boss John McGlynn confirmed Goodwillie was not training with the club.
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The statement in full reads: “The board of directors and CEO, having reflected further on what we have already acknowledged was a wrong decision around a deadline day transfer, would like to provide our supporters, volunteers and the wider community connected to the club with an update.
“In doing so, we ask that everyone takes cognisance of the fact that a number of legal and financial issues are still being discussed with concerned parties, and as such we are restricted to the extent of information we can share at this time.
“The past two weeks have been an awful period in the club’s long and proud history, and once again we want to say sorry for the damage that has been caused and to those affected in any way by the issues raised.
“We fully acknowledge that there is still a long journey ahead of us to reach a position where the many thousands of people who are part of the Raith Rovers family feel they have trust and confidence in those of us who take the day-to-day decisions at the club.
“Some of the first steps on this journey are already underway.
"We have reached out to the supporters’ groups, and meetings have already taken place, with more planned over the coming weeks to begin discussions that will lead to agreement on a plan to repair the reputational and financial damage.
"We know this will not be easy and we are not underestimating the size of the task ahead of us. It is, however, one we are wholly committed to in the belief that the club can come out of this stronger in the long term.
“The past two weeks have also provided an important reminder that the club relies on the time, energy and commitment of volunteers across many activities.
"We have never taken our volunteers for granted, and we are saddened that some have taken the decision to step aside from their roles in the current circumstances.
We fully understand and respect such actions, but it is our hope, and sincere wish, that as we strive to rebuild and repair the trust and relationships within the Rovers family, that they will return to the club.
"Similarly, we hope that those fans whose anger at the events of deadline day has led to them withdraw their support, will judge us on the progress we are promising and in due course feel they are able to make a return to Stark’s Park.
“We have also commenced consultations on a thorough review of the composition [of the] board of directors of the club, with a view to broadening the experience and expertise of the board and to ensure that all our stakeholders are fully represented.
"We will complete this by the end of the season and we will then communicate the results. Meanwhile the remaining four board members, the CEO and all club staff are fully engaged on keeping the club going through this difficult time.
“Finally, as a board and the CEO, we would like to say how proud we were of the team and management for their efforts in the recent Cup tie at Celtic Park.
"The score did not in any way reflect the performance they delivered on the pitch, while the performance and support from the fans off the pitch was also outstanding.
"It was a reminder of just how precious the link is between the club, the players and those who cheer us on.”