Raith Rovers Q&A session first step to better relationship between fans and board

Doors open - Manager John McGlynn believes the Raith fans have a big part to play as the club pushes for promotion.
Doors open - Manager John McGlynn believes the Raith fans have a big part to play as the club pushes for promotion.

Supporters of Raith Rovers were able to put questions to the club’s chairman and manager at a meeting in Stark’s Park on Thursday night.

The new board had promised to improve communications with fans and the meeting proved fruitful with many ideas and suggestions, and answers provided to some of the more burning questions amongst the support.

There was a healthy crowd inside the Raith Suite for the session, chaired by Supporter’s Director Andy Mill, and attended by chairman Bill Clark and manager John McGlynn.

Bill Clark opened the meeting by stressing the importance of the meeting, stating that everyone involved in the club will be working tirelessly to create a sustainable Raith Rovers.

Picture Gallery: Queen’s Park 0, Raith Rovers 3

The first question from the floor was regarding potential revenue from the upcoming Scottish Cup tie with Dunfermline, and how that money would be redistributed with the January transfer window looming.

Clark responded: “Money will be available in January, although the manager is very happy with his squad, especially with the players to return from injury.

“We are hoping for a crowd of between 6000-7000 for the game, with the possibility of the Key Tech stand being opened.”

McGlynn added: “We have a talented squad here, we play some fantastic football and in my entire time over both spells, I have never had wingers as good as I have now in Armstrong and Flanagan, the next priority is to get those two tied up, and as soon as possible.”

Clark also lamented the horrendous number of injuries that have beset the club this season.

“We have had terrible luck with injuries, and as a result have overspent our medical expenses budget, a huge drain on finances.”

One burning issue that was put to bed, was when the panel were asked about any potential clauses in David Bates’ contract, and if the club were due any payment as a result.

Clark revealed that the club have investigated every avenue in this matter, but that Rovers will not receive a penny from the controversial transfer.

“Unfortunately, the previous board were ill-advised on appropriate clauses, the contracts were not water-tight,” he conceded. “A huge mistake was made, but we have learned from it as a club, and it won’t happen again.”

The next exchanges regarding the hire of the pitch and future developments of the Railway Stand were also addressed.

“We have had lots of interest from outside parties looking to hire the pitch,” Clark said.

“Fife Elite Football Academy now have all of their teams based here, bringing in an income of around £30-£40,000.

“The Railway Stand development is a longer-term project, and we would have to be in the Championship at least before considering the proposals.”

One topic that generated a lot of conversation was about the lack of atmosphere at home games, and the possibility of seeing an ‘Ultras’ section created, but that would have to be controlled and policed by supporters.

John McGlynn was eager for the fans to replicate the atmosphere generated at away games at home.

“When you see the stand full, the fans are singing, it just gives all of us that lift,” he beamed.

There was praise too for Andy Mill, with the fan’s director being hailed as a “breath of fresh air” by some fans, who feel that there is a noticeable difference in communication between the directors and fans.

Mill said: “The board is extremely receptive to suggestions, and that makes working among the enthusiasm and drive at the club a pleasure.”

This was a positive and purposeful encounter that definitely lived up to the boards’ statement, that the links between the fans and the board have never been better.