AGM 2023: The Key Details
The Board of Directors and heads of the football operations department engaged with shareholders at the 2023 Annual General Meeting of The Kilmarnock Football Club Ltd on Tuesday 14th March.
An overview of key discussion points from the evening is provided below.
Managing Director Phyllis McLeish and Company Secretary Graeme Bryson opened the evening by delivering a review of the club’s finances.
A reported loss of just over £1.9m for the financial year (to 30 May 2022) was an anticipated outcome as Kilmarnock, alongside clubs across the country, continued to deal with legacy effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The significant loss was also heightened due to a number of investments made by the Board which will benefit the long-term future of the club, particularly:
- Maintaining a significant playing staff budget, with the aim of regaining our Premiership status, following relegation to the second tier.
- Pursuing of development projects to further enhance the stadium and general fan experience: Moffat Stand renovations, Killie Museum, Club Superstore, Memorial Garden, Disabled Access Facilities and the Players’ Lounge.
Phyllis McLeish outlined that the club is experiencing the benefits of taking retail operations back in-house, which has contributed to record commercial turnover of £1.8m.
Commercial operations have also been boosted by peak levels of shirt sales and Season Ticket highs that date back to the late 1990’s. Promotional activity is driving a substantial shift in supporter demographics, with 35% of current Season Ticket Holders under the age of 21; a shift designed to ‘futureproof’ the club’s fanbase.
Hospitality figures have resurged following the pandemic, supported by revitalised packages that have been warmly received by guests; resulting in an increased turnover of almost 40%.
Commercial partnership revenue has also soared to record numbers this year. Approaching the end of a current 3-year agreement period with the majority of major sponsors, all partnership opportunities are either in negotiation or already secured up until 2026.
Additionally, shareholders were informed of some appealing partnerships that will be unveiled to supporters in coming weeks.
Stadium & Infrastructure Review
Majority shareholder Billy Bowie took the opportunity to address stadium enhancements, in addition to delivering an update on the Bowie Park Training Facility.
It was announced that ‘phase one’ works of the Moffat Stand project are now complete. The renovation will see the facilities enhance activity within the family stand, as well as providing a matchday studio base for Killie TV and broadcasters of live televised matches. This will subsequently enable increased season ticket sales in the Frank Beattie stand by recovering space lost to the current TV platform.
‘Phase one’ of the Bowie Park Training Facility is due to commence in Autumn 2023, and will focus on ground works and the construction of the spectator stand. From start to finish, a 5-year timeline was projected. Details about each of the phases will be revealed as ground and building works progress.
Ongoing stadium improvement works have already led to the renovation of the home dressing room and re-fit of the Continental hospitality lounge. A new floodlight system will also be scoped this Summer to increase long-term energy efficiencies.
Killie in the Community
A number of the Trust’s initiatives, designed to engage younger members of the community, were also illuminated. These include:
- Academy: youth teams benefiting from ongoing support, such as fundraising for camps and the provision of equipment.
- Matchday experience: Moffat Stand fanzone enhanced through the supply of items to aid activities.
- Mascots: coordination of mascot experiences on matchdays.
A new identity and strategy for the Kilmarnock Community Sports Trust, rebranded as The Killie Community, was outlined. This strategy is built upon the pillars of developing a safe space to improve wellbeing and career prospects, providing a sense of belonging, and ensuring that individuals have access to an active lifestyle regardless of background.
A brief overview of the new media strategy was also introduced by Cathy Jamieson. This strategy has been built with the vision of ‘futureproofing’ the club through a digital presence which directly engages young potential supporters.
The strategy centres around:
- A commitment to provide supporters with freely available content, which will result in the repositioning of Killie TV.
- Delivering short and sharp content that is easily consumable, and designed to sit best on social media platforms.
- Placing emphasis on features and moments that matter, as opposed to honing in on results/performances.
Men’s first-team: Derek McInnes discussed the challenges of recruiting in the Summer and highlighted how the structure is evolving for the long-term benefit of the club.
Women’s first-team: Jim Chapman touched on the importance of the new girls’ academy and how it is already serving his first-team.
Academy: Paul Di Giacomo spoke about the academy’s move to Elite level and highlighted the recent success stories of Bobby Wales and David Watson.
The Directors, managers and staff would like to thank shareholders and fans for their invaluable support which will play a key role for the remainder of the season, starting with the home fixture against St Johnstone on Saturday. Tickets are available HERE.