Carluke Rovers chairman: We must increase sponsorship and gate receipts to ensure survival

Carluke Rovers chairman Ian McKnight
Carluke Rovers chairman Ian McKnight

Carluke Rovers chairman Ian McKnight has acknowledged that revenue streams must be increased to ensure the club’s long term future, writes Craig Goldthorp.

McKnight had previously expressed concerns that Rovers’ rental fees for using council-owned John Cumming Stadium were too high and he met with South Lanarkshire Leisure chiefs on Tuesday morning to try and renegotiate terms.

Although these charges will remain the same for now, the Rovers supremo is satisfied that a newly agreed rescue plan – being worked on in tandem with the council – will be successful.

McKnight told the Carluke and Lanark Gazette: “The meeting was fruitful and saves our existence in the interim period, which is a good outcome for both organisations.

“We now have an interim agreement that the current level of charges won’t be increased which will let us continue playing and training at John Cumming Stadium until the end of the season.

“Looking a couple of seasons from now, we won’t be able to meet the rental charges if the annual inflationary rises of three per cent are applied.

“So we need to increase our revenue via sponsorship and getting more people through the gate on a Saturday.

“We have a community engagement plan – which South Lanarkshire Leisure are helping us with – which might let us do that. We will touch base with the Leisure Trust again in August to review the position then.

“South Lanarkshire Leisure are not being unreasonable.

“We realise that if we want to stay at John Cumming Stadium then that quality facility comes at a cost.

“It is up to us to meet the slight increase in charges in future years.”

McKnight stressed that an imminent opportunity to help Rovers’ finances will come at the club’s upcoming sportsman’s dinner in Carluke Masonic Hall on Saturday, March 16, 7.30pm start.

Speakers are Frank McAvennie, Jimmy Nicholl and Scott Glynn. Tickets costing £30 can be purchased by contacting McKnight on 07850 036506 or John McLachlan on 07808 843601.