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Last Updated: Friday, 30 December 2005, 15:21 GMT
Chancellor praises Raith takeover
Chancellor and Raith Rovers supporter Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown has been backing the fans' campaign
Chancellor Gordon Brown has welcomed a 1.3m community takeover of Raith Rovers, completed on Friday afternoon.

It is the first buy-out of its kind in Scottish football.

"It's a new start and, just at the end of the year, we begin a new chapter in what has been a great history for our local club," Brown told BBC Sport.

The community consortium has been raising funds since present owner West City Developments decided to sell.

Controlling interest in the Second Division club and the stadium has been transferred to the New Raith Rovers consortium, which concluded a deal to purchase the controlling interest in both the club and Stark's Park.

Major investors in the consortium include businessmen John Sim, Mario Caira, Turnbull Hutton and fans' group Reclaim the Rovers, while Brown has also helped spearhead the campaign.
I believe it's a very significant day for Kirkcaldy
Chancellor Gordon Brown

The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, who is a lifelong Raith fan, believes it lifts away the uncertainy about the club's existence that emerged under previous owners.

"Loads of local people have put their money in, from best-selling authors like Ian Rankin and Val McDermid to lots of local people who have had an interest in the club," he said.

"Now we have a Supporters Trust member on the board for the first time and there's a whole programme of community outreach to the schools and local clubs now being planned.

"I believe it's a very significant day for Kirkcaldy. It's a new start for Raith Rovers."

The club have thanked everybody involved in the consortium, which has raised funds to buy out the former owners.

A statement on the club's official website said: "It has been an enormous effort by a great many people to achieve this deal and no-one should doubt that the club faces ongoing challenges.

"But everyone concerned is very much looking forward to setting about shaping the way forward.

"With the support of all Raith Rovers fans, there is now a significant opportunity to take Raith Rovers forward and make it a club we can all be proud of."

Reclaim the Rovers raised more than 100,000 to ensure it has a representative on the new board.


SEE ALSO
Raith takeover still on, say fans
09 Nov 05 |  Raith Rovers


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