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KILLIE IN £1m HOLYROOD LOAN PLEA

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KILMARNOCK will ask for a £1million loan from the Scottish government to ensure the club survives this season.

Owner Billy Bowie said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has forced directors of the hard-hit Rugby Park club to provide finance to address cash flow problems and pay the bills.

The Ayrshire club chief confirmed they will utilise the Holyrood emergency sports fund.

Bowie, speaking to the BBC, admitted: “I’m sad to say that we’re forecasting a seven-figure deficit.

“We’ve agreed to seek the government loan for £1million which, to be honest, goes against the grain with myself as I don’t want to see the club going back into bank debt.

“We’re working hard and until now the directors in our organisation have been creating funds to pay the bills and everybody has been paid. Players’ wages are being paid on time, but, going forward we have identified that there is going to be a cash flow shortage.

“We also have our business interruption insurance claim and we are hoping we can get an interim payment from that to carry us through.

“Between myself and other directors we are looking at trying to get funds to keep the club going. We will keep the club going until the end of the season.”

Bowie pointed out Killie are losing money with their income streams massively reduced as they play without crowds coming through the turnstiles on matchday.

He said: “Technically, we’re not surviving without the fans. It’s due to the directors contributing to cash flow.”

Fellow-director Phyllis McLeish commented: “Although we’ve agreed as a board to apply for that loan, it may be that we don’t need to dip into the whole amount, it depends on our insurance claim.

“We’re not foolishly going to go back into debt, we really don’t want to do that.

“It’s really there as a cushion just to make sure we are in a position to see out to the end of the season and start off next season.”

Despite the dire financial situation, Bowie said the board will back manager Alex Dyer as he looks for a new striker during the January transfer window following the departure of Eamonn Brophy to St Mirren.

He added: “We have approved a sum to Alex for an additional player. Hopefully, that will be enough to bring in the player we need.”

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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