Jul 19 2012 By Lizzie Struthers
KILLIE boss Kenny Shiels is calling on fans to fork out for season tickets.
The gaffer knows the club need bums on seats to make up some of the cash shortfall from newco Rangers being voted into the Third Division last week.
The Rugby Park outfit, which has a debt of £9m, saw £300,000 slashed from the budget overnight because they won’t have two home SPL matches against Rangers this season.
The figure does not include potential losses from TV coverage.
Shiels told Standard Sport: “The Rangers decision was made for sporting integrity.
“We have to move forward. There are massive changes happening in Scottish football.
“It’d be great to show that Kilmarnock fans are making a collective effort for the club and the game.
“It is important we get behind the club. I want to encourage fans to get up out of their armchairs.
“I think we could get Kilmarnock season tickets sales up to 5000.”
A philosophical Shiels added: “It is not about what is behind us or before us but about what is within us.”
Shiels is “hopeful” he can still sign former Livingston striker Rory Boulding. The 23-year-old banged in 10 goals in the final eight games last season. He had a successful trial and medical at Rugby Park.
Killie have lost a striker as cup final goal hero Dieter van Turnhout has gone home to Belgium to be closer to his family. The 27-year-old was officially released from the club last week.
Queens Park Rangers’ goalkeeper Gareth Deane, 18, has also been on trial with Killie. The Northern Ireland internationalist played for Kilmarnock Under-19s in a 3-2 win over Tobermore United.
Shiels is not worried about Killie’s two heavy pre-season defeats to First Division sides this week – losing 3-2 to Livingston on Saturday and 4-1 to Greenock Morton on Monday.
Shiels said: “Pre-season is about fitness and distributing the game time around the players as evenly as you can.
“We will start taking a match-like approach against Huddersfield.”
The gaffer is hoping last season’s top goalscorer Paul Heffernan, who has a thigh niggle, will be fit for the Championship side’s visit to Rugby Park next Wednesday (July 25).
The squad are currently down south, they were to play Wrexham last night (Wednesday) and then Chester this Saturday.
Killie’s Under-19s will take on junior side Kilwinning Rangers at Abbey Park on Tuesday night (July 24).