Kilmarnock: Lee Clark staying out of dispute between Michael Johnston and fans

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Kilmarnock director Michael Johnston
Michael Johnston says it has been agreed he will continue until 2019

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark has vowed to stay out of the dispute between supporters and director Michael Johnston and concentrate on football.

Fans who want Johnston to leave the club are planning a demonstration during Saturday's home match.

"I've experienced it in my previous two clubs," said Clark.

"In those other two jobs, I ended up having to be the vocal chord of the full club under every situation and I won't allow that to happen this time."

Clark, who began his managerial career with Huddersfield Town, felt he suffered from off-field problems at Birmingham City and Blackpool.

"What I have learned and what I've reflected on is, it's not my issue, it's not my situation, I'm the football manager," he said.

"In those other two jobs, I ended up having to be the vocal chord of the full club under every situation and I won't allow that to happen this time. I've got to just concentrate on the football.

"It's hard enough as it is to get that right and get results. So, if this situation arises, other people within the football club have to come out and deal with that."

Clark appealed to the fans to back the team and "give us what you've given us since I walked through the door".

Kilmarnock manager Lee Clark
Lee Clark says he will not be distracted by the fans' protest

Kilmarnock Football Club Supporters Association wants Johnston, the Ayrshire club's company secretary, to step down as it claims his exit would trigger an investment of at least £1m.

However, Johnston has insisted he must continue on the board until 2019 as part of an agreement reached when a reorganisation of the club's finances took place in March 2014, when their bank debt of £9m was cleared.

During Aberdeen's visit, protests from fans in the stands will take place during the 18th and 69th minute, representing 1869 - Kilmarnock's formation year.

"The committee of KFCSA understand the resentment and frustration that our members have expressed regarding former chairman's Michael Johnston's apparent refusal to step down from the club board which would then allow, we understand, at least one million pounds to be invested into the club," said a statement from the supporters' group.

"We also realise that the resentment and frustration will manifest itself in loud and clear protests at the game against Aberdeen on Saturday and subsequent games thereafter.

"KFCSA acknowledge the right of all fans to protest and we would urge those who wish to do so to keep within the boundaries of the law, whilst at the same time supporting Lee Clark and the team."

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