Kilmarnock to make manager appointment 'within 10 days'

By John BarnesBBC Scotland
Kilmarnock interim manager Gary Locke
Gary Locke has been in charge of Kilmarnock for seven matches, losing only once

Kilmarnock could have a new permanent manager in place before their next match against Motherwell on 4 April.

New Rugby Park chairman Jim Mann told BBC Scotland he hopes to make an imminent appointment.

But Mann would not be drawn on whether interim boss Gary Locke would be given the job for an extended period.

"We have to make a full-time appointment soon," said Mann after being appointed chairman at Thursday's annual general meeting.

"And I would say within the next 10 days because clearly whoever becomes manager has to have a bit of time with this squad to be able to work out what he's going to do for the next season."

Former Hearts boss Locke has been in temporary charge of the Ayrshire club since Allan Johnston left in February and has lost only one of his seven games, which would appear to leave the 39-year-old well placed to get the post full-time.

Around 500 shareholders attended the AGM in a Kilmarnock hotel during which Mann formally took over from Michael Johnston, who stood down after almost 10 years as chairman.

Kilmarnock players celebrating
New chairman Mann outlined a four-point plan for the future of Kilmarnock

Mann, a retired businessman, was initially appointed a director of the Ayrshire club last year and was previously a senior executive with TUI Travel. He is also on the board of Badminton England.

"The first theme is to get us to play the Killie way," said Mann as he outlined a four-point plan for the club.

"By that I mean making us attractive to watch and building from the bottom up. This is about having a style and a system that runs throughout the playing side of the club from bottom to top.

"The second theme is committing ourselves to become a regular top-six performer.

"Thirdly, like all sport bodies it's about living within your means. It's a very simple strategy about getting revenues up and cost down. I know it sounds not very earth-shattering but you'd be surprised how often that's not the principle. I can assure you that is going to be the principle here."

Mann's other ambition is to generate more interest in the club from people in the Kilmarnock area.