7 Jun, 15:39
ERC can confirm that the Federation Française de Rugby (FFR) has withdrawn its application to host the 2014 Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup finals, due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding the availability of the Stade de France.
"The Scottish Rugby executive board are very keen - given that the Borders is a rugby area where lots of people play rugby and ultimately play for Scotland - to give the Reivers every chance to succeed.
"So we've given it a chance. We now have Friday night rugby, we have sensible season ticket prices, and we've now got structure to the season.
"We also have some top players there, in the front-row especially and also with Stuart Grimes joining the squad. We're now in the Heineken Cup but despite all these things, we've got lamentable attendances."
McKie highlighted some of the factors that may be contributing to the Reivers' performances of late.
"I spoke to Steve yesterday and told him that there is money there to invest in new players if the team or the squad needs to be strengthened. Obviously the loss of Chris Cusiter and Ben MacDougall is important because they are two of the best players we have in the Borders and I think it's fair to say that our backs need to be strengthened.
"We've now set up a pro-team board to empower the Border Reivers within their own community to try and create a greater commitment from the clubs and the communities and others, including schools, to get behind the team but I just don't see that happening at the moment.
McKie added: "We believe that the three pro-teams are absolutely essential to the future of the national team so I would like to keep three teams in Scotland, admittedly one of them is in a joint venture with the Carruthers family, ideally we don't want to reduce the base to two teams for reasons of affordability, but we are concerned with what's going on in the Borders and I'm really urging the Borders communities to get behind the team and to help Steve and the boys at this time."
McKie outlined further support for the Reivers with the construction of a temporary seated stand opposite the main stand at Netherdale.
"As a measure of our commitment, we are investing in a second stand in the Borders. We are going to enclose the ground again and we have placed an order to have a covered, seated enclosure in there in time for the Heineken Cup game in October.
"It's a substantial sum to invest but it is one we are prepared to commit to show that we are committed to this team. We hope that the Borders community will now show their commitment."