Blackburn Cathedral has been confirmed as the venue for the official launch of Rovers Trust, the campaign to bring Blackburn Rovers into community ownership.
The supporter-led trust, whose goal is to raise funds to buy the Ewood Park club, will unveil its campaign strategy to fans at the venue on Saturday November 24 from 10am to noon.
All Rovers fans are invited to the public meeting where they will hear from financial experts, former players and fellow supporters.
Rovers Trust has the full approval of Supporters Direct, the official independent Government body set up to advise football fans on taking a stake in their club.
The trust will be run as a Community Benefit Society, is fully democratic and accountable and is being led by experts in their fields who are all devoting their time for free.
Fans will be encouraged to become members of Rovers Trust at just £10 per year (£5 for juniors) to gain full voting rights and a say in the direction Rovers Trust takes in its bid to take control of Blackburn Rovers.
And details of the share-raising plans will be revealed on the day with the aim of adding to the near £3 million already pledged at £1,000 per share by Rovers fans who have backed the trust’s predecessor, Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust (BRSIT).
The challenge for Rovers Trust is to convert those pledges into real shares and also persuade more supporters to buy into the scheme. An initial target of £10 million is being set to help ensure the club’s future is in the hands of fans and the community.
Rovers’ legends Simon Garner and Glenn Keeley are official supporters among former players.
High profile supporters and local businesses have also announced they are backing the Rovers Trust.
They include local MPs Jack Straw, Jake Berry and Graham Jones as well as regional MEP Brian Simpson; Kate Hollern, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council; Sir Bill Taylor and Lord Taylor Of Blackburn.
Oliver Jones, the co-chair of Rovers Trust, is organising the official launch and he said: “We are fortunate at Blackburn Rovers to have so many passionate and committed supporters who are willing to give up their time and expertise for the future benefit if our club.
“For generations, Blackburn Rovers fans have been fortunate to support an exceptionally well-run club and have not had to deal with the fall-out from bad and irresponsible owners, in the way Portsmouth and Rangers fans have.
“We believe the future of Blackburn Rovers lies in a community and supporter ownership model and we have now put everything in place legally and structurally to ensure this can happen at any time.
“We now need all supporters to join Rovers Trust in their thousands to show the club we mean business and are here to stay to protect the history and legacy of Blackburn Rovers.
“All fans are invited to the public meeting to hear how they can become a member of Rovers Trust and buy shares which will be used to buy the club when the opportunity arises.”
Shares cost £1,000 each and this money will be the acquisition capital used by Rovers Trust to gain ownership of Blackburn Rovers.
The trust is also promising a Rovers Rewards scheme for shareholders who could receive up to 5% annual return for 20 years, depending on their membership level, and subject to Rovers Trust obtaining a sufficient ownership interest in Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers Rewards could be redeemed at any official Club or Trust vendor at cash value for any good or service on offer (excluding Trust membership fees), from match-day or season tickets, to club merchandise, to online premium subscriptions.
Rovers Trust is advised by corporate finance experts Pall Mall Capital and national law firm Gateley. Finance expert Daniel Grabko, a founder of Rovers Trust, has played the leading role in devising the structure of the new trust and formulating the share offer.
For more information, become a member and to make a pledge of financial support please visit: www.roverstrust.co.uk
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Securing the future of Blackburn Rovers for the sole benefit of the club, its supporters and the wider community.
To obtain full or part ownership of Blackburn Rovers Football Club and its assets on behalf of fellow supporters in order to represent supporters’ views whilst protecting the club's short and long term future.
- Open to all, democratic and inclusive
- Independent in thinking and decision-making
- Taking a long-term view, independent of current or subsequent ownership, to safeguard the club's history and future
- Shares to be affordable and accessible to as many supporters as possible
- One member, one vote, a say in the future direction of the club and investment rewards for all shareholders