The Rovers Trust has welcomed new rules allowing supporters to bid for control of their club if it has gone into administration.
The official supporters trust for Blackburn Rovers has a long-standing mandate from its membership to attempt to buy a stake in the Ewood Park club should the opportunity arise.
Now the Football League has agreed, at its recent AGM, that should a Football League Club go into administration, supporters’ trusts will be given a fairer chance to bid for their club.
Changes that were voted through and will be in place for the 2015/16 season include:
- a requirement for the administrator to meet with a supporters trust within 21 days of their appointment and provide it with an opportunity to bid for the club
- changes to the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) FL rules which will prevent the Administration process being controlled by the club’s previous owner who in some instances will be the only party able to achieve a CVA; something that has proven to be an insurmountable barrier to supporter ownership in years gone by.
Wayne Wild, co-chairman of the Rovers Trust said, “These are welcome moves in the right direction for ordinary football fans to take greater control of their clubs.
“Our aim at the Rovers Trust has always been to provide a safety net for Blackburn Rovers should the worst happen and the club be forced to enter into administration with all the penalties – financial and points-wise – that implies.
“With new regulations like the Football League’s, we are seeing fans’ rights becoming increasingly recognised in law. It should not be long before supporters trusts become the obvious first port of call for football clubs in crisis.”
Other changes which include the tightening of the regulations relating to the transparency of ownership were announced. You can read the FL statement.
These are items that made up part of Supporters Direct’s submission and evidence to the ongoing Government Expert Working Group on Football Ownership and Engagement.
A Supporters Direct spokesman said: “We welcome the announcement and look forward to continuing to explore opportunities to remove barriers and incentivise supporter ownership opportunities, which includes the Football League and Supporters Direct as standing members.”
The Rovers Trust has been successfully campaigning on behalf of all Rovers supporters since 2012 and undertakes a wide range of club and football related initiatives on behalf of its members and the wider sports community in and around Blackburn.
Recent campaigns include successfully applying to have Ewood Park officially listed as an Asset of Community Value; supporting local football teams and helping to improve football pitches in the local area.
The Rovers Trust’s financial experts also play a very important role in analysing the accounts and financial position of Blackburn Rovers.
Rovers are being punished under Financial Fair Play with a transfer embargo and face an end to Premier League parachute payments. It is the trust’s belief that Blackburn Rovers would be better run by its own supporters.
The principal aim of Rovers Trust is to obtain full or part ownership of the 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.
Its philosophy is to be open to all; democratic and inclusive, independent in thinking and decision-making, and to have our membership be as affordable and accessible to as many supporters as possible.
Blackburn Rovers’ legends Simon Garner and Glenn Keeley are official supporters of the Trust among former players. High profile supporters and local businesses have also backed the aims of the group.
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