The Rovers Trust is backing a credible bid to save Blackburn Rovers from its steady decline.
The Trust has been in discussions with – and has been kept informed by – fellow Rovers fans who are partners at Seneca, the independent investment management and corporate advisory business, over its latest attempt to help the Ewood Park club. Seneca’s approach is aimed at implementing operational control and putting an experienced football management structure into the club, which brings operating costs under much-needed control and ensuring the majority of any new capital is invested in the playing squad rather than funding previous or ongoing losses.
The approach also sought to offer an opportunity for Venky’s to benefit from an upside in the event the turnaround in fortunes is a success.
Seneca and the Rovers Trust have been in talks for several years with both organisations believing each has an important role to play in a future ownership structure at Ewood Park.
However, these discussions have intensified in recent weeks as the club’s financial state has been revealed to be worse than ever.
We reported earlier this year the club has more than £100 million debt, 90% of which is owed to the owners who will need to subsidise Rovers with an estimated further £20 million in 2016-17 just to stay in business.
Senior management positions have not been filled, Rovers is one of the few remaining clubs in the country still to announce season ticket details and prices for next season and there is the uncertainty surrounding the appointment of a new manager.
At the same time as supporting the Seneca bid, the Trust has been making its own separate efforts to get the owners to engage with the fans.
So far, neither the Rovers Trust nor Seneca has had a meaningful or positive response from India. The implication is that Venky’s simply do not want to engage with the customers and corporate supporters of Blackburn Rovers.
It is a communications and marketing disaster and the owners’ refusal to engage with supporters – their only customers – is slowly killing Blackburn Rovers.
The 2016-17 season is shaping up to be one of the worst in living memory. The squad has been systematically dismantled and there is no manager, the club having allowed Paul Lambert to walk away disillusioned at the way the club is being run.
Although you can never predict what will happen in football, there is a real danger we will be in a relegation battle from the start, played out in front of the lowest crowds seen at Ewood Park since the pre Jack Walker days.
The Rovers Trust believes the Seneca bid, allied to a structured, positive PR campaign to re-engage with supporters, is the best way forward to save the club.
Working side-by- side, The Rovers Trust and Seneca will begin the process of filling those stands again, giving supporters a reason to believe there is a future for Blackburn Rovers
with the fans a respected and integral part of it.
We will keep the pressure on the owners until we have a say in the running of our club either with them or without them.
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