New Rovers Trust Unites to Safeguard Blackburn’s Future
The campaign to bring Blackburn Rovers into community ownership has been given a massive boost with two major supporters' organisations joining forces to turn this ambitious goal into reality.
Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust (BRSIT) and Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust (BRST) have united to form Rovers Trust, bringing together two supporters' organisations whose shared goal is to own the Ewood Park club in whole or in part.
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 two groups spent the summer of 2012 formulating their merger plans, setting up the new Trust as a Community Benefit Society and making sure all the relevant legal and financial structures were in place.
Rovers Trust is fully democratic and accountable to its members and is being led by experts in their fields who are devoting their time for free.
Rovers Trust is continuing the drive the BRSIT started by continuing to collect pledges to purchase Community Shares. The challenge for Rovers Trust is to convert those pledges already made to BRSIT into real shares and also persuade more supporters to buy into the scheme.
BRST has worked towards supporter representation at the club since its creation and held the mandate as the official Supporters’ Trust of Blackburn Rovers by Supporters Direct.
High profile supporters and local businesses have already given their backing to the new Rovers Trust. They include local MPs Jack Straw, Jake Berry and Graham Jones as well as regional MEP Brian Simpson; Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council Kate Hollern; Sir Bill Taylor and Lord Taylor of Blackburn. A full list of partners and support to date can be found here.
Rovers Trust hopes that fan groups who supported BRSIT such as Ewood Blues, The BRFC Action Group, BRFCS and the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Club Norway will also back the move.
Rovers Trust is co-chaired by BRST founder Oliver Jones, a specialist music retailer and Wayne Wild, one of the co-founders of BRSIT and Director of Darwen-based engineering and fabrication company, WEC Group.
Oliver said: “Setting up Rovers Trust was the logical step to bring together the two supporter groups whose goal was the same - securing the future of Blackburn Rovers for the sole benefit of the club, its supporters and the wider community."
“We have brought together a talented team of fans who have spent many months working on the structure of the Trust to ensure it is legally watertight and financially ready to gain an ownership interest in Blackburn Rovers.”
“Our principal objective is to obtain full or part ownership of Blackburn Rovers and its assets on behalf of fellow supporters, in order to represent supporters’ views whilst protecting the Club's short and long term future.”
Wayne said: “By uniting we can concentrate on making as many supporters as possible members of Rovers Trust. This gives us the ideal platform to persuade members, supporters and the business community to raise enough capital to buy the club."