What is Rovers Trust?
Rovers Trust is a registered Co-operative and Community Benefit Society regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Since its inception, the Trust has worked towards supporter representation at Blackburn Rovers Football Club. Our elected Board are responsible for day-to-day Trust operations and working for the benefit of our members and the BRFC fanbase as a whole.
What are the trusts aims?
Our aim is to represent the interests of Rovers fans whose continued passionate support is pivotal to the success of our team. We also aim to celebrate and preserve the heritage of our club for future generations while protecting the club’s assets in the immediate and long-term future.
Our ongoing activities are based around three overarching aims:
- Celebrating History
- Serving the Rovers Community
- Protecting the Future
We were founded on the belief that supporters are the one constant at any club, and as such deserve significant input into the running of their clubs, and a significant ownership stake remains the ultimate aim.
Is ownership realistic?
We retain a long-term aim of a meaningful supporter ownership stake in the Club ideally alongside like-minded major investors, similar to the shareholder make-up of German clubs. However, we remain acutely aware of the current reality. BRFC is reliant on the owner’s financial input to remain a going concern. We acknowledge the club is well funded via the owners, through necessity, due to the fact the club has been badly mismanaged throughout their tenure. When this specific long-term aim can be achieved has to reflect current and future realities and is largely outside of our control at this time. We will maintain our position regarding ownership at a national level and support appropriate campaigns within the wider Trust movement.
The Trust are very proud to have already acquired a minor shareholding within the club. While it isn’t at the level we’d ultimately like, it effectively gives all our members some ownership stake in the club they love.
What has the trust achieved?
In addition to acquiring a minor stake in the club, the Trust has a large number of successes, including:
- Sponsorship of local grassroots football teams
- Sponsorship of first team players
- Had Ewood Park designated as an Asset of Community Value (ACV)
- Led and contributed to multiple public meetings regarding BRFC
- Forged strong links with and provided interviews across regional, national and international publications and media outlets
- Put forward Early Day Motion to Parliament regarding football governance
- Contributed to Fan Led Review of Football Governance led by Tracey Crouch MP
- Attempted to open communication links with the Club’s owners via open letters
- Regular meetings with the Club’s CEO as well as contributing to Fans Forum and Supporter Consultation meetings
What about performances on the pitch?
Ordinarily, the performance of the manager and players is something that elicits many different opinions and wouldn’t be something the Trust would campaign or comment on. However, where the actions (or inactions) of the club’s ownership negatively impact on field performances, the Trust would be expected to represent the opinions of its members.
Why should I join?
If you are of the belief that Football Club owners should be able to do as they please, the Trust probably isn’t for you. If you believe that the supporters have a moral right to influence and representation at their clubs, you absolutely should join!
By becoming a member, you can shape the ongoing direction of the Trust. All our members have an equal say in the running and direction of our club – one member, one vote. As well elections we are obligated to run, we aim to regularly canvas member opinions. You can also attend our Annual General Meetings and other events.
As a member of Rovers Trust, you also become a minority Shareholder in Blackburn Rovers Football Club!
The Trust is only as strong as its membership, and the more supporters we can claim to represent, the more likely we will be to succeed in our collective aims.
What is the £10 fee for?
In an ideal world membership would be free. Due to our constitution and our status as a legal entity, we need to charge a minimal fee. This is currently £10 per annum, and has been since the Trust’s inception.
As well as covering our not insignificant administrative costs, we aim to put your money to good use. We wish to enable the Trust to grow and achieve even more, as well as providing tangible benefits for our members.
How can I be more involved?
We welcome input from all existing and potential members, and you can get involved to whatever level you feel comfortable with. We hold regular elections to determine our Board, which any member is eligible to stand in. We also regularly co-opt board members outside of the election period.
We are also reliant on the help of volunteer members. Thankfully The Rovers fan base and Trust membership possess many wide-ranging skills and expertise we regularly draw upon.
While we are always on the lookout for people who want to get more involved, we value all our members. There is no obligation to become more involved, and many of our long-term members prefer to support the work of the trust in the background.