Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

Newsletter - March 2024

28th February Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Meeting: Notes
March 4, 2024

6 members of the ‘We Are The Rovers’ (WATR) Supporters Trust Board met with Steve Waggott CEO, Lynsey Talbot Head of Operations and Fraser Read Head of Consumer representing Blackburn Rovers on the evening of 28th February.

These are the notes agreed by both BRFC and WATR.

The meeting was positive and constructive, both parties were of the view that their relationship is maturing and trust was being built.

WATR made a presentation on four key areas of concern: supporter relations; club culture; match-day experience; and heritage.  The presentation cited examples of concern but more importantly WATR made positive statements of how the Club could operate and engage with WATR to improve matters.  WATR wanted action rather than words.  The presentation was positively received by the Club and a number of actions were agreed.  

  •  The Club would when appropriate share key supporter communications with WATR in advance.
  • The Club agreed to a ‘walk round’ Ewood Park with WATR to look at our concerns regarding housekeeping and the condition of some areas of the stadium.
  • The Club agreed it would be helpful if the new staff starters induction included a section on the heritage of the Club; WATR offered to facilitate this.
  • The Club wanted WATR to assist (along with others) regarding consultation on the shirt design for the forthcoming 150th anniversary
  • The Club invited WATR to participate in the Club Working Group planning the 150th anniversary
  • The Club invited WATR to organise the music playlist for future games following recent positive feedback on match-day music.

In addition, the two parties had a lengthy discussion on Season Ticket (ST) pricing and Club finances.  It was agreed to meet again in mid to late March when the Club would share their ST proposals prior to them being transmitted to the Owners for their consideration and approval; the Club also offered to share in confidence P&S financial details with WATR at that meeting.  These offers were welcomed by WATR who used the opportunity to impress on the Club the need for an introductory ST price for the Riverside and to also look at more effective discounts for the early stages of ST sales. WATR asked about income from the previous evening’s FA Cup tie against Newcastle United and they were informed the Club generated circa £400- £450k gross takings.

Discussions moved onto the Owners and future funding.  The Chief Executive reiterated that the Owners had no intention of selling the club and they were here for the long term.  He also stated that monies would continue to be invested by the Owners when required to do so; all statutory payments had continued to be made and the Club had no longstanding or overdue debts and on current forecasts was hoping to possibly be in profit for the current financial year - this reflects positively on the Club when compared to many others in the EFL.  

WATR reiterated that, subject to legal constraints, they wanted the Club to explain the finances better and in more detail with supporters and that explanations as to Indian High Court hearings and the processes were vital to help ensure clarity and to counter all the rumours that occur when there is a communication void.  The Club also advised WATR that they would be soon entering into discussions with the Owners regarding player and summer transfer budgets for the 24/25 season.

WATR would be working on a proposal for Terms of Reference, Code of Conduct and membership of a future Supporters Advisory Panel.  This will be shared with the Club for agreement.

WATR reiterated their request to have direct dialogue with the Owners and for the Owners representative to be present at future MoU meetings.

WATR requested the attendance of new Head Coach John Eustace, to if available, be the keynote speaker at the WATR Annual General Meeting on 26th June. The CEO would follow this up with John Eustace.

Steve Waggott,  Chief Executive Officer 
Mike Graham,  Chair of We Are The Rovers

 Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

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