Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

Newsletter - November 2023

Safe Standing | Watford 'Fans Takeover' Game | New Website & Membership System | Club Finances | Season Tickets | Museum Project | 150th Anniversary
November 27, 2023

Welcome to our latest ‘We Are The Rovers’ Supporters Trust Newsletter. We are pleased to report on the latest MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) meeting with the Club.  The meeting was positive and a good relationship between the Club and ourselves is in place.  A report of the meeting is given in this Newsletter.

Safe Standing:

We are presently finalising a SurveyMonkey fans consultation along with the Club and the Fans Forum.  This is a new and collaborative way of working and is again a positive sign of the maturing relationship with the Club.

The consultation will be circulated by the Club and supporter organisations and will judge the level of support for Safe Standing as well as obtaining feedback on suitable areas in the stadium along with like support, or otherwise, for crowdfunding towards the costs of Safe Standing.  Please complete and return your survey.

Watford ‘Fans Takeover’ Game: 23rd December 2023:

The Saturday before Christmas is often challenging when it comes to attendances. The Club have agreed to another ‘Fans Takeover’ following our successful day at the Girona pre-season friendly.

Planning meetings have taken place and the early good news is that we warmly welcome the Club’s response to our ticket price proposal.  Steve Waggott has agreed a very competitive ticket package to be announced by the Club in the next few days; we welcomed the ticket offer for this game.

Please encourage all family and friends to attend, especially those returning to the area this Christmas. Ticket prices are:

  • £10 adult (plus a £1 levy to go to the Community Trust for local activities including food bank campaigns)
  • £5 seniors and 18-24
  • £2 under 18’s

The theme will be a “BLUE & WHITE CHRISTMAS“ and we encourage all fans to bring flags and banners.  ‘We Are The Rovers’ have ordered 3 banners for the game and these can be used at future home and away fixtures.

These are the banner designs:

Rovers Women's Team:

We Are The Rovers have actively supported the Women’s Team.  We have had a stall at the last two home games played at Leyland and Ewood Park and we also now proudly support two of the Women’s team.

We Are THE Rovers Supporters Trust & Football Club Meeting 7th November 2023

Club Finances:

The Trust reiterated that in a situation of a lack of information from the Club and owners that supporters were bound in many cases to default to a position of blame and worry. The Trust recognised the importance of the Club senior management focusing on maintaining the financial well being and future of the non-playing side of the Club; without this we would be facing considerable challenges that would impact on the very future of the Club.  

The Trust were reassured the Club had maintained and were fully up to date with all statutory payments throughout a challenging period of funding and that now the funding streams were beginning to open again the Owners will be able to fund the Club on an ongoing basis.

Further discussion took place on the need for the Owners to acquire short term bridging loan secured against certain assets whist the case in India continues and also the role of the new Indian based Director whom the Club stated was of great assistance in terms of knowledge of Indian financial law and contracts as well as strengthening lines of communication with the Owners.

Season Tickets 2024/25:

The Trust presented to the Club.  The presentation focused on retention, recruitment and re-engagement and the need for more options and variations with the Season Ticket (ST) offer along with an entry level ticket to attract new fans.

The Club welcomed the presentation and asked the Trust to be further involved with the Club’s marketing team in the evolving work on the forthcoming 23/24 half ST offer.

Museum Project:

The Trust were aware that the Blackburn Rovers museum project was still on the agenda; the Trust were excited by this as it could be an excellent opportunity to showcase our rich heritage and both attract new fans and re engage lost fans.

The Club indicated that an ‘Expression of Interest’ to the Big Lottery Fund for essential funding was continued to be worked on and there is space in the Darwen End of the ground to house a museum.  It was hoped to link this to the Club’s 150th Anniversary in November 2025.

150th Anniversary - November 2025:

The Trust were mindful that the 150th Anniversary is less than two years off.  The Club were keen to involve a small number of supporters with key skills and knowledge in the planning group for the event.

A lively discussion took place on a wide range of possible events for the planning group to consider.

Watford ‘Fans Takeover’ 23rd December:

Both parties had a good discussion on the fan led event.  The Club came with a proposal on ticket pricing, with a £1 levy on adult tickets for local charitable purposes, and the proposal was warmly welcomed by the Trust.  A planning meeting with a wider range of interested parties would take place on Tuesday 14th November, the ticket price would be announced at this meeting.

Future Structure of Meetings and Participation:

Both parties agreed the meeting was constructive and the format should continue unchanged until the end of the current season.  The Trust would be looking at its future representation recognising the need for diversity.  It was also agreed that post-meeting joint communications were important.

Mike Graham
Chair | Rovers Supporters Trust ‘We Are The Rovers’

Steve Waggott
Chief Executive | Blackburn Rovers Football Club

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