Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

Player Meeting - Statement

Representatives from We Are The Rovers joined other fan groups and individuals to meet with a delegation from the club, including 5 senior players on Wednesday 7th February. This was arranged with less than 24 hours notice.
February 8, 2024

This meeting was never intended to be secret, but the fact that a breech in GDPR led to immediate speculation amongst the wider fanbase meant issuing a collective and comprehensive review by attendees became difficult. We were still sat round the table when CCTV footage started circulating and speculation began.

We have a platform to put questions and suggestions to the club on a regular basis. Our next meeting with the Club on the basis of our Memorandum of Understanding is scheduled for next week. The discussions and outcomes will be comprehensively minuted and publicly available, we continue to seek input and questions to pose from our members.

Other groups/individuals in attendance do not have that mandate, and this meeting presented them with an opportunity to voice concerns that many of their members, followers and fellow supporters have been raising.

All supporters and players were given opportunities to speak, and there was a frank discussion around current form and morale in the squad. Nobody in the room was happy with current results and agreed they need to improve as a matter of urgency. The players were critical of their own performances.

There was naturally discussion about the atmosphere at the QPR fixture. It was made very clear that any booing and chanting was not simply a result of that performance, but a culmination of anger and frustration at current events at board and ownership level that have been prevalent for many years.

We Are The Rovers have repeatedly challenged the club to work with supporters on improving the match day experience and atmosphere. The players were in agreement with us that this should be addressed. Simply, a lively atmosphere is preferable to a lack of atmosphere, and a toxic atmosphere can be demoralising.

A more in depth review from other perspectives will be shared by the respective attendees, but some takeaway points from us:

  • It was interesting to see players questioning Steve Waggott on ticket pricing. A drum we constantly bang.
  • Players were as vocal, disappointed and angry as anyone round the table regarding the Duncan McGuire transfer saga.
  • The players and the fans share the same opinion that current results have not been good enough, and a strong desire to see them improve
  • There was no attempt to try to silence voices, quash criticism, or avoid issues from anyone involved. Everyone did however express a desire to come together and ensure the season does not end in relegation.
  • There has been speculation about certain elements of the meeting not being shared with the wider fanbase. We were made aware that there would likely be upcoming media speculation, which occurred before we left the venue.
 Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

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