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[Archived] News Article -> Rovers Trust's March Letter To Mrs Desai

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Details have emerged today regarding a letter sent last month to Mrs Desai, the chair of Blackburn Rovers owners Venky's of India, by the Rovers Trust. The letter, dated 8 March 2013 and signed by the trust co-chairs Wayne Wild and Ozz Jones, is an invitation to Mrs Desai to engage in dialogue with the group for the mutual benefit of the owners and the Rovers Trust and, ultimately, Blackburn Rovers Football Club and its wider community of supporters. It is understood that the letter was circulated to members of the trust earlier today.

Below is the full text of the letter.

DATE: Friday March 8, 2013


Dear Mrs Desai

First of all we want to thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.

And we hope very much that you and your family are well and flourishing in your endeavours.

We look forward to seeing you again soon at Ewood Park and would respectfully ask that, should you have the time before, during or after a game, we might meet in person to welcome you and to formally introduce ourselves.

Since we launched the Rovers Trust in November, as the only official supporters trust for Blackburn Rovers to be recognised by our Government’s Supporters Direct body, we have attracted many hundreds of members. But, at heart, we have a small executive team made up of local business people and life-long supporters of Blackburn Rovers.

Several members of the Rovers Trust steering group own and run family businesses both large and small, including WEC Group and Blackburn Chemicals, two Lancashire-based companies with international footprints. Another executive officer is the director of a highly successful media and public relations company, which works internationally, including in India.

We understand what it is like to deal successfully with different countries and cultures and so we know how it must be for you to bring your values and beliefs to a football club in the North West of England.

Right from the start, we would like to say: We are here to help you.

And we hope when you’ve finished reading about the Rovers Trust you will have a better understanding of who we are and what our goals are.

We also hope you will conclude that a working relationship with the Rovers Trust would be mutually beneficial to both parties and you would wish to open a dialogue with us, either personally or through your appointed representatives at Ewood Park.

What is the Rovers Trust about?

PUTTING SOMETHING IN — Our main aim is to become a shareholder in Blackburn Rovers Football Club.

The shareholding can be large or small, but significant enough so that the fan-base can have their opinions heard and listened to and whoever owns the club can ensure they are taking into account the opinions and ideas of the very lifeblood of the club: the fans.

The Rovers Trust has the official support of Supporters Direct which is the organisation supported by the UK Government to promote the value of supporter community ownership and influence of sports clubs in the UK.

PUTTING SOMETHING BACK — into the community in and around Blackburn.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club, as you are aware, is a very big part of people’s lives in the Blackburn area. Largely because of Government cutbacks, community initiatives have either had their funding pulled completely or cut back significantly.

The Rovers Trust wants to help put something back through support of community initiatives and local grass roots football clubs.

Through involvement particularly with the youth element of the local community, the benefit to Blackburn Rovers would be the engagement of youngsters with the football club from a very early age which would in turn help build the relationship between them and the club and ensure new fans and grow the next generation for the fan-base.

What’s in it for you?

The Rovers Trust wants to work with you the owners, not against you, with the very best interests of Blackburn Rovers at the heart of everything we do.

There are a number of simple initiatives that can immediately and directly benefit you and the club through positive public relations, reaching out to the supporter base, the wider community and the business world of East Lancashire.


Bringing the Rovers Trust in at this juncture or in the near future would create an enormous wave of positive PR in newspaper articles and on radio and television programmes both locally and nationally and very possibly internationally.

Previously clubs who have engaged with their fans through a Trust have had to hit rock bottom first (Swansea City for example). But, a club that is able to understand the vital role the fans and the community play in the life and ultimate success of a football club would be recognised as the shining example for all other clubs to follow.

You will be seen to be taking the initiative to officially recognise Rovers Trust allowing us the opportunity to buy a share in the club, without there needing to be the threat of financial failure hanging over the club.

The owners of the club who have the foresight and initiative to do this first would be seen as the benchmark for how clubs should be run (with the model of the German Bundesliga as the working example in a different country). This would not be a one off piece of positive PR, this would continue indefinitely with Blackburn Rovers Football Club being the model for others to follow, not only in this country, but around the world.


The engagement with the fans and the positive PR this would generate would bring old fans back and new fans to the club, which would in turn increase the revenue channels throughout Blackburn Rovers whether it be ticket sales, merchandise, hospitality or corporate sponsorship.


The monies earned through the sponsorship and hospitality strands have noticeably and significantly diminished over the past 18 months.

Because of our dual status as both business people in our own right and as executives of Rovers Trust, we are in a unique position to greatly influence the corporate success of the club.

Bringing the Rovers Trust on board would encourage more businesses both locally and nationally to want to become involved with the club through sponsorship and taking up of hospitality places.

The positive PR created by taking this stand would mean businesses would want to be seen to be involved with the brand that is Blackburn Rovers Football Club.


The Rovers Trust would like to propose a joint networking event held at Ewood Park which would be run as a collaborative event between the club and the Rovers Trust to start building these relationships as soon as possible.

This would enable us to get to know and begin to work positively with your top team of directors and begin to help them to rebuild the commercial revenues of the club.

In Summary

You can see just from this short introduction what the Rovers Trust stands for and the benefits positive engagement with the Trust will bring to Blackburn Rovers Football Club and its owners.

There are no negatives to bringing the Rovers Trust on board in an officially recognised role, only positives. The sooner we can set the ball rolling to help, the better.


We sincerely request we can begin a dialogue with you to make this happen as soon as possible and to start organising the first joint initiative which would be the networking event.

If there are any questions you would like to raise about the Rovers Trust or ideas you yourself may have, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We look forwarding to hearing your thoughts.

With our very best regards, the Rovers Trust Steering Group

Wayne Wild — Co-Chairman

Ozz Jones — Co-Chairman

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