Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust (BRSIT) is to hold its first public meeting to discuss the way forward as it bids to take over the club from current owners Venky's and place it in the hands of the fans. All supporters are invited to attend the meeting on Saturday, 26 May, at the Windsor Suite at King George's Hall in Blackburn from 10am until noon.
Following on from its recent meeting behind closed doors on April 21, BRSIT is now in a position to bring its proposals to a wider audience and founders Wayne Wild and Daniel Grabko will be joined by Rovers legend and non-executive director Simon Garner to present the Supporters Investment Trust proposals and answer fans' questions.
The fanshare initiative has already generated widespread interest and currently BRSIT has raised more than Â£1.7 million in the form of pledges from Rovers fans around the world. It is also working on a unique shareholder return scheme, the Rovers Club Cash incentive, which could reward fans investing in the Trust's plan with what amounts to a free season ticket for the next 20 years.
Commenting on the Trust's first public meeting, Wayne Wild said: "This is an ideal opportunity for supporters who may be undecided and sitting on the fence to get the full facts about what we are proposing and why we feel this is the way forward for our club. We believe our campaign has real impetus and that we will see more and more supporters joining the cause now they can see where the club will be next season and the challenges that it faces.
"We have already had the support of fans of Blackburn Rovers in all corners of the globe, who all want to see their club in their ownership. Our message to those who are undecided is come along to the meeting, listen and ask questions and join our fight for the club's future.
"The passion and enthusiasm we have already seen for our campaign and the will that exists out there for it to succeed just highlights what Blackburn Rovers means to its community and why it should be owned by the supporters. Our aim is to build on that and our first open meeting is another step on that journey. Given our relegation and the state of the club at the moment, we believe the success of our campaign is even more vital for the future of our club.
"Whether you have already pledged your support or would like to find out more about our proposal, all are welcome to attend this open event."
The campaign to bring Blackburn Rovers into community ownership also has support from local community leaders including MPs Jack Straw, Jake Berry and Graham Jones, Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, and Sir Bill Taylor. A number of major employers in the East Lancashire area are also throwing their weight behind the Trust's bid to secure the future of the club by putting it in the hands of the supporters and local community.
Wayne Wild added: "We need to keep the pledges coming in from supporters and the business community to show we are the most credible and attractive option for when the current owners decide they would like to sell the club. We are here to offer them a respectful and dignified exit strategy from their investment and, in the spirit of what is best for them and for Blackburn Rovers, we will keep asking for a dialogue with the owners or their representatives."
Both Wayne Wild and Daniel Grabko have appeared on BRFCS podcasts to discuss the fanshare initiative. Listen to Podcast 27, Part 1, for an outline of the Trust's initial aims and Podcast 32 for an interview with Wayne Wild about further developments. For further details on the BRSIT initiative, visit the Trust's website at www.brsit.co.uk.