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Michael Doherty

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About Michael Doherty

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    Conference
  1. FSF and club ownership

    Hi I was at the Supporters Summit in July 2017 and attended this meeting on behalf of Rovers Trust. I know that Mark from BRAG was there too. I agree with many of the comments above on what we would ideally like to see in the regulatory framework of English football. It is a shame that the shape of that framework will not be decided by FSF/SD but instead by the FA/EPL/EFL authorities. Since taking on a role on the policy/legal side with the Rovers Trust 18 months ago I have tried to keep in mind Bismarck’s maxim that ‘Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable --- the art of the next best’. For example, the so-called ‘fit and proper person test’ is never going to address the concerns of supporters of clubs like Rovers, Charlton, Coventry etc – even in an enhanced form. I came to a conclusion that an annual licensing scheme was the best and most realistic way of making progress. This is what I said to the Sports Minister when I met her earlier this year and what I have been saying to Supporters Direct. It is gratifying to know that I am completely unoriginal in this analysis – many people in the supporters’ movement argue along the same lines. The fact that it has actually been implemented in the National Leagues (shamefully - only two levels below us) shows how realistic and attainable a prospect this is. It is great to see ‘licensing’ front and centre in the Supporters Direct / FSF discussions and I will continue to press this from a Rovers Trust point of view. Of course, if you want some say in what the Rovers Trust argues in these forums (SD/FSF/football authorities/Government) then you just need to join and let us know. The Rovers Trust is not some external organisation – we are Rovers supporters and we are 100% owned by our members, with a Board elected by them and accountable to them. http://www.roverstrust.com/registration-page/
  2. Update on the Brockhall ACV application here http://www.roverstrust.com/2017/07/25/rovers-trust-working-protecting-blackburn-rovers-training-ground-academy/ and LT story here http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/15430030.Rovers_Trust_hope_to_safeguard_future_of_club_s__world_class__training_and_academy_facility/
  3. The sign doesn't seem genuine. It has contact numbers on but no one picking up. Doesn't change the need for this ACV application.
  4. Thanks Tony. We don't formally need names and addresses as the Rovers Trust is an incorporated body. We have some members who are local residents who are supporting the application. We are really looking for stories of visiting Brockhall, watching the youth team / reserves etc.
  5. I am working on the ACV application this week and aiming to get a draft done for the end of the week. The response to requests for help and info from Rovers fans has been disappointing so far. This is a chance to contribute to something concrete in protecting the legacy and future of our club. Please respond or circulate the requests for supporting info as widely as possible and send info to me at michael.doherty@roverstrust.co.uk Thanks
  6. Hi ParsonBlue. Yes - that is me. Kate Hollern's office asked me if they could use a quote following our meeting with the Minister for Sport. After some consideration, I said yes as long as they kept it factual. This decision was confirmed by a Trust board meeting. Duncan Miller has done some great work in raising the profile of the campaign for a change of ownership at Rovers. As he has said on a number of occasions, the realistic aim is not to win the seat but to bring publicity to the campaign. We confirmed the quote before Duncan declared as a candidate but even in hindsight I stand by the decision. To explain; Rovers Trust is politically neutral but is not apolitical. Campaigning for supporter ownership of football clubs is a deeply political act. Trying to influence Government and the football authorities to regulate football ownership more effectively involves working with the existing political structures. In the press release following the ministerial meeting, the Trust praised all local politicians who have worked to support the interests of Rovers supporters regardless of party affiliation. We expressly named Kate Hollern, Graham Jones and Jake Berry – from both sides of the House. This next paragraph is my personal opinion and not the official stance of the Rovers Trust. There have been a number of messages on social media and this board complaining that professional politicians do not care about Rovers’ fans plight. This is just untrue. Kate Hollern worked to get a Parliamentary Early Day Motion on corruption in football (that made express reference to Venky’s disastrous ownership) listed – something that other MPs had tried and failed to do. She agreed to go to India with the delegation being organized by Wayne Wild – which ultimately had to be cancelled due to security advice rather than lack of political commitment. She, like all of us, has tried to communicate directly with Venky’s. She has advocated for Rovers fans with the EFL. She took the initiative to arrange a meeting with the Sports Minister. When we met with the Minister she spoke passionately and insightfully on the economic impact of Rovers’ decline on the town. I hope that there is a good show for Duncan on Thursday night. The Trust will work with whoever wins Blackburn. The odds are strong that it will be Kate Hollern, in which case she has a track record of doing the right thing on the problem of Rovers' owners.
  7. Rovers Trust-The Next Stage

    Excellent appearance by John Murray on Football Focus just now.
  8. Rovers Trust-The Next Stage

    If you want a large beer - better to ask for 'una jarra'!
  9. Rovers Trust-The Next Stage

    News story on the Trust's meeting with the Sports Minister http://www.roverstrust.com/2017/05/04/rovers-trusts-depth-sports-minister-briefing-backdrop-possible-relegation-general-election/
  10. Rovers Trust-The Next Stage

    Thanks for the comments about the forthcoming meeting – both the positive and the sceptical. The news post to the Trust website did set out what we want to achieve within the meeting, but there have been relevant questions here about what we want the overall outcome to be, what the Sports Minister can actually do, etc … I am realistic. Whatever the outcome is, it is likely to be limited, but that does not mean it will be useless. We all do what we can to protect the club we love, don’t we? Take the last Structured Dialogue Meeting with the club. The Action Group could put its points directly and bluntly to Cheston on the feelings of fans about his role. Others, on the back of effective research, could extract information about the short-term financing situation. That meeting is not going to directly lead to Venky’s leaving; but would we rather that senior staff are put on the spot about the mismanagement of the club, or that they are spared that indignity? Would we rather find out about some of the alarming financing arrangements or not? The meetings are not perfect, but not useless. And coming back to the point … Why did Blackburn Rovers hold that meeting? It was because nationally some supporters’ groups had pushed their concerns about engagement with their clubs. They lobbied, asked for meetings, got the support of FSF and Supporters Direct. Collectively they persuaded the Sports Minister, Tracey Crouch, to set up an Expert Working Group on Football Supporter Engagement and Ownership. When it reported and recommended structured dialogue meetings, she was supportive of the proposal and secured the agreement of the PL / EFL. As the supporters’ trust for Blackburn Rovers we cannot afford to turn down the opportunity of meeting with the person who can effect change in football regulation. So, I don’t know what the eventual outcome of the meeting will be. Our proposals are consistent with the line taken by FSF /SD, and we have the added insight of being at the sharp end of shortcomings in football regulation. We might be able to nudge the debate along a little; it is a long way from perfect but we’ll do what we can.
  11. Rovers Trust-The Next Stage

    Rovers Trust meeting with the Sports Minister - key aims set out here http://www.roverstrust.com/2017/04/22/rovers-trust-meeting-sports-minister-tracey-crouch-mp/
  12. Rovers Trust/Action Group/Ians

    The percentages relate to the proportion of people voting not the total number of votes cast, i.e. 62% of the people voting cast a vote for me, 57% for John etc.
  13. Rovers Trust/Action Group/Ians

    Thank you.
  14. Rovers Trust/Action Group/Ians

    You are correct. My understanding is that the Trust is bound by its constitution on the size of the Board. Once the election decides the composition of the Board they have the option of co-opting further Board members. The co-opted members cannot (under the guidance set out in the national guidance on supporters trusts from Supporters Direct) out-number the elected members. I hope that helps you in your election choice. There is nothing to stop the new Board asking anyone who wants to support the aims of the Trust to help out on specific projects in the future. This is likely to be the one of the urgent tasks for the new Board to address. BTW - I know (and everyone reading this knows) that I am new to this forum. Hello.
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