A FANS action group, which in the past has been a consistent critic of Blackburn Rovers, has opened a walk-in centre at the club for supporters.
The Blackburn Rovers Football Community Action Group centre is the first of its kind in the UK.
The centre will be open six days a week at Ewood Park, of which dedicated time slots will be made available for fans to drop in off the street to bring concerns to the democratically elected committee. The centre will also be manned by volunteers from within the supporter base, while this platform will allow communication to the relevant departments within the club to accelerate at a much greater speed with the emphasis on customer satisfaction. It will be funded by the group’s committee, who are currently seeking a long term sponsor to help with the rising cost of the group’s activities.
Over the last 18 months the Action Group, who are officially recognised by Rovers, has cam-paigned for open communication with the club to allow supporters not only a voice regarding concerns, but also a platform to work with the club within the community. They have organised protests against both the owners and former manager Steve Kean and have continually called for Venky’s to either shape up or ship out.
The group has been looking for a permanent base for many months and after negotiations with Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, have found a solution which will cater for all the groups’ immediate needs.
It is hoped this new initiative will give supporters an opportunity to get closer to the dynamics surrounding the club, while also giving them more knowledge on the group’s activities within the community. The group’s 2013 calendar is already full of events which will benefit many across the borough.
Secretary Mark Fish, said: “This really is an exciting time for the group, after many months of trying to open up and maintain dialogue with the administration of Blackburn Rovers we now have the opportunity to listen to, raise and search for solutions to supporters concerns quicker than ever before. “This is believed to be the first of its kind in the country and is a move which is fully endorsed by Black-burn Rovers Foot-ball Club.
“We’d like to thank Blackburn Rovers Comm-unity Trust for their help in securing a wonderful base amongst their first class facilities which they have on offer and we look forward to a fruitful relationship with them, as we try and build the bridges between the towns football club and its community.”
Blackburn Rovers’ global ad-visor Shebby Singh, said: “This centre shows the commitment of the BRFC Action Group in wanting to bring the fans closer to the club. We appreciate these efforts as we join hands to forge strength in numbers for the progress of Blackburn Rovers Football Club.”
Ewood Ward Councillor, Maureen Bate-son MBE, said: “I think the walk in centre is a great idea.
“It’s a real chance for the fans and community to have some-where to come and air any is-sues they have, that can then be taken up or pass-ed on to the club. “As a local councillor I will also, along with my colleagues work with all parties to give any support we can. “This is yet another step for-ward in building bridges between the club, the fans and the local community.”
And Blackburn mayor Councillor Zamir Khan also gave his support to the centre and praised the club for taking on board the concerns of the fans in recent times.
He said: “This drop-in centre is the first of its kind in the whole country, if not in the UK, based here at the Darwen End of the stadium.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to listen to the concerns of the genuine fans of Blackburn Rovers and for the action group to pass the important issues to the club. “I was glad to be part of the opening and indorsing along with Shebby Singh and other important people. “I applaud hard working BRFC Action Group in taking up this important task and I hope it works well which I am sure will, so well done guys, keep it up and good luck.”