Lancashire TelegraphFans gather to hear about plans of Rovers' Investment Trust (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Fans gather to hear about plans of Rovers' Investment Trust

THEY packed out the Windsor Suite at King George’s Hall, worried for the future of Blackburn Rovers.

Only time will tell whether the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust will one day be able to persuade Venky’s to part with the club.

But the fact that close to 500 people gave up their time on a perfect summer’s morning on Saturday said much about the depth of feeling within the town right now, the concern about the direction in which Rovers are currently heading.

An open fans’ meeting had been called by the BRSIT to discuss their plans to put the club into the hands of the community.

Wayne Wild, co-founder of the trust and group director of Rovers’ main sponsor WEC, spoke at length about his ambitions for the scheme.

Perhaps significantly, he was joined on the stage by former Rovers stars Simon Garner and Glenn Keeley, who have both offered their support for the plans.

The duo spoke from the heart when they addressed the audience.

It was clear that their love for the club was such that they felt they had to make a stand.

As was the case for those in audience.

Many had questions to be answered, as they pondered whether to sign up to the BRSIT, who are offering shares at £1,000 should they complete a takeover of the club in the future.

But all were clearly dissatisfied with the current state of affairs at Ewood Park.

The meeting lasted around 90 minutes as a wide range of issues were discussed, and those involved in the trust were heartened by the turn-out.

“I am very encouraged,” said co-founder Dan Grabko, a Rovers fan and American finance expert who flew in from his home in Sweden on Saturday morning.

“We didn’t know whether we were going to get 10 or 1,000 people, but we filled the room.”

‘One pride, one passion, 100 per cent Rovers,’ said the banner on stage, with merchandise for the trust also on sale at the back of the room.

It was revealed that just short of 1,200 people had already pledged money to the scheme, two months after its launch, taking the trust near to the £2m mark.

They aim to raise £10m before approaching Venky’s over a potential offer.

Their hope was simply to be ready for the day when the Indian poultry giants do decide to step away from the club.

“Our model is to get anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 supporters on board to raise the money we need,” Grabko said.

“After two months we are at 1,200 – a hair’s breadth away from £2m.

“We have a lot of momentum and I think it is definitely possible to raise £10m. Even if we stayed at the rate at the moment it would take 10 months to raise £10m.

“If we can increase that pace, which I think we have gone a long way towards with the meeting, I think we can do it in well less than half that – hopefully before September.

“Ninety per cent in the room said they hadn’t pledged yet and by the end nobody had their hand up saying they weren’t going to pledge.”

If successful in a takeover, Wild said the plan would be to employ experienced football people to run the club on a break-even basis unless further investment was to materialise.

He had, however, been unable to contact Rovers’ Indian owners so far.

Wild wrote to them in October as a concerned fan and club sponsor but has yet to receive a reply.

He revealed that in November, before the BRSIT had been set up, he was offered a meeting with Venky’s in London at less than 24 hours’ notice but was unable to travel for family reasons – only to find that the Rao brothers had actually made the trip to Wigan for Rovers’ Premier League match at the DW Stadium a day later.

The details of the trust’s scheme were outlined for those present.

Pledges are current being taken by the trust.

Fans do not yet have to pay for their shares, although the BRSIT have been advised to turn their £2m of pledges into cash reasonably soon to aid their chances of success.

The trust are taking advice from Supporters Direct, a group who have previously helped a number of clubs owned by fans – including the likes of FC United, AFC Wimbledon and Exeter.

Fans have also been offered the chance to group together to buy one share if necessary, with financial assistance also on offer to those who may struggle to pay the £1,000 required. A membership card system was also outlined, potentially giving all purchasers of a share their £1,000 within 20 years.

Asked whether he supported a boycott of matches under Venky’s rule, Wild stressed that the trust were keen to steer clear of advising fans on such issues.

But there was criticism of the club and current boss Steve Kean from Keeley, a Rovers defender between 1976 and 1987, bringing applause and brief chants of ‘Kean out’ from the audience.

“Even Burnley wouldn’t take him now,” Keeley quipped.

“I’ve seen Kenny Dalglish get sacked at Liverpool recently but you compare the two managers and there’s no comparison really at all.”

Garner also received applause as he spoke of his desire to help Rovers, where he still holds the club’s all-time goalscoring record.

“I thought it was a great turn-out,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first got there but it was very encouraging.

“We’re all after the same thing, we’ve all got the club at heart and hopefully the people that were there will speak to other fans and it will keep progressing and mushrooming.

“It shows that fans care about the football club and that’s what every club in the country needs.

“It’s a very important moment for the club.

“Fans are worried about what is going to happen to the football club.

“We get nothing out of Venky’s and we’d just like to speak to them and see what their plans are for the football club.

“If they speak to us great, if they speak to the fans at the same time it would be even better.”

Asked about the trust’s share plan, Garner added: “All people have got to do is pledge.

“They don’t have to give the money over straight away, if they just pledge they will be spporting the cause.

“When I played at Wycombe it was owned by the fans and everybody had a share. It worked perfectly, we got promotion two seasons running.

“I know it’s a smaller club but a team like Blackburn, who are a bigger club, it could be the start of something big for the football club.

“I think it is achievable, it’s just down to Venky’s and whether they will talk to us. To me that is the only stumbling block.

“The trust are trying all the time to get in touch with Venky’s.

“We either need a spokesperson for Venky’s or Venky’s themselves to get in touch with the turst and say we’ll have a meeting with you and we’ll have a chat with you.

“We’re not trying to force Venky’s out of the club, we’re prepared to work with them and talk to them. “That’s all we want to do.”

Rovers fans have secured meetings with key figures to express their concerns over events at the club, with the Blackburn Rovers Action Group – chaired by Glen Mullan – due to meet Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore in Doncaster on Wednesday

The BRAG and the BRSIT – with the aid of Blackburn MP and former Home Secretary Jack Straw, who has offered his support to the trust – will both meet the Government’s sports minister Hugh Robertson on June 13.

“Partly it’s to give us some sort of official backing,” Wild said.

“What we need is that the owners can see that we’re backed by official bodies, hence why Supporters Direct are very important to what we are doing.

“If the sports minister can in any way come out and give us some positivity that can only be good for what we’re doing.”

The BRSIT plan to hold another meeting soon and have also appealed for volunteers to help the running of the trust.

Supporters were offered the chance to sign up for a share at the end of Saturday’s gathering, as well as being informed that they could pledge online at www.brsit.co.uk or by texting ECTGA followed by their pledge to 60777.

Comments (17)

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9:27am Mon 28 May 12

no ney never says...

'A membership card system was also outlined, potentially giving all purchasers of a share their £1,000 within 20 years via free season tickets'
I thought the idea was that you own a share of bstrd rovers for your £1,000. Seems to me that the above scheme is no better than venky's putting 23m into the club then finding ways of getting that money back over a number of seasons..its sick and hypocritical.

Howe the lads
'A membership card system was also outlined, potentially giving all purchasers of a share their £1,000 within 20 years via free season tickets' I thought the idea was that you own a share of bstrd rovers for your £1,000. Seems to me that the above scheme is no better than venky's putting 23m into the club then finding ways of getting that money back over a number of seasons..its sick and hypocritical. Howe the lads no ney never
  • Score: 0

9:58am Mon 28 May 12

ChrisSutton says...

But there was criticism of the club and current boss Steve Kean from Keeley, a Rovers defender between 1976 and 1987, bringing applause and brief chants of ‘Kean Out’ from the audience.

"Even Burnley wouldn’t take him now," Keeley quipped.

"Not only has he been an embarrassment with the way he has managed, he has been an embarrassment off the pitch as well.

"I’ve seen Kenny Dalglish get sacked at Liverpool recently but you compare the two managers and there’s no comparison really at all, and yet we’re still stuck with this idiot."

God bless you buddy. It's nice to finally see a former Rover finally call it like it is.
-D.K.O
But there was criticism of the club and current boss Steve Kean from Keeley, a Rovers defender between 1976 and 1987, bringing applause and brief chants of ‘Kean Out’ from the audience. "Even Burnley wouldn’t take him now," Keeley quipped. "Not only has he been an embarrassment with the way he has managed, he has been an embarrassment off the pitch as well. "I’ve seen Kenny Dalglish get sacked at Liverpool recently but you compare the two managers and there’s no comparison really at all, and yet we’re still stuck with this idiot." God bless you buddy. It's nice to finally see a former Rover finally call it like it is. -D.K.O ChrisSutton
  • Score: 0

10:50am Mon 28 May 12

Cold Side Of The Pillow says...

ChrisSutton wrote:
But there was criticism of the club and current boss Steve Kean from Keeley, a Rovers defender between 1976 and 1987, bringing applause and brief chants of ‘Kean Out’ from the audience.

"Even Burnley wouldn’t take him now," Keeley quipped.

"Not only has he been an embarrassment with the way he has managed, he has been an embarrassment off the pitch as well.

"I’ve seen Kenny Dalglish get sacked at Liverpool recently but you compare the two managers and there’s no comparison really at all, and yet we’re still stuck with this idiot."

God bless you buddy. It's nice to finally see a former Rover finally call it like it is.
-D.K.O
Yes, loved the B*rnley jibe. Quality.

Good meeting, hope that meeting swung for a lot of fence sitters.

What was the name of that financial institution that will loan 1k at low rate of interest?
[quote][p][bold]ChrisSutton[/bold] wrote: But there was criticism of the club and current boss Steve Kean from Keeley, a Rovers defender between 1976 and 1987, bringing applause and brief chants of ‘Kean Out’ from the audience. "Even Burnley wouldn’t take him now," Keeley quipped. "Not only has he been an embarrassment with the way he has managed, he has been an embarrassment off the pitch as well. "I’ve seen Kenny Dalglish get sacked at Liverpool recently but you compare the two managers and there’s no comparison really at all, and yet we’re still stuck with this idiot." God bless you buddy. It's nice to finally see a former Rover finally call it like it is. -D.K.O[/p][/quote]Yes, loved the B*rnley jibe. Quality. Good meeting, hope that meeting swung for a lot of fence sitters. What was the name of that financial institution that will loan 1k at low rate of interest? Cold Side Of The Pillow
  • Score: 0

11:15am Mon 28 May 12

Dukes says...

Good turn out it was,and we should all help the case,no harm in trying.
Good turn out it was,and we should all help the case,no harm in trying. Dukes
  • Score: 0

11:20am Mon 28 May 12

DaBoss says...

no ney never wrote:
'A membership card system was also outlined, potentially giving all purchasers of a share their £1,000 within 20 years via free season tickets'
I thought the idea was that you own a share of bstrd rovers for your £1,000. Seems to me that the above scheme is no better than venky's putting 23m into the club then finding ways of getting that money back over a number of seasons..its sick and hypocritical.

Howe the lads
Got to say I agree with you.

I cant understand the idea of getting your money back, incentives like maybe having your ownership printed on your season ticket, membership card etc. would be a much better idea.

As a shareholder your biggest incentive is that you may directly influence the running of the club via shareholder and AGM meetings.
[quote][p][bold]no ney never[/bold] wrote: 'A membership card system was also outlined, potentially giving all purchasers of a share their £1,000 within 20 years via free season tickets' I thought the idea was that you own a share of bstrd rovers for your £1,000. Seems to me that the above scheme is no better than venky's putting 23m into the club then finding ways of getting that money back over a number of seasons..its sick and hypocritical. Howe the lads[/p][/quote]Got to say I agree with you. I cant understand the idea of getting your money back, incentives like maybe having your ownership printed on your season ticket, membership card etc. would be a much better idea. As a shareholder your biggest incentive is that you may directly influence the running of the club via shareholder and AGM meetings. DaBoss
  • Score: 0

11:46am Mon 28 May 12

makaveli96 says...

Would King George of took India back under British rule (for the Venkys treason) if he was still alive today?
Would King George of took India back under British rule (for the Venkys treason) if he was still alive today? makaveli96
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Mon 28 May 12

Ishakhtaroverdonetsk says...

DaBoss - your post tells me a) You didn't attend on Saturday , or, (b) You did and you haven't understood the outline of the scheme. As a shareholder you DO have a vote as was explained.
DaBoss - your post tells me a) You didn't attend on Saturday , or, (b) You did and you haven't understood the outline of the scheme. As a shareholder you DO have a vote as was explained. Ishakhtaroverdonetsk
  • Score: 0

12:52pm Mon 28 May 12

DaBoss says...

Ishakhtaroverdonetsk wrote:
DaBoss - your post tells me a) You didn't attend on Saturday , or, (b) You did and you haven't understood the outline of the scheme. As a shareholder you DO have a vote as was explained.
Yes I know that, but that was not my point.

I don't understand the idea of getting your money back as a shareholder/owner of the club.

A better idea would be to maybe differentiate between shareholder and investor, where the investor is likely to bring more money to the proceedings but with the sole intent of profiteering in the long run and the 1k shareholder is just that, an owner contributing to the runnin of the club?
[quote][p][bold]Ishakhtaroverdonetsk[/bold] wrote: DaBoss - your post tells me a) You didn't attend on Saturday , or, (b) You did and you haven't understood the outline of the scheme. As a shareholder you DO have a vote as was explained.[/p][/quote]Yes I know that, but that was not my point. I don't understand the idea of getting your money back as a shareholder/owner of the club. A better idea would be to maybe differentiate between shareholder and investor, where the investor is likely to bring more money to the proceedings but with the sole intent of profiteering in the long run and the 1k shareholder is just that, an owner contributing to the runnin of the club? DaBoss
  • Score: 0

1:04pm Mon 28 May 12

DaBoss says...

makaveli96 wrote:
Would King George of took India back under British rule (for the Venkys treason) if he was still alive today?
lol I much doubt he would have the stomach to challenge a fellow nuke state or p!ss off the U.S. by doing so, interesting as that notion may be.

King George: "Surrender yourselves to our might again India, the charges against you are Treason of the highest order".

India: "No"

King George: "Well.. erm.. all of Europe will.. CONDEMN YOu"

India: "Whatever"
[quote][p][bold]makaveli96[/bold] wrote: Would King George of took India back under British rule (for the Venkys treason) if he was still alive today?[/p][/quote]lol I much doubt he would have the stomach to challenge a fellow nuke state or p!ss off the U.S. by doing so, interesting as that notion may be. King George: "Surrender yourselves to our might again India, the charges against you are Treason of the highest order". India: "No" King George: "Well.. erm.. all of Europe will.. CONDEMN YOu" India: "Whatever" DaBoss
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Mon 28 May 12

French Rover says...

Does anyone know if there is a website where you can buy the BRSIT merchandise? I like the sound of the One Pride - One Passion - 100% Rovers.

Would look good on the car driving round France..better than the Rovers shirts with Crown on them hanging in the windows..
Does anyone know if there is a website where you can buy the BRSIT merchandise? I like the sound of the One Pride - One Passion - 100% Rovers. Would look good on the car driving round France..better than the Rovers shirts with Crown on them hanging in the windows.. French Rover
  • Score: 0

2:04pm Mon 28 May 12

FCBurnley says...

Which hole did Big Glenda crawl out of ?

500 attended.....WOW.

Gives us some idea of the attendance levels at Deadwood next season.

UTC
Which hole did Big Glenda crawl out of ? 500 attended.....WOW. Gives us some idea of the attendance levels at Deadwood next season. UTC FCBurnley
  • Score: 0

6:57pm Mon 28 May 12

bburnrover says...

I hope attendancies are made up solely of away fans as Kean is still there and until he goes noone should give any money to the Venkeys.
Burnley fans please look up the facts before you start stating you have more fans than us we have out played and out supported you for the past 30 odd years.
I hope attendancies are made up solely of away fans as Kean is still there and until he goes noone should give any money to the Venkeys. Burnley fans please look up the facts before you start stating you have more fans than us we have out played and out supported you for the past 30 odd years. bburnrover
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Mon 28 May 12

oddmanjack says...

Jubilee Credit Union of Darwen were offering the scheme. Decent low rate of interest.
Jubilee Credit Union of Darwen were offering the scheme. Decent low rate of interest. oddmanjack
  • Score: 0

8:40pm Mon 28 May 12

RoversSwiss says...

Can only applaud the efforts of Wayne Wild and Brsit, much better than the destructive actions of the group Brag, advocating boycotts and other ridiculous actions to further damage the club.

I would be willing to contribute even though I would be almost certain to lose my money.

John Williams and Tom Finn worked incredibly hard to keep the club going and we were still almost 20 million in debt when they brokered the deal with the Venkys.

Unfortunately the sums just don't add up, 2 million pounds or 10 million pounds are nothing in modern football. With the average wage at Rovers 25,000 pounds a week, where are Rovers going to get the money to pay wages or honour contracts, especially with dwindling attendances and stupid boycotts? the parachute payment won't last forever. Givet will be lucky to get 10% of his wages never mind being unhappy with 50%.

Hopefully Brag will fade away and real Rovers fans like Brsit will able to re-open communications with the Venkys. I hope Brsit succeed in their takeover, but it all means that we will never again be able to compete financially or otherwise in the Premiership.
Can only applaud the efforts of Wayne Wild and Brsit, much better than the destructive actions of the group Brag, advocating boycotts and other ridiculous actions to further damage the club. I would be willing to contribute even though I would be almost certain to lose my money. John Williams and Tom Finn worked incredibly hard to keep the club going and we were still almost 20 million in debt when they brokered the deal with the Venkys. Unfortunately the sums just don't add up, 2 million pounds or 10 million pounds are nothing in modern football. With the average wage at Rovers 25,000 pounds a week, where are Rovers going to get the money to pay wages or honour contracts, especially with dwindling attendances and stupid boycotts? the parachute payment won't last forever. Givet will be lucky to get 10% of his wages never mind being unhappy with 50%. Hopefully Brag will fade away and real Rovers fans like Brsit will able to re-open communications with the Venkys. I hope Brsit succeed in their takeover, but it all means that we will never again be able to compete financially or otherwise in the Premiership. RoversSwiss
  • Score: 0

7:51am Tue 29 May 12

makaveli96 says...

Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell was typically Scottish..

When he made his first phone call..He tried to reverse the charges.
Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell was typically Scottish.. When he made his first phone call..He tried to reverse the charges. makaveli96
  • Score: 0

7:53am Tue 29 May 12

makaveli96 says...

Whenever I say, "Women have the brain size of Squirrels", they get really annoyed.

Who knew Squirrels were so sensitive?
Whenever I say, "Women have the brain size of Squirrels", they get really annoyed. Who knew Squirrels were so sensitive? makaveli96
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Tue 29 May 12

Incredible Hulk says...

oddmanjack wrote:
Jubilee Credit Union of Darwen were offering the scheme. Decent low rate of interest.
Already signed up! I ain't got a spare £grand but I can afford £10 a week. I'll save what I can and if Mr Wild needs the money sooner rather than later (let's hope so!) the Credit Union will lend me the rest.

And when I'm part owner I want to be the one to give Kean his P45.
[quote][p][bold]oddmanjack[/bold] wrote: Jubilee Credit Union of Darwen were offering the scheme. Decent low rate of interest.[/p][/quote]Already signed up! I ain't got a spare £grand but I can afford £10 a week. I'll save what I can and if Mr Wild needs the money sooner rather than later (let's hope so!) the Credit Union will lend me the rest. And when I'm part owner I want to be the one to give Kean his P45. Incredible Hulk
  • Score: 0

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