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Blackburn Rovers fans groups join together in support
TWO Blackburn Rovers supporters groups have joined forces in an ambitious attempt to buy the club.
Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust and Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust (BRST) have united to form Rovers Trust – its aim to own the Ewood Park club in whole or part.
The Rovers Trust has the full approval of Supporters Direct, the independent Government body set up to advise football fans on taking a stake in their club.
The two groups have spent the summer formulating their merger plans, setting up the new trust as a Community Benefit Society and making sure all the relevant legal and financial structures are in place.
The new membership drive for the Rovers Trust has been launched in a bid to sign up Rovers fans for a £10 annual membership fee to give the group credibility.
The membership push will then be followed by a share-raising plan modelled on the ‘pledge scheme’ first launched by BRSIT earlier this year. That pledge scheme, first launched by BRSIT, earlier this year, has seen almost £3m pledged by supporters wanting to buy a £1,000 share in a new ownership model.
An initial target of £10m has been set by the Trust’s co-chairmen – BRST founder Oliver Jones and Wayne Wild, one of the co-founders of BRSIT – to help ensure the club’s future is in the hands of fans and the community.
“We have brought together a talented team of fans who have spent many months working on the structure of the trust to ensure it is legally watertight and financially ready to gain an ownership interest in Blackburn Rovers,” said Jones.
“Our principal objective is to obtain full or part ownership of Blackburn Rovers and its assets on behalf of fellow supporters in order to represent supporters’ views whilst protecting the club’s short and long term future..”
The fans fight to buy the club already has some high profile fans including Rovers legend Simon Garner and MPs Jack Straw, Jake Berry and Graham Jones.
Wild believes the move demonstrates to the club’s current owners Venky’s how series the Trust is in buying the club.
He said: “By uniting we can concentrate on our two main aims: Making as many supporters as possible members of Rovers Trust and persuading as many supporters as possible to buy one or more shares in the Community Benefit Society.”
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