ROVERS Trust said they were disappointed by the decision of Ribble Valley Council to reject their application to list Brockhall as an asset of community value (ACV).

The trust, who were successful in making Ewood Park an ACV in 2013, revealed in June their plan to do the same with the club’s senior and Academy training centres at Brockhall.

An ACV would have acted as a barrier to the sale of the land without notice being given to any community interest group who would have had the opportunity to be a potential bidder.

The trust, run by supporters, argued Brockhall had community value due to being an ‘integral part of Blackburn Rovers’, as well as being used for events such as training camps and for spectators to watch Academy matches.

Blackburn Rovers Football Club objected to the granting of the ACV with the council rejecting the application due to Brockhall being a ‘private facility’ and that ‘activities on the site do not involve the local community’.

Michael Doherty, the trust’s legal and policy officer, said: “The most disappointing aspect of this decision is that the people running our club have objected to it so strongly.

“They brought in a global law firm and instructed them to argue that Brockhall is a private facility and to dispute that Brockhall is an integral part of Blackburn Rovers.

“Our legal research shows that there are still important protections over Brockhall in property and planning law.

“We will remain vigilant in making sure those protections continue to apply to protect the long-term legacy that Jack Walker left for the club and for all Rovers supporters’.”

The trust added: “If the club’s owners and directors are as genuinely committed to Brockhall as they say they are, they would not have opposed the very modest limitations provided by ‘community value’ listing.”

Rejecting the application, the council said: “The actual current use of the land is as a private facility, the majority of the activities on the site do not involve the local community nor do the local community have access to the facilities.

“Community events are on occasion carried out at the invitation of the land owner, and are ancillary to the primary use as a training facility and academy.”

The council also added there was ‘no evidence that the facilities have changed since their acquisition’ or ‘that it is realistic to think that there would be a non-ancillary use of the land that would further the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community’.”

Rovers said they remain committed to Brockhall, demonstrated by the club retaining their Category One Academy status and the installation of a new artificial pitch at the senior training centre in September.

A Rovers spokesman said: “The club could not agree with the reasons behind the application for ACV status and therefore submitted a response to argue, amongst other things, that the facilities at Brockhall are private and access should remain by invitation only.

“The criteria that applied to the Ewood Park application were very different to that for Brockhall.

“Ribble Valley Council concurred with our view and the application was therefore turned down.

“The club remain fully committed to developing the facilities at Brockhall, as has demonstrably been the case through the retention of category one status for our Academy, as well as the significant investment in a new artificial pitch at the Senior Training Centre in recent weeks.”

The trust’s chairman, John Murray, said: “We are disappointed that this particular application has been rejected, but the work of the Trust goes on.

“Recent events at Blackpool Football Club show that, if supporters stick together, they can make a difference and help to bring an end to bad ownership of their clubs’.”