A background to In Rovers We Trust
In Rovers we trust was founded in April 2012. It followed a disappointing campaign where the club were relegated to League 1 after an unsuccessful transfer policy that had replaced long-term servants of the club with short-term loan acquisitions.
Fans felt alienated not only by the club’s transfer policy, but also by the club’s communications and an apparent emphasis on generating short-term revenues over consideration for long term supporters. There was a clear lack of togetherness that was evident both on and off the pitch.
In Rovers We Trust was formed to bring the club and its supporters closer together, create an open dialogue between fans and the Clubs senior management, improved customer service and an honest and transparent communication policy. Working with supporter organisations such as the Viking Supporters Co-operative and the supporters club, here are just some of the changes that In Rovers We Trust has produced:
The club’s dialogue with supporters has changed during the past two years.
Meet the Owner events now take place twice per year, providing fans with an opportunity to question the owners of Doncaster Rovers through the medium of an open public question and answer session.
Fan Forums have been reintroduced with the club’s Chief Executive, First Team Manager and Senior Management team regularly meeting with supporters in villages throughout Doncaster throughout the season.
The open dialogue with supporters has also helped improve the kit design process, with supporters having an active involvement on the clubs kits during the past two years.
Following the launch of In Rovers We Trust the club took over the operation of the Keepmoat Stadium. Changes were immediately made with the Lakeside Suite being renamed the Belle Vue Bar; the painting of key reception areas from purple to red and the introduction of large format banners on the outside of the stadium. This summer an illustrated history of Doncaster Rovers was installed as part of Stage 1 of the club’s walk in museum.
Meanwhile small changes such as the introduction of glass pint pots in the Belle Vue Bar (to replace plastic ones) and the creation of Rovers bespoke beer ‘1879’ have stressed the identity of the club and made supporters feel more welcome on a match day.
The club have removed categorised games at the request of supporters; reintroduced a Category C price band for both season tickets and match day tickets and launched a new membership scheme all in line with supporters’ requests.
The removal of booking charges for online purchases or for card payments has also been introduced.
Match day operations
Cash gates have been introduced at home games within the Polypipe stand to make it possible for supporters to attend games without the need to get to the ticket office in advance of a match day.
Meanwhile the club has worked closely with First Group to provide an improved post-game bus service, with shuttle buses providing direct transport back into the town centre after every home match.
This season the club is working hard to invigorate In Rovers We Trust. Despite only being one month into the season the club has already launched a series of new initiatives, including the creation of fan panels, the club ambassador scheme and the introduction of a big screen.