As IRSWT donations exceed £4,000, group head of marketing and communications Shaun Lockwood says Rovers staff have been blown away by the generosity of supporters in tough times.
An open letter from chief executive Gavin Baldwin on June 22 explained the financial difficulties the club faced after lockdown closed off the vast majority of the club’s income streams overnight. The letter asked fans who were able to donate their outstanding ticket value back to the club. Supporters not only donated the value of their tickets but also asked if there was more they could do.
Shaun said: “We always try really hard to work with our fans on projects and initiatives that can improve their experiences. Fan feedback and consultation is a key part of our communication strategy through In Rovers We Trust, so having worked really closely with our Supporters Board about our approach to refunds, we’ve been overwhelmed with the response to our new initiative In Rovers Supporters We Trust.
“We had hoped that fans would support the club and simply donate their entitled compensation to refunds but the amount of supporters who have asked us how they can go further and donate and give more to the club has been amazing - as have all the kind messages we’ve received.
“After just one week, we’ve raised more than £4,000 through In Rovers Supporters We Trust, with people taking part in the paint a brick scheme and other initiatives. Around half of those who had season tickets or match tickets for the 2019/20 have confirmed what they want to do with their compensation and more than 95% have told the club they don’t want a refund.
"This generosity is amazing, as our refund liability for the 2019/20 season was in the six figure range and every donation we receive reduces it further.
"We of course understand that not everyone is in a financial position to donate their entitled refund and we completely understand that, thankfully enough supporters have been and that has been incredibly helpful.
"We’re obviously no-where near the revenues we were achieving last season from ticket sales, stadium agreements, pitch bookings and events and it’s unlikely we will be for some time, so we still have some difficult decisions to make moving forward. However, our fans' generosity through In Rovers Supporters We Trust has reduced one area that was a massive threat to our survival as a club."
In Rovers Supporters We Trust donations were launched on June 25 with supporters able to donate anything from £10 to £100.
Shaun added: “By offering supporters a thank you for their donations, we hope they understand how much their support means.
“Gavin Baldwin and I are trying to personally email or call every supporter who has donated their season ticket or match ticket compensation or donated through In Rovers Supporters We Trust but such has been the response it’s been hard to keep up, so we’re a little behind.
"So to everyone who has donated so far, thank you, every contribution, however small or large is massive for ensuring the club’s survival and preparation for next season.”
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