BRISTOL ROVERS STADIUM TRUST sign now

For many years Bristol Rovers supporters have suffered from a poor standard of football and poor ground facilities both of which have been caused by mismanagement of the club’s assets. With extremely high debts accumulated over this period we are now told that by selling The Memorial Stadium and building a new stadium on the UWE campus everything will change and we can look forward to success commensurate with the support levels and income we achieve. However no details have been provided as to how this turnaround in fortunes will be achieved and there is a strong suspicion that, in reality, there is little basis for the promises that have been made. We are assured by the owners of the club that the a stadium will bring about a change for the better but, in many cases, the previous assurances they offered were worthless and no convincing evidence has been provided that this time it will be different.

 

Bristol Rovers have suffered in the past by having to sell or give up assets due to financial mismanagement. In 1940 we sold Eastville Stadium and in 1986 were forced to give up our lease on that ground  and become tenants at Bath City. Historically, in football terms, we have always been known as a “selling club” and have never had the financial security to hold on to good players but were always forced by circumstances to sell these assets.

 

In 1998, when Bristol Rovers acquired The Memorial Stadium, supporters were told that this was going to bring about change for the better just as we are now being told this will happen with The UWE Stadium. However the reality was quite different and the club subsequently dropped to the bottom tier of the Football League for the first time in it’s history. In fact during the 15 year term of ownership of the Memorial Stadium we have suffered the worst period ever in terms of Football League performance. Large debts have been allowed to accumulate and capital injections have been regularly needed both from the club owners and from ordinary supporters. Although those providing the debt and equity capital have been comforted by the knowledge that the stadium provided them with tangible security the financial performance of the club has been consistently negative and so, rather than debt or equity being repaid, further injections have been regularly needed to keep the club in existence. Finally, the point has been reached when financial unsustainability has been admitted by the owners and the only way out is to sell The Memorial Stadium and effectively start again.

 

Supporters have been told that when the club makes a fresh start at The UWE Stadium it will be debt free. However, as previously stated, no full explanation has been provided as to how the issue of financial loss making and lack of team success will be addressed. Without any convincing explanation it is logical to expect that the club will continue with it’s traditional way of doing business in which case financial loss making will start again very quickly. The cycle will continue whereby the UWE Stadium will be used to secure debts and at some point in the future will have to be sold due to continuing financial unsustainability. During this period the supporters will suffer from a poor standard of football and lack of enjoyment in following the club as they have done these past fifteen years.

 

The purchasing of The UWE Stadium without taking on debt gives Bristol Rovers a unique opportunity to secure a secure permanent home for the future. If the project goes ahead as the owners currently intend then, on past experience, the scenario painted above is very likely to happen and once again financial mismanagement will eventually cause the club to have to sell it’s ground. However if, at this precious moment in time, the club owners have the foresight to put the stadium in trust then there is a chance for the cycle of failure to be broken. With the UWE Stadium owned by a board of trustees and. separated completely from the football it will not be possible for anyone to use it as security for borrowings. Therefore the club owners will survive or fall by their performance as managers of the stadium facilities and the football club. If they succeed they will rightly gain plaudits for bringing enjoyment and satisfaction to supporters of the football club. But if they fail it will be a simple and straightforward process to pass ownership to new people bringing fresh ideas and investment who will be attracted by the knowledge that our club has a permanent home so their skill, energy and money can be devoted entirely to making it a success.       

 

 

The Bristol Rovers owners have stated on many occasions that their reasons for investing in the club are entirely altruistic and they do not seek to make a profit from the enterprise nor even expect to get their money back. By putting the UWE Stadium in trust they would be providing a wonderful legacy to the club and a fitting memorial to past Chairmen Mr Dunford Snr and Mr Craig who’s efforts were so instrumental in making it possible.

 

We the undersigned call on the owners of Bristol Rovers 1883 Ltd to safeguard the future of our football club by vesting ownership of the UWE Stadium in THE BRISTOL ROVERS STADIUM TRUST.        

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OldFrankBy:
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Petition target:
Bristol Rovers Supporters

Petition community:
Supporters who want to break the cycle of failure

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bristol, rovers, stadium, the, trust

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