BLACKBURN ROVERS FOOTBALL & ATHLETIC PLC
Customer feedback, both positive and negative, is invaluable to the club when implementing new policies and procedures. We ask that stakeholders occasionally take time out to notify us of their views/opinions as this forms an important part of our future planning and improves the service delivered to supporters.
Lynsey Talbot is the principal customer services contact at Blackburn Rovers for questions, complaints or concerns. Lynsey is the Office Manager and can be contacted as follows:
By post: Correspondence should be addressed to Lynsey at Blackburn Rovers FC, Ewood Park, Blackburn, BB2 4JF.
By fax: on 01254 671042
By e-mail: to LTalbot@rovers.co.uk
By telephone: 01254 296270
Office hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
The Club endeavours to respond to any contact from a customer within 3 working days. If it is not possible to provide a full response to the issue raised within that time, an acknowledgement will be sent and a detailed response will follow within 14 days of receipt of the original communication. The Club responds by whatever method is appropriate taking into account the nature of the initial contact. It may be useful to include a contact telephone number in your communication to allow your complaint to be dealt with more quickly and efficiently.
If supporters are not satisfied with their response they can contact the Football League to seek their assistance in investigating the matter further.
The Football League Customer Services Department
Edward VII Quay
Telephone: 0844 335 0183
The Club’s Equal Opportunities Policy aims to ensure that no job applicant, employee or customer receives less favourable treatment due to issues of sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender re-assignment, disability, race, age, religion and belief colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin.
Being awarded their initial Investors In People recognition in June 2004, the Club’s Academy have been retained this status following their three-year review in 2007.
Our staff are encouraged to pursue appropriate training and development aimed to make the club more competitive and to improve our products and services for our fans.
Jane Cooper is the Club’s Children’s Services Officer and advises all areas of the club on matters appertaining to Child Protection. The club also employ Christine Peacock as their Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer.
Safeguarding practices are incorporated throughout the recruitment process
Staff working with children and vulnerable adults will be checked by the Criminal Records Bureau.
Staff receive appropriate safeguarding awareness and are required to follow safe working practices including adherence to professional boundaries – an essential part of all relationships with customers.
The club try to promote a healthy lifestyle to staff by offering all permanent employees a free piece of fruit each day. Staff are also encouraged to take part in the Healthy Screening Days held in the Community Trust facilities at the Darwen End of the stadium.
CONSULTATION AND INFORMATION
• The Club recognises the importance of regular consultation with its various stakeholders. This includes the following :
o The Fans Forum which consists of 20 supporters of the club and whose meetings are attended by officials/directors and senior managers. The Forum is consulted on issues such as stadium atmosphere, ticket policies and the design of new playing strips.
o Dialogue with local residents is maintained through the Ewood Working Group which also comprises representatives of the Police etc. Meetings are held quarterly at Ewood Park and attended by senior management.
o Market research is undertaken through various means including questionnaires.
o The Club publicises its position on major policy issues and gives the earliest possible notice of any changes to its ticketing policy and the reasons for the changes, in the Club programme, the weekly e-mail newsletter, on its website- www.rovers.co.uk - and via the local media. All e-mail and SMS subscribers are notified of Football League fixture changes as soon as they have been confirmed.
• Board members and Management represent the club on such as the following:
o The Blackburn with Darwen Economic Regeneration Board
o The Blackburn with Darwen Economic Regeneration Partnership – Funding Group
o The Safety Advisory Group
o The Local Strategic Partnership
o The Chamber of Commerce
o Blackburn with Darwen Children & Young People’s Trust
o Blackburn with Darwen People and Communities Forum
The Club continues to strive for a wide access to matches by offering a broad range of ticket prices. In 2011-12 adult matchday prices ranged from £15 to £40. For the 2012/13 season Football League home matches will be categorised as either A+, A or B games with prices for A+ games carrying a premium. Tickets can be purchased either by post, by telephone, through the website www.onerovers.co.uk. or in person at the Ticket Office at Ewood Park or the Onerovers Store, Church Street, Blackburn.
Disabled supporters’ ticket prices are part of the generic pricing structure.
• Season tickets
Blackburn Rovers has continued with its policy of offering competitive prices with adult season tickets starting at £259 in the Riverside and Blackburn End Stands. A 19 game package with unreserved seating is also available to purchase in the Darwen End Stand for just £189.
The club operates a scheme to enable supporters to pay for season tickets by instalment at a reasonable monthly rate of interest and addition of a small administration fee.
Concessionary prices are available for junior supporters and senior citizens. Concessions to senior citizens are available to men and women at the same age of 65. Young adults, who are aged 16 to 21, can also take advantage of discounted prices through membership of the Club 16-21 scheme. There are no concessions specifically for disability.
At least 5% of tickets to each game are made available to non season ticket holders
The Club provides:
o An area of the ground for the exclusive use of family groups and junior supporters namely the Upper Tier of the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End Stand.
o Support for disabled fans. The Club helped to fund the purchase of a disabled supporters minibus that is used to transport disabled fans to away matches. Christine Peacock, the club’s Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer can be contacted for details of our disabled facilities and ticket arrangements at email@example.com. Our aim is access and inclusion for all with a policy of continuous improvement.
• Restricted view seating
Seats are defined as restricted view where the view of either goal is affected by a post. There are a small number of restricted view seats in the Riverside Stand. Such seats are only sold on request or when all other tickets have been sold and are subject to a £2 discount on the matchday ticket price.
• Terms & Conditions
The terms and conditions for the sale of tickets are included on the website www.rovers.co.uk.
• Loyalty and Membership Schemes
The Club runs the following Membership schemes:
o Team Rovers - available for children up to the age of 16. Benefits include organised events, birthday and christmas cards, exclusive matchday offers etc. and is free to join.
• Away matches
Season ticket holders receive priority for the purchase of tickets for away matches on every occasion. When it is considered that demand for tickets may exceed the allocation priority is given to those who travel away regularly. The home club determines the cost of these tickets.
The Club arranges travel to all away matches. The Club cannot be held responsible for cancelled or postponed matches and appeal to all supporters travelling long distances not to book transport too far in advance of the fixture and take out an appropriate insurance policy to cover the costs of rearranged travel.
• Cup Competitions
Generally the Club reduces its League match admission prices for home Cup Ties subject to the approval of the visiting club. The Club takes account of the status of the away club and stage of the Competition when determining its prices. Season ticket holders are always given the opportunity to purchase their own seat.
The Club also operates a home cup ticket payment scheme to enable season ticket holders to guarantee their seat for all home cup-ties played at Ewood Park.
• Returns / Refunds
The Club’s policy on the return and distribution of unwanted tickets is to offer a full refund providing tickets are returned to the Ticket Office prior to kick off. However, the policy can sometimes vary for high profile fixtures and, if so, is incorporated into the ticket publicity for that match.
If a match is postponed before kick-off, ticket holders are entitled to free admission to the rearranged game. If a match is abandoned after kick-off, spectators are entitled to half price admission to the rearranged match.
• Lost / Stolen Tickets
The Ticket Office will not issue duplicate matchday tickets and we would ask all supporters to keep their tickets in a safe place leading up to the match.
Lost season tickets should be reported immediately to the Ticket Office. Replacement cards will be issued at a cost of £10.
ACCOMMODATING AWAY SUPPORTERS
• The Club abides by Football League Rules governing the allocation of tickets to visiting clubs.
• Away supporters, including disabled fans, are located in the Darwen End Stand. The Club does not charge admission prices to supporters of a visiting club which are higher than those charged to Blackburn Rovers supporters for comparable accommodation. In particular, the concessionary rates offered to senior citizens and junior supporters apply to supporters of a visiting club. The only exception to this would be where the Club offers discounted tickets to such as school groups as part of its wider schools programme. Reciprocal offers are not available to schools in the locality of the visiting club.
New home and away strips have been introduced for season 2012/13 and both are changed annually.
• The Club carries out its obligations under Football League Rules to prevent price fixing in relation to the sale of replica Strip.
• The Club’s stores, ‘Roverstore’, ‘Oneroverstore’, and online mail-order system, www.onerovers.co.uk, offers refunds on merchandise in accordance with its legal obligations.
The Club is conscious of its obligations in relation to Data Protection. Any information regarding supporters may be stored on a computer or in manual files in order to maintain accurate records. Fans have the right to access the information upon payment of a fee. Should any of the information the Club hold be inaccurate supporters can contact the marketing department at Ewood Park to update their records.
The records, throughout the course of the season, will be analysed and the club or its selected partners may contact supporters via letter, telephone, e-mail or SMS to inform of product offers/services that may be of interest to them. Supporters have the right to opt in or out of both Club and/or Third Party communicates. It is worth noting, however, that ‘opting out’ can make it difficult for the club to contact supporters regarding matters that may be of interest, such as ticket availability. Opting out of club communications would not opt fans out of communications concerning any purchases that may have been made.
FACILITIES FOR DISABLED FANS
The disabled supporter’s match day experience is important to the Club. Our aim is access and inclusion for all and integration rather than dedicated areas for disabled supporters. We have a policy of continuous improvement.
From the 2007 season, tickets for disabled supporters became part of the generic pricing structure. At one time disabled supporters were required to be accompanied to football matches, but the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 2004 and, more recently, the Equality Act 2010 meant the Club ensures the facilities and services are adjusted where appropriate and reasonable to ensure accessibility and enable a disabled supporter to come to a match independently without a ‘helper’.
The Club applies reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act for disabled supporters who have additional needs in the stadium on match days. Disabled help stewards can provide assistance with help in and out of the stadium the purchase of refreshments, safe evacuation and escorting to and from the toilets/prayer room etc. Should the supporter need additional assistance a Personal Assistant ticket can be awarded on submission of appropriate evidence.
Wheelchair supporters who are able to transfer to a stand seat and ambulant supporters including people with learning disabilities, mental health impairments, visual and hearing impairments can choose to sit anywhere in the stadium subject to safety, but some areas will be more suitable than others. Requirements should be stipulated at the time of purchasing tickets to ensure appropriate seating.
Wheelchair / scooter users who are unable to transfer to a stand seat are accommodated at pitch-level positions of all three home area stands. The areas are exposed to the elements.
The Ticket Office is responsible for the distribution of both season tickets and match tickets to disabled supporters.
For away fans the ticket allocation is up to 30 and for most matches these are allocated in the Darwen End with personal assistant tickets if they are required.
The club employs a dedicated Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer, Christine Peacock, who deals with any disability issues/queries a supporter may have ranging from away travel to access into the stadium on match days as well as policy, training and improvement to facilities and services.
A mini-com and a loop system are situated in the Ticket Office. The loop system is also available in Blackburn End Reception.
Forms and leaflets are available in accessible formats
All social and retail facilities at Ewood Park are accessible.
The club set aside almost 80 car park spaces for use by disabled fans on match days.
We provide 10 tickets for category ‘B’ games for use by disabled people in the community to give them a match day experience and ensure these tickets are distributed across a range of age groups, backgrounds and disability.
We work closely with our Disabled Supporters Club (BRDSC) on matters relevant to disabled fans. The Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer attends BRDSC Committee meetings to discuss policy and meets annually with representatives to ensure ongoing compliance with the The Equality Act. The BRDSC is also represented on the Fans Forum and have the opportunity to contribute to discussions on all matters relevant to supporters.
Everyone has the right to live without fear of harm or abuse. Blackburn Rovers recognises it has an active role to play in ensuring that everyone involved with the Club has that right and as such has a responsibility for safety and wellbeing. Through the creation of an environment and culture of trust and inclusion the Club is committed to:
• Preventing and reducing the risk of significant harm, abuse or exploitation to children and vulnerable adults;
• Responding effectively and appropriately to any incidents and concerns; and
• Raising awareness of key messages and procedures to those who may be abused and to potential abusers.
We all have a role to play in keeping safe and keeping others safe by preventing, identifying and reporting incidents and concerns. Thankfully incidents are rare but if you need to get in touch you can contact the Blackburn Rovers’ Safeguarding Team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Club Chaplain is available if you want to speak to him in confidence. He also has connections to other religious or non-religious organisations. You can contact him on 01772 815752.
If you have a safeguarding issue unconnected with the Club, you can contact Blackburn with Darwen Safeguarding Adults Team - 01254 585949 (Out of hours 01254 587547)
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust is fully committed to offering all members of the local community access to the highest quality programme of grassroots sports, education, inclusion and awareness projects to encourage off-field participation, success and enjoyment. We are at all times keen to use the profile and brand of Blackburn Rovers football club to greatest effect, committed to developing a comprehensive and diverse range of community initiatives and partnership working practices to open up new avenues of life chances and make a positive difference to the lives of the people of Blackburn with Darwen.
The Trust has established a reputation, locally, nationally and internationally, for delivering quality programmes and we are proud of the strong partnerships that have been built and sustained. During 2009 delivery has maintained focus on the development of football skills; use of the medium of football as a means to inspire learning and increase levels of educational attainment; health promotion, and social inclusion. Our range of provision has continued to grow extensively over the year and, through our concerted partnership working practices, we believe ourselves well positioned to help address identified local needs, ensuring greatest benefit for project participants as well as contributing to local area agreement targets. For full detail of our work please see our website www.brfctrust.co.uk.