BLACKBURN ROVERS FOOTBALL & ATHLETIC LTD
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, compliments, complaints or concerns. Lynsey is the Supporter Liaison/Events 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 508270
Office hours are 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
The club endeavours to respond to any contact from a customer within three 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 Independent Football Ombudsman to seek their assistance in investigating the matter further. The can be contact on:
The Independent Football Ombudsman
Suite 49, 33 Great George Street
telephone: 0800 588 4066
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, belief, colour, ethnic or national origin.
Our employees 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.
The club employ a Safeguarding Officer, Christine Peacock, who is responsible for advising on all areas of Child Protection and Safeguarding. Christine is also the Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer for Blackburn Rovers F.C.
Safeguarding practices are incorporated throughout the recruitment process and employees working with children and vulnerable adults will be checked within Disclosure and Barring Service guidance before they are allowed to commence work for us.
Employees 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.
CONSULTATION AND INFORMATION
The club recognises the importance of regular consultation with its various stakeholders. This includes the following:
• The club consult with Fans on a bi-annual basis in line with current EFL regulation and invite supporters to raise agenda items in advance.
• The Fans Forum which consists of approximately 18 supporters of the club and whose meetings are attended by the Supporter Liaison Officer and Senior Managers. The Forum is consulted on issues such as stadium atmosphere and ticket policies
• 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 members of the management team.
• Part of the Crowd consultation group for fans with disabilities. Meetings are held quarterly at Ewood Park
• 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, social media channels (ie Facebook and Twitter), on its website - www.rovers.co.uk - and via the local media. All e-mail and SMS subscribers are notified of EFL fixture changes as soon as they have been confirmed.
Board members or management represent the club on such as the following:
• The Safety Advisory Group
• Blackburn Youth Zone
• Ewood Working Group
• Chamber of Commerce
• Blackburn College
The club continues to strive for a wide access to matches by offering a broad range of ticket prices. In 2015-16, adult matchday prices ranged from £18-39. For the 2016-17 season EFL home matches will be categorised as either A+, A and B games with prices for A+ games carrying a premium. Matchday prices for the season will range from £18 to £35 for an adult ticket depending on the match category and seating area. Tickets can be purchased ahead of the fixture either by post, by telephone, through the website www.onerovers.co.uk or in person at the Roverstore at Ewood Park. On the day of the match, fans can purchase tickets from in-store or the Matchday Ticket Office at Ewood Park. Please note, on advice of the Police, there may be occasions when tickets are unavailable on the day of the match however this will be communicated well in advance.
Disabled supporters’ ticket prices are part of the generic pricing structure.
• Season tickets
Blackburn Rovers has continued with its policy of offering competitive prices by freezing season ticket prices for 2016-17. Prices will start from £279 in the RFS Riverside Stand. The club is continuing to offer a FREE Under-8 Season Ticket in the Family Stand with every full-paying Adult or Senior Season Ticket and reduced priced Junior tickets in all areas of the ground.
The club offers a Season Ticket instalment plan (run by Premium Credit) that enables supporters to pay for season tickets by instalment at a reasonable monthly rate of interest and addition of a small transaction 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.
In addition, the club have a young adult matchday offer for a discounted matchday ticket. This offer is available to young people aged between 18-21 years.
There are no concessions specifically for disability.
At least 5% of tickets for each game are made available to non season ticket holders
The club provides:
• An area of the ground for the exclusive use of family groups and junior supporters namely the Lower Tier, Jack Walker Stand (Blackburn End)
• Christine Peacock, the club’s Accessibility and Safeguarding Adults Officer, can be contacted for details of our disabled facilities and ticket arrangements at Disability@rovers.co.uk. 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 RFS Riverside Stand. Such seats are only available to purchase 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 at www.rovers.co.uk/tickets/season-tickets/terms
• Loyalty and Membership Schemes
The club runs the Team Rovers Membership scheme which is available for children 17 and under. Benefits include organised events, birthday cards, exclusive matchday offers and free entry to the Strikers Family Lounge on a matchday.
• 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 the tickets.
The club arranges travel to all away matches on accessible transport. 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
The club takes account the status of the away club and stage of the competition when determining prices for cup competitions. All ticket prices for cup competitions are subject to approval from the visiting club. Whenever possible, season ticket holders will be able to purchase a cup ticket for their own seat, however there may be cup games where certain sections of the stadium may not be open or taken by visiting supporters – season ticket holders will then be given the option to buy a ticket for a different area.
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 24 hours 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 EFL Rules governing the allocation of tickets to visiting clubs.
• Away supporters, including fans with disabilities, are located in the Bryan Douglas 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, however the club does reserve the right to offer home fans ticketing deals in line with EFL regulation.
• The concessionary rates offered to senior citizens and junior supporters apply to supporters of a visiting club. The rates applied to Blackburn Rovers Senior Citizens and Juniors would not necessary apply to away fans if the match was dedicated a local promotion in line with EFL regulation.
• When the club offer discounted tickets to such as school groups as part of its wider schools programme the reciprocal offers would not available to schools in the locality of the visiting club.
All roads in the vicinity of Ewood Park are for residents parking only. There are a number of car parks within the stadium complex and spaces can be purchased in advance by calling our Stadium Department on 01254 508283 and are prices at £200 per season or £10 per match.
New home and away strips have been introduced for season 2016-17 and both are changed annually.
• The club carries out its obligations under EFL Rules to prevent price fixing in relation to the sale of replica Strip.
• The club store and online mail-order system, www.onerovers.co.uk">www.onerovers.co.uk, offers refunds on merchandise in accordance with its legal obligations.
In line with the change in legislation, Ewood Park became a smoke-free venue on 1st July 2007. However, the club have created an outside smoking area in three of the four stands in order to help generate a healthier atmosphere within the concourse areas at half-time. Smoking is not permitted in any part of the stadium except in these designated smoking areas.
Whilst these areas have been provided there may be occasions when, for reasons of crowd safety, they will not be available. When there are such occasions an announcement will be made informing spectators of this.
The club reserves the right to refuse entry, re-entry or ejection from the stadium to any ticket holder breaching these conditions. For the avoidance of doubt, the foregoing includes smoking of imitation cigarettes, personal vaporisers and any other form of electronic or e-cigarette.
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.
INCLUSION & ANTI-DISCRIMINATION CODE OF PRACTICE
Blackburn Rovers is committed to ensuring everyone is welcome at Ewood Park and its associated premises. All involved with the club have the right to be treated with respect. The club recognises it has an active role to play in ensuring, players, officials, staff, fans, customers, members of the community, partners and other stakeholders value and encourage diversity, promote inclusion and tackle discrimination. Equally all associated with the club also have an active role to play contributing to delivering our objectives.
The club gained the EFL Inclusion and Anti-Discrimination Code of Conduct in March 16 and will continue to work towards maintaining this going forward.
FACILITIES FOR FANS WITH DISABILITIES
The match day experience for fans with a disability is important to the club. Our aim is access and inclusion for all and integration rather than dedicated areas for supporters. We have a policy of continuous improvement.
Tickets are the same price for all supporters. There are concessions for age but not specifically for disability. The club ensures the facilities and services are adjusted where appropriate and reasonable to ensure accessibility and enable a supporter to come to a match independently without an assistant.
The club applies reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act for fans who require support in the stadium on match days. Dedicated stewards can provide assistance to get in and out of the stadium, with the purchase of refreshments, safe evacuation and escorting to and from the toilets/prayer room etc. Should a supporter need additional assistance an Assistant ticket can be provided on submission of appropriate evidence through the club’s Assisted Supporter Scheme.
Wheelchair/ scooter users who are able to transfer to a stand seat and ambulant supporters including people with learning disabilities, mental ill-health and sensory issues 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 supporters.
For away fans the ticket allocation is up to 30 for wheelchair users accommodated at pitch-level which can be exposed to the elements and ambulant tickets as required. For most matches these are allocated in the Bryan Douglas Darwen End Stand with assistant tickets if 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. Assistance / working dogs are welcome.
Forms and leaflets are available in accessible formats upon request.
All social and retail facilities at Ewood Park are accessible. Strikers Family Lounge incorporates a sensory room.
Blackburn Rovers Away Travel uses an accessible executive coach enabling all supporters to travel together and enjoy the same standard of service. An advance booking system is available for wheelchair users who require use of the lift to access the vehicle.
The club sets aside accessible car park spaces for use by fans on match days.
We provide up to 10 tickets for use by people in the community with disabilities to give them a matchday experience and ensure these tickets are distributed across a range of age groups, backgrounds and disability.
For further information regarding facilities please access www.rovers.co.uk/fans/disabilitymatters.
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 email@example.com. The club Chaplain is available if you want to speak to him in confidence and has connections to both religious and non-religious organisations. You can contact him on 07985 671742.
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) or Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Safeguarding Team - 01254 666400 (01254 587547).
Blackburn Rovers Football Club is committed to offering its support to charitable projects and good causes wherever possible. Primarily, the club will offer support to requests from the local community, with particular focus upon initiatives operating within the Blackburn & Darwen area.
The club endeavours to support other charities and good causes throughout the UK and beyond; however, due to the demand for assistance throughout the course of a season it is not always possible to do so. With this in mind, and considering the fact that the club seeks to spread its support to as many different recipients as possible, it is likely that each good cause will be limited to a maximum of one means of support, namely a piece of autographed memorabilia, in any one season.
• The Catering and Hospitality Teams at Ewood Park continually endeavour to provide a wide range of excellent food and beverage offerings with products at competitive prices.
• In accordance with common practice, entry to the stadium with fast food and beverages purchased at restaurants, take-aways, public houses and other retail outlets away from Ewood Park is prohibited. However, in honour of footballing tradition, our supporters are permitted to enter the stadium with flasks and home-prepared foods. This includes packed lunches, sandwiches, crisps, chocolate bars, biscuits and soft drinks. The full food entry policy is available at www.rovers.co.uk/tickets/foodentrypolicy.aspx
• Supporters are encouraged to drink responsibly. People must be 18 years of age or older to purchase and/or consume alcohol. Proper identification may be requested to determining proof of age as Ewood Park operates a ‘Challenge 25’ Policy. This means that anyone who looks 25 years of age or younger and wishes to purchase alcohol will be asked to provide proof of age.
• There are three corporate areas at Ewood Park as the club have identified a tier system with regard to the type of hospitality a client wants. This varies from private executive boxes to tables in a choice of corporate lounges. Further details can be obtained from our hospitality team on 01254 508008 or www.rovers.co.uk/hospitality/
• The Blues sports bar is located at the Ronnie Clayton Blackburn End Stand where home season ticket holders can pay £1 for entry before or after a match. Further information is available on the website at www.rovers.co.uk/club/blues/
CROWD SAFETY/STEWARDING/ FIRST AID
In order to provide a safe environment for spectators, there may be occasions when some supporters are requested to move from their allocated part of the ground to another location. This will only be done after due consideration and discussion with the relevant safety authorities.
In accordance with the requirements of the Green Guide the club employ stewards who have attained or are working towards their NVQ Level 2 in spectator safety. The club stipulates that all steward supervisors are working towards Level 3 if not already achieved.
First Aid is available at every match in accordance with the Green Guide and includes suitably qualified doctor(s), paramedic support with fully equipped ambulance and additional first aid personnel.
Blackburn Rovers FC recognises its responsibilities to ensure a safe and healthy environment, by endeavouring to maintain sound environmental performance, through the continued implementation of the environmental management system, which is integrated into the club’s overall business activity.
This will include minimising significant environmental impacts, ensuring legal compliance, prevention of pollution, minimisation of waste and staff training.
Blackburn Rovers Community Trust is a registered charity (Charity Number 1117122) and is fully committed to offering all members of the local and wider community access to the highest quality programmes of grass roots football, education projects, inclusion initiatives and awareness campaigns to encourage off-field participation, success and enjoyment using the crest and brand name of Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
The power of football to engage, enthuse and motivate people, irrespective of age, gender and ethnicity, is now recognised on many stages. As a vehicle through which community cohesion and narrowing the gap in health, education, aspirations and opportunity can be addressed, the local draw of Blackburn Rovers and the unrivalled power of the brand name to bring additional credibility, cannot be underestimated.
Building on the success of winning the accolades of EFLT North West EFL Community Trust of the Year and MBNA Community Club of the Year - non-Premier League, 2015-16 was a progressive year for the Community Trust. We have since been able to generate an significant increase in funding to be used for local good causes. We are fortunate to find ourselves working with an increasing amount of programme partners, including the Premier League, English EFL Trust, The PFA, Football Foundation, The FA, Sport England, Big Lottery Fund, Lancashire Sport, Blackburn with Darwen Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Chorley Borough Council, Blackburn CVS, Lancashire County Council, Blackburn Community Sports Club, Blackburn Youth Zone, Action For Children, Community Integrated Care, Nightsafe, Blackburn Children's University, Café Hub, Creative Support and multiple schools, colleges and other charities to name just a few.
In the past 12 months, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust engaged with 26,603 local people of all ages, which is an increase of 37.04% (7,191) from 19,412 in 2014. These projects range from sport and health sessions for children and adults; education courses for young adults; BME health and sports participation sessions; disability football, walking football, dance and social activities for seniors and the elderly; drug rehabilitation and mental-health recovery programmes and estate-based projects to reduce anti-social behaviour.
• Invested over £630,000 in to the local community via its programmes and projects.
• Engaged with 26,603 local people of all age, gender, ethnicity, disability and sexuality
• Delivered over 40 different community based projects including Premier League 4 Sport, Enterprise, Enterprise Challenge, Girl's Football, Kicks, Motivate!, School Sport, BTEC Sport and Education, Heart of the Game, Kinder+ Sport Move and Learn and National Citizen Service.
Milestones for 2016-17
• To continue to increase opportunities for young people and families to be involved with Blackburn Rovers – from playing and coaching to watching and supporting.
• Raise the aspirations of people through football, sport and education.
• Provide meaningful sports opportunities for people to enhance their communities.
• Improve the health and well-being of Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire through football and multi-sport activities.
• Expand and enhance its community programmes.
• Invest in enhancing community facilities at Ewood Park.