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Waggott outlines Rovers vision

The CEO discusses his role and future plans at the club

7 February 2018

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Rovers CEO Steve Waggott has been reflecting on the first few weeks in his new role at Ewood Park, and has promised fans "honesty and transparency" moving forward.

Steve, who joined the club in December, is overseeing the day-to-day operations of the club, having held a number of senior executive positions within the industry over the last 13 years.

He previously led operations at Southend United, and was also CEO at Gillingham (2016-2017) and Coventry City (2011-2015), where he worked closely with Rovers boss Tony Mowbray and assistant manager Mark Venus.

Steve also spent seven years at Charlton Athletic (2004-2010) where he was CEO for both the Community Trust and the Football Club.

Asked about the club and his role, he said: "The legacy of this club as one of only six to have won the Premier League, the infrastructure at Ewood Park, the unbelievable Category One Academy, the facilities at the Senior Training Centre - it's ready to take off.

"Obviously, the magic ingredient is winning games and I've worked with both Tony Mowbray and Mark Venus before.

"I know how Tony operates, he's a great footballing man who lives, breathes and talks the game every day.

"He likes to bring through young players and play in an attractive, attacking style, and that's similar to how I'd like a team to perform.

"That was the entry point, with all of those things combined. I'm coming in to give it a strategic overview, so let's move ahead. 

"One thing the fans will get from me is honesty and transparency, to know exactly where we are as a club. It's pointless saying things that aren't true, so I'll say it as it is. 

"The fans have access to so many media channels around the world and they're well informed. I hope they respect me for the job I'm going to be doing."

So how will the chain of communication work with Steve as CEO?

“I have direct access to the owners," he added.

"Eventually, I'm going to build up a relationship with the owners and get more and more discussions with them and I’m also going at least four times a year to India to report back.

“There will be board meetings held in India so they can observe the performance and they can impose on me whatever strategic direction they want it to go in. 

“I’m very keen to keep communication channels being open upwards to the owners and across and down to the fans and being quite open and transparent with them on how the club is performing.

“I suggested that from a communication point of view if I’m going to communicate out and be the voice and face of the club to the supporters and all of the various stakeholders then how does the communication lines work to them.

“I would suggest that it’s regular visits to meet them, give them updates as well as other communication over telephone and email. 

“They suggested a minimum of four visits a year which I totally agreed with and it could be more, depending on the situation.

“[The brief] was that I come in as Chief Executive, run all the operational side, all the reporting lines come up to me, I will make the key decisions, recommend them to the owners for approval and get on with the job."

In terms of operations on the pitch, Steve says the focus is firmly on promotion to the Championship.

“The key aim is to get out of the league this year, we don’t want to get down in League One syndrome as Sheffield United had.

"It’s tough getting out so, coming to the club, what would my first 100 days be?

“The first 30 or 40 of them were going to be on the transfer window and look at the depth of the squad.

“Now I’m moving into the next phase of commercial, alongside all the community integration of the club, so we have a rounded approach to position the club going forward.”

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