Efforts have been ramped up to secure the future of Widnes, with fans organisation VIQI now co-ordinating fundraising efforts.
Almost £40,000 has been raised via the club’s crowd funder, and more than 500 fans have now signed up to pay a monthly fee to VIQI in aid of the club.
All of the funds are being ringfenced in a bank account which means that the money will be returned if the club ceases to exist.
Thousands of goodwill messages have been received by the club, including from celebrities like Gary Lineker and Zoe Ball.
If VIQI can generate 1000-1500 members, contributing £15 per month, they will collectively generate between £180,000 to £270,000 per year for the club. This would help attract further investment and see Widnes supporters likely become the primary investors in their team.
Throughout Widnes’ Championship and Super League history, VIQI members have collectively raised almost £200,000 for the club, helping to sign almost 40 first team players and invest in the club’s youth system. From our first signing, Martin Crompton, through to the likes of Corey Thompson, VIQI have consistently supported the progress of Widnes Vikings and assisted the club at times of need.
Phil Finney, Performance Director at Widnes Vikings, says, “We have been overwhelmed by the response from supporters and rugby league fans around the world, who have donated and signed up to become VIQI members. Behind the scenes, staff, volunteers and players have been working tirelessly to help save the club. We’re not giving up and thank everyone who is showing their support.”
Jason Shaw, Founder of VIQI, says: “At this time of financial uncertainty for the club, we would like to step forward to help lead and protect the fundraising efforts to save Widnes Vikings. Whilst all of us are hurting by the current crisis, the only thing that matters now is action. A united effort from our supporters and backers of the club can help save our historic team.
“We encourage supporters and members of the rugby league community to donate to the crowd funder as generously as possible. We also hope that our supporters will sign up to become VIQI members to demonstrate to potential investors that the club has the support of its community and ongoing revenue. Securing a thousand or more members by Wednesday 27th February at £15 a month is essential in demonstrating the local passion for the club and its sustainability.
Supporters are encouraged to share the www.viqi.co.uk website as far and wide as possible.