Strengthen Widnes Vikings

£107,310 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 2,219 people in 3 months
My name is Bethany Pennington I am from Widnes and I am a life long fan of the Widnes Vikings.
The money I am raising will be for the following.
The money is to be used to support a consortium bid to take back control of the Widnes Vikings rugby club which is currently in the hands of an administrator.
This money is critical in enabling a successful out come for the Widnes Vikings and preventing the club from entering into liquidation.

All monies raised to be be transfered into a ring fenced account set up by VIQI. 

VIQI, an independent fundraising organisation that has supported Widnes Vikings for almost 20 years has stepped forward to help coordinate fundraising efforts to save the club.  As an independent organisation with its own bank account, all money donated is securely ringfenced by VIQI and will not be put at risk by the club’s current administration challenges. Money donated will be used to help take the club out of administration, if possible, or to support the continuation of professional rugby league in our town. Please donate as generously as you can - every penny counts. Please share this link as widely as possible.  Vikings Supporters are also encouraged to sign up become a VIQI Member at www.viqi.co.uk. This can help provide sustainable and reliable income to support Widnes Vikings. This will help VIQI to demonstrate to potential investors that Widnes Vikings can become a sustainable club, which has the full backing of its supporters.   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 Vikings’ supporters likely become the primary investors in their team. Throughout Widnes Vikings’ 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. 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. As an independent organisation, with a long heritage of supporting Widnes Vikings in times of need, we hope that we can be a trusted partner for supporters. With our own bank account, we will safeguard the money raised and ensure that it is used appropriately to assist the long-term future of this club. Our immediate priority is to help generate enough funds to make a meaningful contribution to ensure that Widnes Vikings can overcome the threat of liquidation. Ultimately, we hope that VIQI can work to help establish an active Supporters Trust, with the aim of taking an ownership stake in the club. With representatives from across our supporter-base working together, we hope that this will create a more sustainable and transparent club, that we all have a stake in. Given the need to generate funding immediately, this plan will naturally be developed at a later stage.”
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Well the Viking machine rolls on, the fans keep backing their club and Gell’s keeps knocking out his highly amusing and entertaining Tweets…priceless!

In my previous news item I talked about how we had collectively ‘Saved Our Club’. Having had time to reflect on the past few weeks and understand in more detail the clubs position, I would like to clarify this statement. I believe the club is and will remain in a state of ‘Being Saved’ for the remainder of this season.

What I mean by this, is that we still have a very long and hard season ahead of us. As things currently stand we have the fantastic backing of our fans, the team is fit and healthy and we are winning games. The VIQI membership numbers are fairly stable and this has helped ensure we maintain the team you currently see out on the pitch each week. Maintaining long term funding and cash flow is absolutely critical to our long-term sustainable model. Whatever the future throws at us, we need to remember that so long as we stick together and keep backing our club, we will get through it together no matter what.

I’m keen to maintain communication with our fans about the current position of the VIQI scheme.

VIQI can now confirm that the fans raised in excess of £130,000. This was made up from the generous donations via the GoFundMe scheme, started by Bethany Pennington, along with other fabulous fundraising activities carried out by the fans and local businesses, which made up the additional amount. I can now confirm that £100,000 of this has already been transferred directly to the new club, along with a further £25,000 that was also made available to support the retention of players and to prevent pay cuts to members of staff and players. I know the staff and players are extremely grateful to the fans for their generosity in helping to ensure this outcome.

During the fund raising activities, all money that was being raised outside of the GoFundMe vehicle, was being converted to cheques and banked in the VIQI account, this is because VIQI does not accept cash. After the club was saved on Thursday 28th February, a significant portion of this money was still available to be banked and was continuing to be donated via the VIQI scheme. It was decided not to bank these donations, as it quickly became apparent, that in order for the club to function and the Featherstone game to go ahead without a bank account, these funds became essential and they had to be utilised.

I would like to personally thank all of the VIQI members and fans that have reached out to me, to offer their services in the forming of a VIQI board. I have received significant numbers of emails, calls and personal offers of help with moving the scheme to the next level.

I have met with numerous interested parties and I am pleased to say that we have the basis of a very dynamic and exciting board being formed. Of those that have put themselves forward, each person brings a wealth of experience and a much needed skill set to help continue the VIQI schemes growth, more details on this to follow soon.

One thing that has become apparent is that we cannot rush ahead too quickly with our plans and this is why I am keen to keep you all updated. It has become clear that there are some complex issues we need to understand and deal with in order to operate professionally. For example we are keen to set up a mailing system and intend to utilise a system such as Mail Chimp. There are however, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that we will need to comply with, in order to ensure we protect the personal information of our members. It is critical that we handle member’s information in accordance with these regulations.

I can also confirm that the intention is for VIQI to remain a fully voluntary, autonomous organisation working in partnership with the club and other supporters groups.

I would like to finish off by saying a huge thank you to everyone of our 1,452 members, your continued support during a very difficult time for the club has been nothing short of amazing and has significantly helped the clubs discussions with its stakeholders. It is absolutely imperative that we retain your continued support, in order to facilitate our great club to grow and rise back to the pinnacle of our game, where we all know we belong.

There are still a limited amount of tickets remaining for the upcoming Members Monday session on 1st April and I will be on hand to answer any questions. It would be absolutely fantastic if we could smash through the 1,500 members mark leading up to or during this event. As a reminder we are still offering all members the chance to win a signed Martin Murray (@MartinMurrayBox) Golden Boxing Glove once we hit the magic 1,500 members.

Finally EVERY member subscribing to VIQI will be entitled to vote, so I urge you to sign up now ( https://www.viqi.co.uk/join-viqi) to have a say in all things VIQI.

Jason
VIQI
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Jason Shaw is the founder of the Vikings Quid’s In scheme see  www.viqi.co.uk which was set up nearly 20 years ago now. Jason has worked collaboratively with the WidnesVikings club during the last few weeks. This has been a very turbulent time and the culmination of the Rugby League community in conjunction with the Widnes Vikings fans has led to the fantastic achievement of over £100,000 being raised to help save the Club.The funding was raised for Vikings Quid’s In (VIQI) of which Jason Shaw is the founder in order to ring fence the money raised from the administrator as the Widnes Vikings worked hard in the background to navigate through administration. Now that the fund has reached its target Jason Shaw will withdraw the amount raised and transfer it directly to the Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club as agreed. The transaction will take place electronically and will be verified by myself Bethany Pennington to ensure the funds are used in accordance with the terms with which they were set up.
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The support from the fans from all over the country and people who aren't even fans but just want the help is absolutely amazing. I never thought it's would spiral as much as it has I can thank you all enough. xx
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£107,310 of £150,000 goal

Raised by 2,219 people in 3 months
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