Blackburn Rovers and Indian ownership: A bond that was never meant to be

Blackburn got relegated to the third tier of English Football.

 

The hustle and bustle of Premier League is not everyone’s cup of tea. It requires lots of hard work and dedication and requires everyone to be at their top each day. It is the Blackburn Rovers club that got relegated to the third tier of the English football.

Good mid-table club and the league winners:-

Blackburn lifting the 1994-95 Premier League title.
Blackburn won the 1994-95 League.

Blackburn Rovers were a good mid-table club for nearly a decade. They have also won the Premier League in the season 1994-95. They have finished on 6th position couple of times and they were a regular appearance in the top 10 of points table. The history of the club seems very rich and they could have relived their glory days, if it wasn’t for the management.

Venky’s came into picture:-

The owners of the Indian poultry business Venky's.
The Indian owners of the Blackburn Rovers

Venky’s an Indian poultry company, bought 99% shares of the club in 2010. This was a moment of rejoice for Indians, seeing a fellow Indian owning a Premier League club. However, things didn’t exactly turned out to be the way they had to. Fast forward to 2017, Rovers are relegated to third tier of the English Football. What could have happened to such successful club?

When Venky’s took over the club just after one season, they sacked Sam Allardyce, who helped them finish in the 9th position, just a season before. He was replaced by little known Steve Kean. Kean was one of the coaches for Rovers under Allardyce. Kean just avoided the relegation in the 2010-11 season, but couldn’t avoid relegation in the subsequent season. After being demoted to the Championship, the club survived 5 seasons in the second tier and just managing to stay above the relegation zone. However, the faith of the club finally took them to third tier.

All the wrong decisions taken by Venky’s:-

Former Blackburn manager was sacked by the new Indian management in its first year.
Sam Allardyce was ruthlessly sacked by Venky's. 

When Venky’s took in 2010, they got into a deal with player agent Jerome Anderson, to manage the transfers of the club. Anderson was the head of the, now liquidated SEM, who were corporate partners with Kentaro. So, Venky’s got in bed with a person who had conflicting interests. It was on his advice only that Kean was made manager of the team, who got the team relegated. With Allardyce’s sacking, the involvement of SEM-Kentaro in Blackburn’s transfer activities apparently became more prominent. It took one more bad-season in the Championship, for the board to release Kean from his duties. Soon after getting relegated, they finished their association with SEM and effectively Kentaro and started a legal secret legal battle against Anderson.   

In the five seasons in the Championship, Rovers had 6 coaches, 3 of them care takers. But none could provide the stability to the Rovers. Gary Bowyer was going a good job, helping them finish eighth and ninth in 2 seasons, before finally being sacked and replaced by Paul Lambert. In 2017 February Mowbray was appointed as the manager of the club, hoping he could solve the misery of the club, but the relegation to the third tier was inevitable seeing the mismanagement at the top.

Fans are gutted with the situation of the club:-

Fans raising banners to change the management.
Fans have started a campaign against Allardyce. 

Glen Mullan, a founder member of the Blackburn Rovers Action Group, in February this year, said, “If I have one message for Venky's it is this: as a fan I'm still standing. I was here long before you and will be here long after you disappear.We, the Rovers supporters, will continue to wait in the wings as guardians until that day comes.

Venky’s have provided a list of things that an owner should not do in a football club. What was a proud moment for Indian football when Venky’s took over Blackburn, in November 2010, has turned into a nightmare of six years with the club, who have dropped from 13th in the Premier League to 22nd in the Championship, diving into League One.

Tags: Blackburn Rovers , Venky's , India , Football club , Football in England , sam allardyce

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