Venkys – Why they are making Blackburn Rovers a Laughing StockPosted: July 30, 2011
Poor ol’ Blackburn Rovers, it’s not been an enjoyable time under their Indian owners has it? They took over in November and have managed to make Blackburn Rovers the laughing stock of the Premier League.
Lets go back to when they first bought the club in November 2010, you look forward to what your new owners have to say with a massive sense of expectation that they have great and realistic ambitions and how they plan to take the club forward, but Anarudha Desai (who seems to give the impression that she pulls the strings and acts from behind the scenes) in her first interview she said probably the last thing the fans wanted to hear: “I don’t know a thing about football.”
Frightening words from a brand new owner. You’d be willing to accept when a new owner admits that they haven’t visited their clubs ground prior to owning them, but to openly admit you don’t know anything about the sport that you’ve just invested money in?
In what they hoped would be their first act as new owners, they were aiming to rename the stadium from Ewood Park to Venky’s Stadium, following in the footsteps of other teams who stadiums names are of sponsor companies like The Emirates Stadium (Arsenal), The Reebok Stadium (Bolton Wanderers) and The JJB Stadium (Wigan Athletic, but now named the DW Stadium). The difference is however they were named when they were opened, no club has ever changed the name of their ground to that of a sponsor without moving to a new stadium before. The Blackburn fans heavily objected this and it seems it won’t be happening now.
One month into their tenure they did do their first notable act by making the highly unusual decision to sack Sam Allardyce. Now normally sacking ‘Fat Sam’ is a good thing, but it depends on who you replace him with. Steve Kean, a Blackburn coach, took temporary charge of the team. Many were wondering who would take over. Martin Jol ? Sven-Goren Eriksson ? Hell, even the owners were apparently trying to persuade Diego Maradona to take charge! Despite just 2 wins in his 1 and a half month long caretaker role, Kean was still awarded with a 3 year contract. Surely not the kind of form from a manager you want to try and steer the club away from the relegation zone. Working as an assistant for 3 clubs, all managed by Chris Coleman and a coaching role at Blackburn was his only experience since retiring, but the owners failed to see the potential problem.
Before giving Kean his contract, the owners were working on trying to bring in some of their own targets for the club. Rather than being realistic and use their money wisely, they jumped into the market and tried to bring former World Player of the Year Ronaldinho and former England and Man United captain David Beckham in on loan. Both players rubbished any possibilities of them going to Blackburn, as their January transfer window ended up with a less spectacular spending spree, bringing in Roque Santa Cruz and Jermaine Jones on loan and signing Ruben Rochina and Mauro Formica.
Venky’s showed their lack of understanding life when they suggested Kean could be Blackburn manager forever. One major flaw in their statement, they seem to struggle to understand the idea of death which is a bit ironic considering their business is pretty much all about dead chickens.
As time went by, Kean’s job was looking more and more under threat with almost every game, with 1 win in 11 since becoming permanent manager. His 10 game winless streak from 2nd February to 25th April was the clubs worst run of results in 25 years, but the owners still insisted they had complete faith in the Scot.
Blackburn finished the season in a lowly 15th place and were expected to sack Steve Kean, but rather than doing the sensible thing, they announced he will stay next season to achieve a top 8 finish with Blackburn. Kean himself has even more impossible ambitions, as he believes he can finish in the top 5. He is saying this while at the time he had signed one reserve player and let go a number of others, most notably Phil Jones.
The real humiliation for Blackburn Rovers kicked in this week when a Venky’s ad was launched. It showed the players eating chicken in the dressing room, followed by Ryan Nelsen sensually licking his fingers. In fact, my description is too dull, just watch this cringeworthy advertisement for yourself:
I am beginning to think however Venky’s are achieving their simple aim with this advert: More publicity. It may be a cringeworthy and mocked ad, but they will be surely a known name all across the football world now.
You would have to wonder what they have up their sleeves next. Maybe they’ll change the mascot into a giant chicken or change the club anthem to the Venky’s jingle or maybe even change the rose on the crest to a leg of chicken!? Who knows, but one thing we do know is that they easily win the title of ‘Most Humiliating Owners’.
Blackburn Rovers have a had mixed history, in their early years they were FA Cup Specialists, and are the only team in existence to have won it 3 times in a row (1884, 1885 and 1886). They are one of just 4 teams to have won the Premiership when Kenny Dalglish guided them to the title in 1995. They are the most successful team in the Lancashire Cup as well, winning it 18 times. They have also endured bad times, suffering relegation to as low as the old 3rd division.
So you’d think playing in the Premier League and being financially healthy would mean its a fantastic time to be supporting the club when actually it really isn’t. With a manager just as clueless as the owners, the inability to attract the players they want and setting ridiculously unachievable aims, it’s a tough time to support this club and it’s hard to see them budge from the bottom half of the table in this upcoming season with the way things are going.
Do you agree? Have Venky’s created a humiliating reputation for Blackburn Rovers? Or am I perhaps being a bit harsh on one or both of them with this article? Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.