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[Archived] Venkys, Kean, Stability and Progress?


deazel

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We have all spent the majority of this season criticising Venky's and Kean, and hoping for them to get the hell out of our football club. With our fortunes on the pitch having dramatically improved since the turn of the year, I think it is a good time to take stock and objectively review the state of the ownership and management of BRFC.

Venkys

It is abundantly clear that Venkys were duped into buying Rovers by a slimy agent, and that they purchased the club for the wrong reasons (i.e. publicity for their chicken business) and on the basis of completely ignorant assumptions (e.g. spend a few million a year to get us into the Champions League, no threat of relegation, etc). They have been a PR disaster, they have unnecessarily dispensed with a fantastic club management team, and they have completely alienated us fans through deceit, false promises and appalling communication.

We all know what they have done wrong. However, I believe that there are a couple of things that they have actually managed to get right.

Firstly, the decision to stick with Steve Kean appears to have been the right one, based on our recent form and momentum. I know that this might have been by accident rather than by design (apparently Venkys wanted to sack him after the Bolton game, but didn't want to stomach the cost of replacing him). However, for the most part, since the time of hiring him they have been publicly steadfast in their support of Kean, even in the face of unprecedented protesting from sections of the fan base. Whether or not Kean is the right man for the job (more on this later) I would argue that the continuity of having one man in charge for an extended period of time has allowed our team to stabilise, despite all of the off the field drama. Whilst Kean has shown limitations as a manager and a man, the players appear to be benefitting from having had over a year now of the same footballing philosophy, the same tactical approach, the same training methods, the same playing instructions, etc....they know how they are expected to play, and I believe the stability is having a positive effect. On the face of it, there are many managers out there who would be better qualified to lead our team, and I for one was desperate to see Kean sacked and replaced. However, the reality is that a new manager - no matter how good they are - doesn't always have a galvanising and positive effect on a team when they take over. In many cases, a brilliant manager can come into a club and the changes that they seek to implement can disrupt harmony and destabilise a club, having a negative rather than positive impact. Look at QPR...they have brought in the manager that most of us would have liked to see take over from Kean, and they signed some good reinforcements in the January window, and yet they are struggling desperately whilst we go from strength to strength. There are plenty more examples...look at all the top managers that have failed at Chelsea. Sacking and replacing Kean in late December may have worked, but it also could have backfired horribly, and on the face of recent evidence, I would say that Venkys appear to have made the right decision in sticking by their man.

The other thing that Venkys appear to have successfully achieved is bringing down the club's debt and wage bill. As fans, we don't typically get excited about this sort of stuff...we want to see as many good players in the squad as possible, and we don't usually mind if the debt and the wage bill is going up to achieve this. However, the harsh reality is that we need our club to be managed in a financially prudent manner, to ensure our long term sustainability. To this end, if Venky's can reduce our debt burden through player sales (P.Jones and Samba) then it is helping to lay a steadier foundation for Rovers' financial future. Similarly getting some high earning older players off our books (Samba, Nelsen, Diouf, Emerton, Roberts, Andrews, etc) and replacing them with younger/academy players that are performing to a similar standard but on lower wages, and with future resale value (e.g. Hanley, Marcus Olsson, Jason Lowe, Formica, etc) makes a lot of financial sense. Whilst I have been sad to see us lose players like Samba, Jones and Nelsen, I believe that the money men at Venkys together with our management team have actually made some good calls regarding player trading. Of course, this was a hugely risky strategy which relied totally on sourcing adequate budget replacements, but the gamble does appear to have somehow paid off. If Venkys were to sell the club tomorrow, I think we would be more attractive to a potential purchaser with a lower debt burden and a reduced wage bill.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that Venkys new communications approach (whilst still leaving a lot to be desired) appears to be an improvement on their previous ham-fisted attempts at PR. It appears that their new policy is to basically ignore Rovers, not speak publicly about the club, and to stay away from Ewood Park at all costs. To me, this is far better than their past public announcements, where they spouted false promises and talked up embarrassing bids for has-been "marquee" signings. At least now they keep their mouths shut and basically let the club get on with things without the unnecessary publicity which creates a circus-like atmosphere at Rovers. I believe that this has also helped to somewhat stabilise the atmosphere at the club, and allowed the players to just focus on their performances on the field.

In summary, I think that Venkys have despite themselves managed to get some things right over the later half of the season. I would love to see the club sold to more able owners, but for the time being it appears that we are stuck with Venkys. I believe they are due for some credit for the few good decisions that they have made, and if they continue to learn from their past mistakes then I will try as best I can to support them as owners, in the interests of ensuring a stable environment at the club.

Steve Kean

As with Venkys, Kean has obviously made a lot of mistakes since he took over as manager. His tactical approach, team selection, substitutions and general defensive organisation have all left a huge amount to be desired. And off the field he has managed to alienate us fans, with a serious of lies, deluded comments and observations which have frankly been an insult to our collective intelligence.

However, it appears that for all the mistakes that he has made and despite all the challenges that he has faced, he has also managed to somehow pull together a team that is playing good football and accumulating vital points.

As I have noted above, the Venkys money men deserve some credit for the replacement of our high earning players with able younger and cheaper replacements. Presumably Kean also should get some of the plaudits in this regard. Certainly some of the signings during his tenure range from outright puzzling (Anderson, Ribiero) to "jury still out" (Dann, Rochina, Vuckevic, Petrovic, Goodwillie etc), however I don't know how many of these players were actually foisted on Kean as opposed to being picked by him? There have been some promising acquisitions during the Kean era (Yakubu, Formica, Marcus Olsson, Orr) and he has successfully brought through some of the young blood that was already at the club (Hanley, Lowe), so I believe that he does deserve some credit for the transition in our squad over the last year.

In terms of selection, Kean appears to have finally worked out the right balance for his team. We now have something of a settled line up with a good blend of youthful exuberance coupled with a few experienced campaigners (Robbo, Pedersen, Yakubu). Importantly, there is a a feeling of continuity from week to week and the players appear to know what their role is in the side. There is clearly an increased level of defensive organisation, and it seems that some of the credit for this should go to Eric Black. However, fair play to Kean for recently picking the right players and getting the line-up and tactics right. As fans, we tend to feel that we know best...wanting Givet brought back in for Dann, wanting to see Vuckevic in the side, thinking that Dunny is knackered, wanting to get rid of Pedersen, etc). However, Kean does seem to be using the players at his disposal in the right way, and this appears to be paying dividends.

Most importantly, Kean has also somehow managed to create a sense of togetherness in the squad...despite all of the shenanigans off the field this year (or perhaps because of them?), you can see that the players are all playing for one another, and there is a tangible sense of team spirit in this group of players. Kean deserves some credit for managing to instil this spirit in the face of all the protesting and drama over the course of the season.

For all of the above reasons, I believe that Kean is showing some real promise as a manager and I am prepared to give him a second chance. I will never warm to him as a man, but I never warmed to Big Sam either, if I am honest. At the end of the day, if Kean can continue the recent progress that he has shown, I will give him my full support as manager.

The Fans

As a final note, I think it is worth saying something about the fans. I totally supported all of the protests against Venkys and Kean, as I felt that it represented our best chance of change at the club. However, with the benefit of hindsight I can say that the protests seemed to have a destabilising effect, leading to poor performances on the field. Venkys are obviously stubborn owners and they are not going to let the fans tell them what to do, so it appears that further protesting is only going to be futile and self destructive. Given the recent progress, I think it is time to stop with the protesting and to provide our full support to the team and to the current management set up for the run home to safety. If the players see that they have won over the doubters, I think it can help galvanise this team further, and we can hopefully lay a platform for a far more successful campaign in 2012/13. ...

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The club is not progressing, it has regressed massively in 15 months.

Is Steve Kean? You would hope so, but him 'learning his trade' in the PL has risked everything BRFC has built over 20 years. It is as if the club exists for Steve Kean's development and not vice versa.

Stability?

There is none under Venky's, revolving doors for executives, coaches and players, declining crowds and corporate sales, pig headed owners with contempt for their own customers does not create a stable environment.

Kean is going nowhere, so there will obviously be 'stability' there, league position and winning football matches is seemingly no longer that important in the Venky era, so it looks like Kean can press on for as long as he wishes.

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Venkys-----"new communications approach" is not to have one!

Cutting costs by selling best players is right for them not for us.

Have put no money in of their own, will never put any in.

Outcome will be a permanent relegation fight until we are relegated

Kean

Genuinely loathed for the reasons you gave and will never be accepted.

Lucky to inherit the best group of young lads in decades. nothing to do with him. Lucky to have Black with him too.

Players will be sold on any way if get good enough to meet the Bank's demands.

Far from "getting rid of the deadwood" has brought in loads of new deadwood of his own.

Jury is not still out on the likes of Petrovic. Goodwillie, Ribeiro, Blackman, Anderson, Modeste-----it went home months ago.

Fans---have one inalienable right left to them and are taking it.

They are voting with their feet. I'd estimate season-tickets were 3000 down on last season and a further 2000 no longer attend.

Some continue to attend because they have already paid for a ticket but will not renew if Venkys/Kean continue.

Anecdotally there are a lot of them.

Conclusion---no future with these clowns.

Always delighted with a win, good chance now of avoiding relegation but no long-term hope as things stand.

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Good Post.

I am much more of a Rovers Fan fan and I'm so sick of the negativity around here. It doesn't help anything, and neither does those protests which you've highlighted.

Last season, Hanley looked like a sunday league player, and had the body to go with it. He is now our best centre half and credit to the manager for that one. Lowe has came on leaps and bounds as well, and is looking like a shut down right back. Hoilett up front behind the Yak for me is the master stroke.

While Kean has an appauling record he does look like(along with Black) he's figuring it out, as the defensive game plan and the formation have been excellent recently.

Venky's have done nothing but shut up which is brilliant.

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I agree that Mrs D made the right decision in sticking by Kean (as you say, I suspect that was more by fault than design as it would have cost a bit of money sacking him and getting a new management team in).

If we stay up (which is looking very likely now), Venky's will feel they have been proved right. They were aware many fans wanted Kean sacked and Hughes installed as manager. Instead, they stuck with Kean and Hughes went to QPR and looks like he is taking them down.

This could see a sea change in boardrooms for seasons to come. We have seen two of our relegation rivals change managers - QPR and Wolves - and they are sinking. Two others kept their managers - us and Bolton - and we look the most likely to stay up. This raises an interesting debate.

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Hoilett up front behind the Yak for me is the master stroke.

I can't hail playing Junior in his best position as a master stroke. It's taken Kean 28 or so games to figure it out, despite Junior showing everyone at the end of last season thats where he does the most damage.

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I agree that Mrs D made the right decision in sticking by Kean (as you say, I suspect that was more by fault than design as it would have cost a bit of money sacking him and getting a new management team in).

If we stay up (which is looking very likely now), Venky's will feel they have been proved right. They were aware many fans wanted Kean sacked and Hughes installed as manager. Instead, they stuck with Kean and Hughes went to QPR and looks like he is taking them down.

This could see a sea change in boardrooms for seasons to come. We have seen two of our relegation rivals change managers - QPR and Wolves - and they are sinking. Two others kept their managers - us and Bolton - and we look the most likely to stay up. This raises an interesting debate.

I think it's a worthwhile debate and it is right to take a fresh look at things but we need to not get too carried away.

Venkys sticking with Kean - was this deliberate or by default we don't know. However, the bigger picture is that if we stay up (and it's still an 'if') then this is more down to 3 or very poor teams below us - it's no coincidence that some of whom have also made managerial changes too. (However, I still very highly rate Mark Hughes).

That said, if Kean can go on a bit of a run now and get us safe by the end of April, or even finish mid-table then I might change my view of his abilities. I might even accept him being in charge at the start of next season.

However, I will NEVER change my view of him as a man - which is a shame but is based on more than just a few results here and there. I read a post earlier that someone had called Talksport to apologise to Steve Kean. Well I'll wait for a public apology from Kean for the way he has contradicted himself, possibly lied (or possibly believed and masqueraded his own version of events as the truth) and the way he has disparaged, insulted, and insinuated about me (as a fan) before I will consider revising my views on that one.

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My thoughts entirely Stu.

I'm not a hypocrite, my support of Sam Allardyce was down to one thing and one thing only- RESULTS.

Kean somehow gets us back to where we were when he took over (extremely doubtful), then I can't honestly say I want him out because of results/ability.

But as a man, I think he is a highly dubious individual and one of life's chancers.

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I think it's a worthwhile debate and it is right to take a fresh look at things but we need to not get too carried away.

Venkys sticking with Kean - was this deliberate or by default we don't know. However, the bigger picture is that if we stay up (and it's still an 'if') then this is more down to 3 or very poor teams below us - it's no coincidence that some of whom have also made managerial changes too. (However, I still very highly rate Mark Hughes).

That said, if Kean can go on a bit of a run now and get us safe by the end of April, or even finish mid-table then I might change my view of his abilities. I might even accept him being in charge at the start of next season.

However, I will NEVER change my view of him as a man - which is a shame but is based on more than just a few results here and there. I read a post earlier that someone had called Talksport to apologise to Steve Kean. Well I'll wait for a public apology from Kean for the way he has contradicted himself, possibly lied (or possibly believed and masqueraded his own version of events as the truth) and the way he has disparaged, insulted, and insinuated about me (as a fan) before I will consider revising my views on that one.

I don't go for this "three teams worse than us". At Christmas there were no teams worse than us and since then we have been better than not just 3 teams but more than half the division. If we stay up it will be because we improved a lot.

Otherwise I agree.

And well done to the original poster for putting a fresh perspective to discuss.

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I don't go for this "three teams worse than us". At Christmas there were no teams worse than us and since then we have been better than not just 3 teams but more than half the division. If we stay up it will be because we improved a lot.

Otherwise I agree.

And well done to the original poster for putting a fresh perspective to discuss.

The points total this season, at the bottom end must be the lowest for a long, long time...

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The points total this season, at the bottom end must be the lowest for a long, long time...

Firstly, that doesn't matter, and secondly, it's more of a systemic thing than we just got lucky. There's a genuine top 6 now who are all very difficult to take points off, meaning there will be fewer points to go around at the bottom.

It's like arguing we should have 2 Premier League titles because of the points total we got when we came 2nd would've won it another year.

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It's like arguing we should have 2 Premier League titles because of the points total we got when we came 2nd would've won it another year.

No it's not. It's like saying the team that won when we finished second were better than us!

Which is exactly my point (in reverse).

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I think it's a worthwhile debate and it is right to take a fresh look at things but we need to not get too carried away.

Venkys sticking with Kean - was this deliberate or by default we don't know. However, the bigger picture is that if we stay up (and it's still an 'if') then this is more down to 3 or very poor teams below us - it's no coincidence that some of whom have also made managerial changes too. (However, I still very highly rate Mark Hughes).

That said, if Kean can go on a bit of a run now and get us safe by the end of April, or even finish mid-table then I might change my view of his abilities. I might even accept him being in charge at the start of next season.

However, I will NEVER change my view of him as a man - which is a shame but is based on more than just a few results here and there. I read a post earlier that someone had called Talksport to apologise to Steve Kean. Well I'll wait for a public apology from Kean for the way he has contradicted himself, possibly lied (or possibly believed and masqueraded his own version of events as the truth) and the way he has disparaged, insulted, and insinuated about me (as a fan) before I will consider revising my views on that one.

We have to give ourselves some credit too. As a poster says above, there weren't 3 worse teams than us at xmas and there are only 3 worse teams than us now because we have improved. I think 15th/16th is probably about right for our current crop of players.

Like him or loathe him (many are the latter) Kean will have done a decent job if he keeps us up this season - with the current team that is realistically all we can hope for. Venky's are incredibly bad beyond all comprehension, big players have been sold, little money to improve the squad, and little support from the board.

Kean has undoubtably used the press to gain sympathy and has been disrespectful of certain groups of fans, but would we have cared as much if he had been winning games?!

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For all of the above reasons, I believe that Kean is showing some real promise as a manager and I am prepared to give him a second chance. I will never warm to him as a man, but I never warmed to Big Sam either, if I am honest. At the end of the day, if Kean can continue the recent progress that he has shown, I will give him my full support as manager.

I won't. He's an odious piece of work.

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We have to give ourselves some credit too. As a poster says above, there weren't 3 worse teams than us at xmas and there are only 3 worse teams than us now because we have improved. I think 15th/16th is probably about right for our current crop of players.

Like him or loathe him (many are the latter) Kean will have done a decent job if he keeps us up this season - with the current team that is realistically all we can hope for. Venky's are incredibly bad beyond all comprehension, big players have been sold, little money to improve the squad, and little support from the board.

Kean has undoubtably used the press to gain sympathy and has been disrespectful of certain groups of fans, but would we have cared as much if he had been winning games?!

Kean was in cahoot's with Venky's from day one and that day was prior to them buying us. He's a part of the reason all this has happened and we should feel sympathy for him?

Should I be sympathetic to the man who leaves his wife for another and then gets dumped?

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Kean was in cahoot's with Venky's from day one and that day was prior to them buying us. He's a part of the reason all this has happened and we should feel sympathy for him?

Should I be sympathetic to the man who leaves his wife for another and then gets dumped?

No sympathy. Venky's are the real villains remember. Kean is just a puppet. If it wasn't Kean, it would have been some other SEM puppet who got the job. Kean saw an opportunity and went for it. Not saying that was the right thing to do but if he hadn't done it someone else would.

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No sympathy. Venky's are the real villains remember. Kean is just a puppet. If it wasn't Kean, it would have been some other SEM puppet who got the job. Kean saw an opportunity and went for it. Not saying that was the right thing to do but if he hadn't done it someone else would.

I don't see conspirators as separate entities, they were all in it together and so all take some blame. They are all responsible for certain sections of the club and all sections from my perspective are much worse than when they got here.

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I don't see conspirators as separate entities, they were all in it together and so all take some blame. They are all responsible for certain sections of the club and all sections from my perspective are much worse than when they got here.

Oh, I agree. It all stinks. Our club has been used to make large sums of money for agents whilst the club suffers.

However, the point I was making about Kean having done a decent job IF we stay up is based purely on footballing matters (rather than how he got the job). The team we have at the moment is poor so keeping this crop of players up is a good achievement.

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Oh, I agree. It all stinks. Our club has been used to make large sums of money for agents whilst the club suffers.

However, the point I was making about Kean having done a decent job IF we stay up is based purely on footballing matters (rather than how he got the job). The team we have at the moment is poor so keeping this crop of players up is a good achievement.

Even on footballing matters alone I can't see how he should be applauded? worst run in 40 odd years, with a stronger team than before IE JJ, santa etc. And this year worse, he will have a say in things surely otherwise WTF were all those trips to Pune for? Kean helped make the current team what it is, so deserves no credit for keeping up the team despite it's lack of quality as he helped create said quality.

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Even on footballing matters alone I can't see how he should be applauded? worst run in 40 odd years, with a stronger team than before IE JJ, santa etc. And this year worse, he will have a say in things surely otherwise WTF were all those trips to Pune for? Kean helped make the current team what it is, so deserves no credit for keeping up the team despite it's lack of quality as he helped create said quality.

Because Santa Cruz was amazing second time around.

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Even on footballing matters alone I can't see how he should be applauded? worst run in 40 odd years, with a stronger team than before IE JJ, santa etc. And this year worse, he will have a say in things surely otherwise WTF were all those trips to Pune for? Kean helped make the current team what it is, so deserves no credit for keeping up the team despite it's lack of quality as he helped create said quality.

Kean is a puppet. He is being credited with too much power. He has been told which players he can't player this year - Roberts, Salgado, Nelsen etc. Read Keith Andrews' comments about how Kean told him he wanted him to be part of the squad yet the owners wanted him off the wage bill and was therefore sold. Did Kean want to sign most of the players he signed in the summer? Of course, not. He doesn't even play most of them.

Is this a reason to feel sympathy for kean? No. He knew the club was going to be run like this before he took the job and he is only in the job because the club is run like this so it works both ways.

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