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[Archived] December Review

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“I like laugh, I like a joke,
It's not my fault if my sense of humour broke….”

On Parole

Yes, yet another blog thing! Only this one brings you Motorhead lyrics. You lucky lucky people. You don't get this in the Lancs Telegraph.

December. Three birthdays and Christmas. A magical month, a month where money disappears as quickly as it was earned and untold joy is brought to shopkeepers up and down the land.

Still it’s worth it on Christmas morning, I’ve been told, just to see their little faces, eyes agog in astonishment, as they wonder why Dad can’t focus and his face needs ironing after another Christmas Eve spent at home drinking too much.

However it’s not all joyous good fun is it? Oh no. Not when your football club is run by people who clearly don’t have anyone’s best interests at heart other than their own.

I’m sure we’re all sick to the back teeth of the goings on at the club. It’s beyond laughable and yet that is my remit apparently. “A light hearted look back on the previous month” or something or other I seem to recall back in the depths of time. Apologies, I’ve struggled this month to see the funny side.

A month when indecision and crass statements fly in the face of “decisiveness”. A month when the nearest thing we have to a Chairman goes on Radio Lancashire and laughs hysterically before answering questions with a stream of irrelevant nonsense. A month when back room staff changes are leaked to the Press and then put on hold and then made on Sky Sports News. A month when the still relatively new manager is asked to go on stage, don a Michael Jackson wig and perform a comedy dance routine.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.

This is OUR club. How the clowns who purport to run it have the audacity to claim they have its best interests at heart is just nonsense. They should leave out of embarrassment and the owners should be ashamed to show their faces – oh, hang on, well there you go then.

It’s truly below contempt. If you can’t make decisions that are for the betterment of Blackburn Rovers, if you are here to pick up a wage and here for your own self-serving needs then can I suggest that you leave now? You are not wanted. You are an embarrassment. You know who you are.


Sunday 2nd December - burnley B’s 1 Rovers 1

Well, I won’t lie to you, I wasn’t there. I was in Cardiff watching the rugby (Wales v Australia). Well, again, I won’t lie to you, when I say watching the rugby I actually mean drinking over the entire weekend with four other Rovers fans, on a trip organised when we were, again, in the pits of despair as Kean-out was “manager” and the fixtures hadn’t come out. Is that a good enough excuse? Possibly not, still what you gonna do about it? I’m neither Welsh nor Australian but you can see what my mind-set was back in the summer (yes, set to alcohol).

Rovers took the lead through the clean cut, model of a Professional Footballer, Jordan Rhodes, who outwitted the claret defence by jumping and heading a shot past a helpless and hopeless goalkeeper whose name I honestly can’t be bothered looking up. A thoroughly deserved lead and one for “good” in the battle against “evil”.

Vokes equalised in the 12 minute of added time when a high lofted ball was sent into our area, the referee clearly struggling to see for the myriad of fingers being waved around gave the goal, which was clearly punched into the back of the net. Blatant cheating as expected.

It was no more than we have come to suspect from our bitter neighbours and both families went wild with joy in the home ends.

Still 34 years and rising and a mighty relief for the pet shop owners of burnley town centre.

Thursday 6th December – Rovers Accounts are released. It’s all good news. £ 4.2m in profit! (Who are the Accountants? Blane, Brown & Dynamo?).

Phew, that’s a relief. There was me thinking we are owned by imbeciles, who couldn’t even sack an incompetent manager after two years of abject failure and multi million pound losses. Nothing to worry about here then. ‘In Captain Shelf, Lord “Footiball” and Rear Admiral Horatio Shebbington of Singh we trust’ it is then.

I do hope there’s a supporters organisation around to try and pick up the pieces should this all go tits up.

Friday 7th December - Rovers 1 (Joe King) Cardiff City 4 (Hudson, Bellamy, Mason, Kim Bo-Kyung)

In the first Friday night match since the last one, Rovers took on our friends from the Emerald Isle, that fair city of Cardiff aka The Redbirds and it all went pear-shaped.

They scored, we got one back in the second half. They scored again. Formica missed a sitter with the goal at his mercy, deciding instead to hit the crossbar rather than equalise, they scored twice late on. That’s it. Rovers got booed off.

Wednesday 12th December – Shebby Singh went on Radio Lancashire and avoided answering any questions, apart from a “No Comment” (which was the clearest and most succinct answer he gave all night) when asked if there would be a back room shuffle before the weekend.

Rumours abounded, well, OK, Andy Cryer and Alan Nixon reported, that Eric Black, Ian Brunskill and Bobby Mimms would be leaving. This after “decisive” talks between the powerhouse Frantic Four – Singh, Shelf, Aggers and Berg on Monday.

Thursday 13th December – Prior to the match on the Saturday Blackpool asked that “with precision and skill, fans must pass 3 “footiballs” from the penalty spot to the centre circle, with the aim of scoring the highest number of points after three shots....”

Murphy and Etuhu were no longer expected to travel just in case they were asked to warm up at half time and get embroiled in this tricky task.

Saturday 15th December - Blackpool 2 Rovers 0

20 minutes a football match do not maketh. Blackpool took the lead, we gave up. I’m loathe to pick out individuals (OK, that’s clearly not true is it), I don’t like singling players out, I should say (hmmm, OK), but why Etuhu decided to do his best Herold Goulon impression in this particular game is anyone’s guess. Actually that’s a tad unfair on big Herold, at least he’d be good in a fight – although a tad slow of course. Kind of like Audley Harrison. Although he’s probably a better boxer than Audley. Can Audley play midfield I wonder?

The fans weren’t happy. No change there then. But I mean really not happy. “Seething” I think is the word.

Concern regarding Rovers financial Accounts had been growing and in the second half it all became clear. Shebby Singh, as well as being at the very top of Malaysian football punditry and possessing the stupidest laugh on radio, also happens to be a “Banker” and the Rovers fans in the ground weren’t afraid to let everyone there know it.

Too many players didn’t put a shift in. The midfield is simply pitiful and the defending was woeful. Oh and the strikers weren’t very good either. And there was only one substitution made.

Why? You’re not telling me that Berg’s hands weren’t tied here. Well you can if you like but I simply don’t believe it. The game needed changing round. Just who is making these decisions and why?

God help us.

Monday 17th December – The Lancashire Telegraph reported that a new Assistant Manager would shortly be coming in, in former Villa Assistant Kevin McDonald. That never happened.

Tuesday 18th December – Rumours and the awesome power of Twitter. “Berg walks out”. “Oh no he didn’t” – “Oh yes…” etc… (it’s that time of year).

Also on this day the Lancashire Telegraph reported that the “decisive action” that was agreed eight days ago had now been put on hold until January. With the team doing so well it was clearly vitally important that no changes were made.

Quite who made the decision to make no decision is anyone’s guess. However, “decisive” it was not. What it most certainly was though was typical of the way the club has been run for the last two years.

Wednesday 19th December – The Daily Mail report that Berg walked out again, this time at the Rovers staff Christmas Party. Who can blame him? Dressing up and dancing like Michael Jackson might go down well at Fulham but here? In Blackburn, Lancashire? I don’t think so. Whose idiotic idea was this then? You can probably guess, there are a number of idiots in the frame.

Thursday 20th December – No one walked out.

However, the LT reported that Rovers will now listen to offers for ousted keeper Paul Robinson in January. Robbo lost his place to Jake K at Blackpool you’ll recall, as Berg is somewhat perturbed with the fact that he has started keeping goal in a yellow onesie. Not ideal.

In a clear message to the dwindling fan base Robbo has been told he can leave should an acceptable offer come in – but the club haven’t “completely written his Ewood Park career off”.

Friday 21st December – Robbo “is ill”.

Elsewhere as the club continued to pull together (but unfortunately in totally different directions) Singh continued to undermine Berg in this interview:


“Highlights” included – “a manager is available now who wasn’t at the time of Henning’s appointment and we have looked at him”. “Availability was the stumbling block. The manager in question was interested but was in a top job at the time. He is no longer in that post.”

Saturday 22nd December – Rovers P Brighton and Hove Albion P

We’ve got to be happy with a P – P at home in this weather and in this turmoil. It was something to build on. There were even more rumours (I can’t be bothered about all that) as to why the game was called off. It did belt it down all morning and night. Simple as.

Wednesday December 26th – Boro 1 Rovers 0

We weren’t that bad. We weren’t that good either. Again there was a lack of desire to work hard from certain individuals. I read somewhere that it’s important to work that little bit harder when not in possession than when you actually have the ball. Quite a few of these lads could do well to remember that.

There was also a lack of urgency after we conceded. There’s no-one in this team to get hold of a game by the scruff of the neck. Leaderless on the pitch and….

Thursday December 27th - Leaderless off it. 57 days, 10 games, 1 win, Henning Berg was sacked.

Berg didn’t even get the chance to take us down and then resign. A complete change in policy then. A lot of that about this month. All the best Henning, you’re better off out of it.

Eric Black, Bobby Mimms and Ian Brunskill were also laid off.

As you’d expect these guys found out whilst watching Sky Sports News. Singh himself admitted he hadn’t even spoken to Berg that day as he was no doubt really busy being a coward.

“Way out, you're way out of line, No buddy I can't spare a dime,
Fade out, baby that's right, No bark and even less bite,
Your perfect smile, Betrays your lack of style….

…Too bad, no magic, I'm afraid you're merely tragic…
No Class”

Friday December 28th - And then it all went even sillier. I can’t keep up with all this. I’d have to type it all up as it happened, like the old BBC Vidiprinter.

Kevin MacDonald and Judan Ali (who?!?) were to be brought in as new first team coaches before a new manager was announced. Who? What? When? Why?!? How does that work then? Of course it could well be that they had no intention of bringing in a new manager and that Shebby may have fancied the job in all but name. Who knows?

Then Balaji Rao, one of our “hands on” owners, stated in the Indian Press that Eric Black would be managing the team at Barnsley. This despite the fact that Eric had been sacked 48 hours earlier.

Then the fall-out from the cancellation of the Brighton game and the state of the pitch continued as both Paul Agnew and Derek Shaw were both summoned to Pune to discuss “moles” and “leaks”. Venkys, clearly with their fingers on the pulse as we have to come to expect, may have been a bit confused here. No change there then.

Then reports that Judan Ali would be appointed were denied. He was merely here observing and finding out how it’s not done properly.

Saturday December 29th – Barnsley 1 Rovers 3 (Dawson / Joe King, Rochina, Rhodes)

Reports circulated that Singh was now suing Derek Shaw for an article written in the Daily Mirror. “Blackburn director calls for Shebby Singh to be sacked” was the headline. Take a look…


Elsewhere in the same article it was revealed that Rovers have had to pay £1.2m to Kean-Out in compensation for him being inept at his job. Still it’s only money. They’ll have probably had to pay Henning a similar amount. Nothing to worry about here, it’s just money.

Unfortunately a football match broke out in the afternoon and this diverted people’s attention away from the main actors in the play now called “Blackburn Rovers Football Club”.

Reserve team boss Gary Bowyer led the team along with youth boss Terry McPhilips – and obviously they did very well. The only other senior member of staff left was the assistant reserve team manager, Colin Hendry. Singh stated that it was very much business as usual. Which I suppose it was really, yes. A ‘kin farce.

We won! It was only a couple of days ago. You’ll remember. More songs about the owners and Singh. The players to a man gave their shirts to the fans. Happy days for once.

Well a happy few hours, before Singh opened up the play again on 606. Stating that he would really like to be friends with Kevin MacDonald and Robbie Savage. I honestly can’t bring myself to listen to it all.

This is great. “Shebby” - http://themarpleleaf.blogspot.co.uk/

And that’s it. December. Another insane month for Blackburn Rovers.

Oh but hang on, talking of the Vidiprinter. News just in… Rovers owners voted the worst in the league. Nice work Venky’s.

What next? Who is the “experienced” manager Singh has lined up? A total change in policy since Friday and yet come tomorrow this new manager will be in place? We shall see…

By the way, Kevin MacDonald, although a good coach, isn’t an experienced Manager. 12 games as a caretaker in 1994 and 2010 doesn’t equate to being experienced. No one will be saying that about Henning after all.

All the best to you for 2013. Let’s hope we get our wishes. A well run club, with management who are allowed to manage. A “For Sale” sign above Ewood Park wouldn’t go amiss either. Oh and a push up the table would also be nice, I forgot about the football there for a minute.

December Summary:


Played: 24

Goal Difference: -1

Points: 32

Position: 15th

Top Goalscorers:

Rhodes: lots

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"It was no more than we have come to suspect from our bitter neighbours and both families went wild with joy in the home ends."

I just loved that.

A great read as always Bob. Many thanks for the effort. A treat to read,if like me, all we are left with is the opportunity to laugh at the goings on at our club.

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