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[Archived] A Review of the Month of May

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A Review of May.


Day minus 1 Before Relegation – 6th May 2017

The first scene in my favourite filum encapsulates Venky’s approach to running Blackburn Rovers.  Unfortunately, Rovers are Billy Batts and Venky’s are the “Goodfellas”.


It’s a gruesome, bloody, unpleasant death, not for the squeamish or the faint of heart. There’s little emotion on the gangsters’ faces as they finally ensure that Billy is well and truly deaded by stabbing Mr Batts several times and then shooting him a couple of times more. Clearly they couldn’t be too careful.


What Billy has in his favour, though, is that it’s over relatively quickly. It didn’t take 7 years (and counting) for instance.


Anyway, my son and I watched the film the day before we set off…


Day 0 aka Sunday 7th May 2017

…to Brentford. I didn’t even consider the above analogy until now while trying to come up with something relatively obscure to start another one off random review. 


We beat Brentford. Goals from Charlie Mulgrew, that small one with the beard and a Craig Conway penalty saw us win 3-1. Remember their names boys and girls, we may not see their like again.


It wasn’t enough. Harry bleeding Redknapp’s Birmingham won away at Bristol City over 65’s and Nottingham Forest rolled over Ipswich Town’s Under 7’s 3 nowt. We’d have had to have won 6-1 to go above Forest.


So that was that then.


We’re off to Division 1. The third tier of English Football, for the first time since 1980. 37 years. It’s not been easy to get this bad.


Day 1 After Relegation – Monday 8th May

And so it begins...


Paul Senior, employed for a total of just 123 days, resigns as Director of Football & Operations, Head of Clichés and Bullshit Bingo.


I might be being harsh there. After all, Senior saw the removal of the inept Owen Coyle. He recognised that last summer’s supposed “outstanding (Managerial) candidate” (as stated by Mike Cheston of course) was in fact totally and utterly useless. Shock.



Paul: “All the very best”


Remember, then, that this would leave Mike Cheston to “run” the day to day operations along with some guy who may well be called “Pasha” who may or may not be employed by the club. Cheston may not have appointed Coyle but it was done on his watch, under his name, so surely he must feel some guilt, take some responsibility?


Then again I’m hinting at accountability here and taking ownership for actions. You know, like adults. There’s really no need though. Just take a pay off if it’s a bit much; it’s far easier, the Club is still Premier League at that.


No one has been responsible for anything in seven years, just a conveyor belt of different names who come and go, most never to be heard or seen ever again.


The “owners” released a statement. Presumably Rovers’ website needed its readers to link the phrase “the owners” to Venky’s for some strange reason. Note that the word “Venky’s” wasn’t mentioned once in the article below?


“That’s funny” I thought.




‘Favourite’ line was surely: “Notwithstanding this temporary setback”.


Or, as heard on the Titanic: “Good afternoon everyone, this is your Captain speaking. I am pleased to be able to confirm the rumours that we have now hit the iceberg that we all saw coming a very long time ago and that we are indeed, in what is commonly termed – using sailing vernacular – sinking.


However, notwithstanding, this is merely a temporary setback. Please, sit back and enjoy what little’s left of the journey.”


D2AR 9th May

The propaganda machine spluttered into life in the dreary Lancashire Telegraph. The front page had a small picture of Mrs Desai smiling; it was a picture that possibly captured her breaking wind, or she was merely thinking about the deaths of another 10,000 baby chickens. (You know the ones: “chicks” I think they’re called, those little fluffy cute ones.) Either way she looked happy for no discernible reason. You could go right off her, you really could.


“Venky’s: Rovers can come back stronger” ran the headline. Desai hadn’t been to Ewood for 32 months, none of the cursed Rao family had. I doubt she even knows the club had been relegated. I have no doubts whatsoever that she doesn’t care either way.


The “owners’” statement (I mean come on, no one in their right mind believed that they’d written it) said that they would look to give Rovers the best possible chance of bouncing back from relegation.

Therefore I then foolishly got my hopes up and expected to read that the club was now up for sale. But no.


Elsewhere, The Times and Henry Winter…



Favourite line? “The owners are cowards.”


In other more pressing matters www.rovers.co.uk announced that Jake Isaac* will support Elton John. Wow. What a pick me up that was. Two days after relegation as well! I think the word I’m after is ‘spoilt’.



D3AR 10th May

Arguably, this should be in Day 2 but there’s enough in there already and I know you get tired reading, so I’ve put it into this new “chapter” for you.


Radio Lancashire 18.00 – 19.00: Andy Bayes was in conversation with Ian Battersby from Seneca Partners and hot shot red top journalist, Alan Nixon, from Alan Nixon Limited and that Twitter.


The upshot was that the owners needed to act now. NOW! Immediately. No delays. Decisions and actions have to be taken now in order to get the club geared up and ready for next season.


At this point I should probably post a picture of some tumbleweed or a YouTube video of ‘Ghost Town’ by The Specials but they can wait for now.


The full Radio Lancashire show can be found through the link below…



A five word summation of which can also be found here: We are absolutely Donald Ducked.


Elsewhere rumours circulate regarding redundancies at the club. I’m loath to comment too much on this but it wouldn’t be surprising, unfortunately. Whilst for most of us watching football is enjoyable (yes, yes, I know) there is a very real and desperately sad consequence of the continued miss-management (and that’s being kind) of our club. People’s jobs are on the line here. All this was so, so, avoidable and the Rao family should be utterly ashamed. Sell the club and be-gone.


D4AR 11th May

We shall move on and continue to desperately try and find some semblance of humour in the wreckage.


Not on Day 4 though. 


Not even the tumbleweed could be arsed on Day 4.


D5AR 12th May

“Venky’s”, the ridiculous Rao family’s vehicle for high jinks, general tom foolery and world class feck wizardry, cancelled their Board Meeting.


This was amid reports that they had been raided by sleuths investigating tax returns.


A much under-valued and under-used word is ‘sleuth’. Hats off to Pune News for that one.


It was either the raids or they were having talks with Tony Mowbray regarding the close season and indeed next season’s business strategy, budget and their masterplan that would ensure that we immediately return to the Championship. Remember, after all, that this really was the time to act.


Right that’s it. Stop it. Stop laughing. I’m trying to be serious here.


Oh, OK, in all probability you’re right; it was presumably to do with the tax thing, that was why.


Hopes rose that this was nothing trivial.


Also on this day, Accountants. Not Sleuths. Accountants. Two sets of them were now at work at Ewood, it was claimed. What they were doing is anyone’s guess. Looking down the back of settees for cash? Trying to find a hidden safe with millions of pounds in it?


As has been blindingly obvious, even to a blind man on a blind galloping horse, the only way this club can become profitable is to get back in the Premier League. The Rovers are now two years away from that – minimum. It would take a real set of clueless idiots not to have realised this before now.




Because, of course, as we all know, Rovers are owned by the ignorant Rao family. Idiocy and arrogance are their watch words.


This did not look good at all. Administration was mentioned in very real terms. It began to look a probability more than a possibility.


D6AR 13th May

Yesterday it was announced that Duncan Miller would be standing in the General Election as an Independent candidate for Blackburn.


“Vote for action to reform football and to combat the state of emergency at BRFC.

Vote to save Jack Walker’s legacy.

Vote Duncan Miller, vote Venky’s Out.”


Well said that man. Sell the club.


D7AR 14th May

22 Years ago to this day we won the league.


Now it looked as though we may struggle to field a team in Division 1.


D8AR Monday 15th May

The Telegraph reported “Tony Mowbray will appeal to Venky’s not to sell off all of Rovers’ star names this summer as he plans to meet with the club’s Indian owners.”


Tony said, “The facts are quite damning. You can’t keep selling your best players and expect to progress. It’s just common sense.”


Again, that’s torn it.


Prepare to say goodbye to our best players therefore. Whoever they are.


D9AR 16th May

More rumours, unconfirmed rumours, regarding the number of season tickets sold to date emerged on that bastion of truth and one of the few things you can rely on in life (unless there’s a power cut): The Internet. Circa 700 in total by all accounts.


That’ll fetch in about £230,000 perhaps?


Elsewhere: big breaking news. The Lancashire Telegraph newspaper reported that a kitten had been seen playing with a ball of wool.


Despite this news the paper failed to pick up that 10% had been knocked off Venky’s share price since the ‘Tax Raids’, nor did it report on these Accountants. Nor did it see fit to enquire about Season Ticket sales to date.


With friends like these…


Anyway, as an interlude, here’s The Specials, and no, not that one.



With Chinese subtitles. You’ve been spoilt yet again. Don’t know you’re born etc… Go on, sing along in Chinese. Go on!


You mad fools – it’s not even in Chinese! Have a word…


D10AR 17th May

The Venky’s Jelly & Ice Cream, Stick the Tail on Barry and Annual General Meeting for Shareholders, to discuss the Audited Accounts and play in the sand pit until bed time was announced as being reconvened for the 22nd May when all manner of “chicken sh!t” was to be discussed.


Blackburn Rovers would no doubt be ignored as per usual, I surmised.


And then with that, in all fairness, the Lancashire Telegraph stated / confirmed that Venky’s had called in two of the “Big Four” to look at finances, the books, “the state of yon” and just how bad things really were.


The KGB (presumably a Trump recommendation) and London firm Del Oitte were selected ahead of Metallica and Anthrax** and paid, if rumours were to believed, £850k for their troubles. Personally I’d have told them the job’s knackered and to sell up for a consultancy fee of just 85 quid, and so would you, but hey, who are we to question? You don’t become this internationally successful by throwing good money after bad do you? Oh no.




The move according to the chip paper was, “to look at operational efficiencies as well as reviewing revenue streams, and is not an in depth analysis or Rovers’ finances”. Reports that several men in black suits were seen carrying a giant top hat and a massive rabbit into Ewood were clearly fabricated by this author just then.


This news did little to put anyone’s mind at ease (the Accountants news not the giant rabbit thing). Perhaps due diligence was now being undertaken? Rumours circulated about Henning Berg having a consortium, another, ironically, about a Chinese consortium; perhaps Salgado also had something up his sleeve (just like that)? Then there was of course “The Ians” – a select bunch of one hundred or so Rovers fans all called Ian.


No one really knew what was going on.


So no change there then.


Maybe it was a pre-cursor to Administration. Or even worse, shudder, they were prepared to put the club into a liquidiser.


Certainly what was certainly for certain, though, was that no one would be rushing out to buy a season ticket with this level of uncertainty about – certainly that was for sure.


D11AR 18th May

The retained list was announced. These guys would be leaving, contracts up: Jason Lowe, Adam Henley, Hope Akpan, the small one with the beard, Gordon Greer and Wes Brown.


This left the club with 15 players who had played for the first team previously, including two goalkeepers. 


Elsewhere, the local paper stated that Rovers might offer Tony Mowbray a new extended contract. There were no direct quotes from anyone at the club. I concluded therefore that they might not.


D12AR 19th May

It was reported that Tony of Mowbray may well be about to fly to Pune for talks with The Rao family, who are the owners of Blackburn Rovers, some chickens, several take away shops, zero common sense, those polaroid’s of the Editor of the Lancashire Telegraph and the Bank of India’s Testicles.


D13AR 20th May, D14AR – 21st May




D15AR - Monday 22nd May

What a terrible world we live in. RIP.




D17AE Wednesday 24th May

Good news. Serial liars, The Rao Family, “assured me of their financial commitment,” said The Moginator as he decided to stay on as manager.


“The owners were supportive of my ideas and plans, and they have assured me of their financial commitment to help achieve our targets. It was all very positive,” said Big Tony in, of course, The Lancashire Telegraph.


It’s hard to get excited in any shape or form, unfortunately. We’re always five minutes away from a stupid decision, a nonsensical action with this lot running the club and they have previous for a good old fashioned face to face porky.


D18AR 25th May

Good news! There will be a “budget” to sign players this summer, Mogga Mowbray revealed. A town holds its breath.


The Telegraph reported that £250k had been spent over the previous two transfer windows – neglecting to report that in fact it had been the last four windows.


You can stop holding your breath now.


D19AR 26th May

Shocker of all shockers, the organisation that brought you ‘The Junior Hoilett Saga’ made a remake in 2017: ‘The Connor Mahoney Farce’.


It wasn’t as good. Everyone had seen the original. There was no twist at the end, everyone knew what was going to happen. The offer of the same money as last year, new boots in November, FiFA18 and a bag of conkers fell on deaf ears as Connor, somewhat unsurprisingly, chose to “test the market”.


In all fairness, Championship football and not having to be involved in any shape of form with The Rao family probably also played a part.


Also on this day, the Season Ticket renewal deadline ‘Early Bird’ offer was put back until 2nd July.


Also on this day, slight return, Rovers announce a 4th pre-season friendly against another team not involved in European competition, away at York City on Tuesday July 18th.


On the Monday Rovers announced these other fixtures:

Barrow away at Furness Building Society, Meeting Room 3, Saturday 8 July, 15.00 – ask for Dave at reception

Morecambe away Friday July 21 at The Globe Theatre

Grimsby away Tuesday July 25 at That Reet Gud Chippy.


The home fixture against a Lazio, Barcelona or, er, erm, Wigan, was still being negotiated at the time of posting this nonsense.


D20AR 27th May & D21AR 28th May

Please refer to May 20th and 21st


D22AR Bank Holiday Monday 29th May

“ROVERS boss Tony Mowbray says decisions over incomings and outgoings at the club will lie with him. Mowbray sought assurances from owners Venky’s before agreeing to continue in his role after relegation that he wouldn’t be forced in to selling Rovers’ under contract players.”


“Rovers have recouped £12m in transfer fees during the last two windows with Grant Hanley, Shane Duffy and Ben Marshall departing. But they spent just £250,000, with player of the year Derrick Williams the only man Rovers paid money for during the 2016/17 campaign.” 



Well, not quite. According to Transfermarkt.co.uk it was only £11.26m that was “recouped” (that’s still a lot of chickens to re-coup). However, as you’ll see, over the last four transfer windows, aka the last 2 seasons, Rovers have “recouped” £33m. And yes, admittedly, they have spent £250k.



D23AR 30th May

“Now I have had those conversations, we will hopefully be able to recruit well and be strong and the supporters during the next two months of the transfer window will be able to see our intent.”


Hopefully Big Tone, we all hope so. Time will tell.



D24AR 31st May

BLACKBURN Rovers remain committed to continuing as a Category One Academy, despite the club’s relegation to League One.



Hopefully not in the same way they promised to respect Jack Walkers legacy you would hope.



And that’s your lot I’m pleased to say. It’s a bit quiet. Mogga is on his holidays after all (10 days all-inclusive, Redcar). Heaven knows how the LT manage to put out a back page every day of “news”. It can’t be easy in all fairness.


The tax thing all went quiet, the Rao family quietly shipped in another £6m in order to keep the lights on (stupid in summer if you ask me), there was no liquidiser, we didn’t go into administration again, auditors keep auditing, thieves keep thieving and whores a keep a whoring, ain’t no use in praying, that’s the way it’s staying. Baby.


And where it all ends, nobody knows.


Look out for the fixtures on the 21st June when we find out whether we’ll play Gillingham away on the Tuesday or Wednesday before Christmas and keep reading Dan Ely’s (@DE) superb review of the insanity that has taken place over the last seven years, aka, ‘The Demise of Blackburn Rovers Under Venky's’, a tremendous effort on his part. I look forward to its serialisation on Crimewatch.


See you next season, or not, as the case may be. Either way, have a great summer.


*Never heard of him

**Yes, I know I made that joke on the Messageboard a few weeks ago but that’s the way I like it baby, I don’t want to live forever...


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  • 1 month later...

Amazed to see only two replies...I suppose everything was understandably still a bit too sore at the time for more people to see the funny side. I know I was too busy weeping melodramatically to read it. Hard to see through tears. But looking at it now, great work again Bob.

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Hats off to Mr Fleming. Narrative like this helps to ensure the reality of our situation remains starkly top of mind, and reminds us not to be lulled into a false sense of hope or security simply because a few crumbs have been thrown by Marie Antionette and the PuneLooney mob.


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