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  1. 26 likes
    Live coverage from Pune of TM's transfer target list arriving
  2. 21 likes
    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. http://www.rovers.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/owners-statement-3710905.aspx ‘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… https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/venkys-griddled-while-rovers-burnt-0jkjk8902?shareToken=e235e39e4750bbc42415060a79fe9d8f 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’. http://www.rovers.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/elton-john-jake-isaac-ewood-park-3710948.aspx 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… http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p051qbcw 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. http://www.punekarnews.in/venkys-40-premises-raided-by-it-dept-across-india/ 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. Damn. 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. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i71NC9-s__A 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. *snigger* 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFW6yUlgGdI 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.” http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rovers/news/15314690.Rovers_boss_Mowbray__I_will_have_the_final_say_on_sales_and_signings/?ref=mac 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. http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/blackburn-rovers/alletransfers/verein/164 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. http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rovers/news/15316027._I_think_there_are_some_critical_areas____Tony_Mowbray_keen_to_fill_gaps_in_Rovers_squad_after_recent_departures/?ref=mac D24AR 31st May BLACKBURN Rovers remain committed to continuing as a Category One Academy, despite the club’s relegation to League One. http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rovers/news/15317934.Rovers_remain_committed_to_Category_One_Academy_status_despite_relegation_to_League_One/?ref=mac 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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    https://www.rovers.co.uk/news/2017/june/boss-eager-to-make-more-additions/ I've checked, double-checked and triple checked and as far as I can see nobody has posted this link. May I offer my sincerest apologies in advance if anybody is offended by the posting of this link. No animals were harmed in the posting of this link. This link is about transfers, and specifically which positions ToMo would like to sign players for over the coming weeks.
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    Brockhall – An Asset of Community Value Brockhall is an important asset for Blackburn Rovers Football Club. The Senior Training Ground and Academy are part of the legacy Jack Walker wanted the club and its supporters to enjoy and benefit from for very many years. The Rovers Trust is applying for Asset of Community Value (ACV) status over Brockhall. We need your help and support in putting together a successful application. What is an ACV? The Asset of Community Value concept was introduced by the Localism Act 2011. The test is that the property ‘is in a current use that furthers the social wellbeing or social interests of the local community.’ The principal effect of listing is a moratorium (i.e. a period of delay) on the disposal of the land by the owners. It aims to prevent the sale of socially important assets without notice and without giving any community interest group the opportunity to be treated as a potential bidder. The six-month moratorium would allow any community group a more realistic timeframe for raising funds and bring community and political influence to bear on any potential sale. It is important to note the limitations of this protection. It grants a right to bid and not a right to buy. At the end of the moratorium the owners can sell to whomever they want at whatever price they want. The Brockhall application The Rovers Trust was successful in getting an ACV over Ewood Park in 2013, which continues to this day and is renewed by the Trust when necessary. We worked with Blackburn with Darwen Council on this. Brockhall is in the Ribble Valley and we will be working with Ribble Valley Borough Council on the application and for a different type of asset. The social wellbeing and community interest aspect of a football stadium is perhaps more obvious than for a training ground & academy, but we feel that we have arguments that satisfy the legal test. They are – 1. That Blackburn Rovers FC is a hugely important social, cultural and sporting institution to the Ribble Valley community and that Brockhall is an integral part of that institution. We can put together a strong dossier on the successes of the academy and the crucial role it can play in the club’s current parlous financial state. We would like to hear, especially from Ribble Valley residents, on the deep connections between the club and the Ribble Valley. 2. That Brockhall is used directly as an asset of community value. Again, we would really like to hear from you with examples such as visits to the training ground, watching academy matches, open days and charity events – anything involving and engaging with the public. Please help us to protect the assets of our club by sending anything (from personal anecdotes, hard data or links to further sources) that could strengthen the evidence base for these arguments to michael.doherty@roverstrust.co.uk
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    Oh dear. Not every owner sets up a company in February 2010 using mossack fonseca lawyers (panama leak fame) with Jerome Anderson, Swiss banker Phillippe Huber and a dodgy Italian astrocrat with family links to the Italian mafiain indoo sella di montulece, this clan and this company are true a brief oversight of the sporting agreement held was covered by the media source spirtskeedia. The Rao family did, these lot didn't get hoodwinked for ten months they created a company called Crescendo Sports Limited based in Begawan, Brunei nr Singapore. It's up with the BVI and Barbados as notorious tax havens but most importantly the secrecy of ownership and company directors of companies as account records need not be filled, fantastic for clouding authorities chasing you. Trio of Huber, Anderson and Sella all had a brockhall office recently confirmed to me by ex staff, moment I showed them pictures they spotted them straight away, they also had a company at the same time called Global Stars Fund Eleven, this fund was worth 20 million and 8 million came from Bani Yas FC owner with his money managed by Paul Wynne now in Australia. The first experiment was a player you'll remember, Mauro Formica, despite having an argentine cap he failed U.K. Work permit rules whilst the FA noted he was a 3rd party player. He was subsequently assigned to Newells old Boys were Rovers paid 3.5 million and rising for this lad from Newells with the fee split out between the trio. Player after three fa refusals suddenly got granted a fa transfer approved, why? Indoo Sella finally provided a passport for Italy. Master plan underway venkys provided initial capital and set up with Companies house Venkys Xpress, this company was to come to the UK to rival KFC types etc. Crescendo were to supply or lease the players get them on tv a few times, increase value and sell whilst on tv and the club generally got Venkys branding to PR the new company. Rovers however had Kean and Jensen and numerous SEM players on the books, Jerome realised more money could be made short term by commisions so traded any old player and sold what he could scooping those fees. He shafted everyone but the Venkys allowed this they got into bed with him and signed not one but two management contracts the vhpl and crescendo and vhpl and kentaro contracts. They could have googled for two minutes who sem was and realised Jerome was that too. Jonathan hill ex fa commercial director and kentaro CEO also confirmed that suhail pasha was a frequent visitor to there London office well before the takeover to watch games with JA. Ja also tried using bassini to take rovers for this plan but knowing he'd fail and not provide capital found Venkys, bassini admitted this in court along with the 500 k he got from Anderson to buy wTford. Whilst this was also going on the Venkys also had another agreement with Kentaro an fa affiliated partner, there agreement was to manage day to day activities, responsible for recruitment and merchandising opportunities. Venkys paid in 2013 monies to terminate this one but never the crescendo deal, despite pincher staging it was due to expire on takeover it never did and the fa as of last month would not request it. step forward Paul Agnew and Steve kean, untouchables for those who've seen keans excessive additional and basics salaries and bonuses a cool 3 million a year around top 20 salary in football at the time, did you note the continuous service line in the contract and the length of this? It's important as they both were employee of crescendo way before Venkys even took over or were even reported. They had a crescendo contract. so much has gone on at this club and we might not deserve a sugar daddy owner but we @#/? on my life deserve a fit proper and honest owner and be assured there are many people with fortunes eclipsing jack wanting to get this club back in rightful hands.
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    Jones, Samba, Nelsen, Kalinic, Emerton, Givet, Pedersen, Nzonzi, Olsson, Hoilett, Dann, Cairney, Gestede, King, Olsson, Rhodes, Hanley, Duffy, Marshall, Lowe, Mahoney Can we please stop blaming the players? It isn't greed, it isn't over ambition, it isn't because they don't like Blackburn and get lured away by the bright lights of other places, it nearly always isn't due to league status (the majority moved to clubs in the same league). Its Venkys. The one constant throughout whilst piece by piece the club and squad is downsized, downscaled and downgraded. 18 months ago I couldn't have cared less what Mahoney was doing as he couldn't get near the 1st team because he wasn't good enough. Thanks to their actions the squad has plummeted in ability and we're now getting worked up about Mahoney departing. If they'd have run this place properly he wouldn't even be in the first team squad. Worry not though, because 12 months from now like everyone else to depart he'll be higher than Rovers and we'll have found some other product to advertise around the Leagues in the hope of a quick profit.
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    Dack, Whittingham? Could it be that we are no longer a pantomime?
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    Jason Steele should be playing League 1 football, but lets hope it's not for us.
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    £750k?!? The club spent £250k over the previous 4 transfer windows. There's just no point trying to second guess lunatics is there.
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    The reasons I feel cautiously positive: We've signed 2 free players who look at worst a small upgrade on what we had before, and whose styles look to complement each other. The rumours of Bostock, Dack, and Oztumer came from external sources rather than LET or Rovers. Any of those three would appear a great signing and would require cash, which (imo) adds credence to Mowbray's insistence that we have bids in. I think Mowbray comes across in the Bowyer mold of saying it as it is, and given the above, I think he's telling the truth about cash bids. I'm perfectly aware of what's gone on under Venky's. I'm a regular at WMC meetings, am helping the Rovers Trust, and have taken part in all protests last season, and 2 in the Kean era. However, I'm willing to look at next season in a positive mindset because we OUGHT to be in the playoffs as a minimum imo IF the squad remains as it is.
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    Both my lads have played Football manager for many years, for a short while I was concerned whether they could differentiate between reality and an online game, but it all turned out to be fine. I'd be slightly more concerned for a few on this message board.
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    His brother val will be looking after the women's team
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    From the title I thought you were after a small Venky's out wooden sign for next season Chaddy
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    "Heroes" are firefighters who save lives in burning tower blocks or soldiers who give their lives for others on the battlefield.
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    Happy days! Feeling positive. To save the question being asked by JAL - Key Sports Managment Ltd.
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    7 years on and we still blame players. The bloke is far too good for League 1, he's 31 and wants to play at a higher level- good for him, not greed as he'll be on a bloody good wedge here anyway. And who says that the club are not agitating his move anyway to get him off the wage bill? Look at the root cause!
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    To be fair Theresa May did warn of a coalition of chaos propped up by extremist Irish terrorist sympathisers. She just failed to mention that she'd be the one leading it...
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    13 players on the books and the talk in the paper is of another one leaving. Promotion? Laughable. Cheston must be getting worried that they'll miss out on compo for Mahoney. A few back page headlines over the coming weeks should encourage suitors to come to the table. Once he's out the way they'll get down to the more serious business of shifting Evans and Lenihan. Eyes will be firmly on the prize, more than a million quid to be had there if they play their cards right. A few calls to Telegraph HQ and the project will be underway. Inbetween that we'll have recycled interviews from 5 weeks ago repeating the same old drivel.
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    Wow. 'Them and 'They'. A whole host of people pigeonholed in one foul swoop. I've no doubt you've had bad experiences and I too personally know some Asian people who are beyond rude, ignorant, some actually vile individuals to be honest but like any, that is a segment of that culture. I am also aware of some utterly disgusting white British People, loads in fact. From school there are druggies, thieves, killers, people sent down for sexual offences, conmen, every kind of skank you can imagine. Every fight I've ever had is with a white lad. Every time I have been stolen from has been a white person. Britain has many issues and I can't agree with your blanket approach - but I have MANY Asian male and female friends who are healthcare workers, restaurant workers, teachers, taxi drivers, policemen...pretty much every occupation you can think of and they don't despise me, they are kind, generous, great parents and in my opinion assimilating just fine.
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    It's nonsense to say that the lower leagues are more physically or mentally demanding than the upper ones. They are less demanding, the game is played at a slower pace and mistakes aren't punished like they are higher up. Top teams are where they are because their players are physically and mentally stronger than lower teams, straight fiorward really.
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    Yeah but don't worry. We can't afford them.
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    He's got it. Yeah baby he's got it.
  24. 10 likes
    You make several interesting points for discussion here Stuart. Firstly, let's remember that the club was founded in 1875 as something of a gentleman's club for the wealthier elite of the town. As it became increasingly successful so too did the support for it amongst the general population of the town. At that time you still had to pay a membership fee and with it came possible financial responsibilities. Season tickets were only introduced in the 1890s because so many of the club's supporters didn't want the responsibilities of membership. Since that point it has been owned and run by the larger shareholders. When Jack took over he basically bought out as many of the smaller shareholders as possible. I think the majority of us were happy to sell our shares to Jack as he had a clear vision of where he wanted to take the club. I agree we all want a well run club that is as successful as it can be on the pitch. At the moment it is clearly not well run but I still want it to be successful on the pitch and still enjoy supporting the team at matches. I still feel it is the club I have always supported. Even when I was a shareholder, I still had no real input into how the club was run, just as I don't today. Supporters are the lifeblood of the club and that support is often passed on from generation to generation and in the past, prior to Jack taking over, those who where the major shareholders lived and worked within the town. They were part of the community. In many ways Jack was a bridge between the old style ownership and the modern global ownership. Jack was Blackburn born and bred but success had enabled him to fund the club to a different level than we could ever have hoped to achieve. After Jack's passing, the club became just one element of the Trust's business dealings and once it started to become a drain on the other businesses the Trust looked to sell. It took years to find a buyer and all the prospective candidates were from overseas. Many of our clubs are now becoming part and parcel of an investment portfolio of overseas owners. Sadly, for every Chelsea or Arsenal there is a Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers or Leyton Orient. For me this is still the same club with it's same history and links with past generations. At the moment the present ownership has, for whatever reason, completely destroyed what the club had become. I have no idea why they bought the club and I have no idea why they still want to retain ownership of the club, all I know is that I still believe it to be the same Blackburn Rovers that I first started watching fifty-odd years ago. I still believe that ultimately this period will pass and that Blackburn Rovers will survive the disastrous ownership of the Rao family and will thrive again at some point in the future.
  25. 9 likes
    Was he loved by fans? I thought he flattered to deceive and was completely ineffectual for vast swathes of the time he was here.
  26. 9 likes
    I think most want actions rather than words. Not an unreasonable request considering the amount of nonsense that has come out of the club over the past 7 years. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me... you can't get fooled again.
  27. 9 likes
    I seem to keep repeating this fact recently, so sorry to be so repetitive, but it appears it needs to be clarified once more- we've spent £300,000 on transfers in the last few years and recouped £30 Million via sales of players. As much as I'd love to be proven wrong, Venky's haven't exactly been throwing money around on our first team recently, have they? So, I'm not sure why people think all of a sudden they will do a complete 180 and sufficiently fund a 'promotion push'. Even if they DID fund the squad adequately, don't we all think that's all the more infuriating as, if that had been done in January, we'd arguably have been in a better position to still be in the Championship? If they do, then great, but people aren't being negative for the sake of it, like anything in life, in order to predict the future, they base their predictions on past and recent behaviour and actions. Hence, why a lot of people don't expect the first team to get anywhere near the funding it needs. I like to think it goes without saying that I'd love us to get 100 points and have a great season, but in case it doesn't, I'd love nothing more!
  28. 9 likes
    I would like to send a big thank you to American Rover 12 for delivering the Venkys out flag to my hotel following our short break in New York. We have had some serious fun getting pictures with it at various locations, we had a few telling offs and plenty of odd looks from people from all sorts of backgrounds HOWEVER they are now informed onlookers as to the plight of BRFC and its heinous owners Venkyscum. I am going to try and upload a few shots on here when I can work it out. Got a great response on twitter. Not often you will see a venkys out flag next to the space shuttle, various shots in Madame Tussauds and other places throughout a fantastic City. Thanks AMRover12 you are a true gent and a top bloke.
  29. 9 likes
    I suspect that when Mowbray was brought into the club in February it was done as a short term cheap arrangement. He came in for 15 games to see if he could keep us up, probably on low wages, with no staff coming with him. It was announced as an 18 month deal but I suspect it was really a deal until the end of the season with an option for either party to sever ties if they weren't happy with the arrangement. Unfortunately for Mowbray after what happened at Coventry and then failing (despite an impressive effort) to keep us up, means that his stock is at an all time low and had he left Rovers post relegation he'd have been looking at the Rotherhams and Scunthorpes of this world for his next job. He knows that for the time being at least managing Rovers with a possibility of promotion next season is the best he's going to get. So he was always likely to prefer to stay here as long as he heard what he wanted to hear from the owners. Venkys were always likely to want him to stay. Pasha has probably told them after the Coyle farce that this guy is actually quite popular with the fans and that retaining him rather than rolling the dice on another crackpot appointment is easier for them and will keep a few more fans on side for the time being. They have probably given him a longer deal just to make the arrangement more permanent after the original trial period. As I've said repeatedly, I like Mowbray and think he is honest and a good man and deserves a crack at next season. However I don't trust the owners and its going to take more than a few Mowbray positive comments in the Telegraph to convince me that they have changed their ways. Lets remember that both Kean and Bowyer had good relationships with the owners and praised them in the press yet both found out the hard way in the end. Meanwhile Lambert, Coyle, Berg and Appleton didn't even get to first base of seeing them directly. Mowbray has probably heard good things and with a contract extension on the table is quite happy to hang around and see what happens, safe in the knowledge that he can't really lose from here on. Nobody will really blame him if things go sour next season and if he gets fired will have his 2 years pay off to collect.
  30. 9 likes
    The 875 is almost symbolic of the year we were formed. Well done to all concerned.
  31. 9 likes
    A great effort by Duncan Miller and his supporting team who have put together a campaign on a shoestring budget. 875 votes , with a ballot paper which never said Venkys out is a massive achievement and should not be underestimated. He didn't have the budget to Market like other parties , that being said. I never got a leaflet or a canvasser from any of the main parties. Elmer Fudd or Buzz lightyear could have stood for labour and would of won the town vote, it's a safe labour seat. Beating the liberal democrats was a great result , but this is a big victory in the Venkys out movement. I'm certain had this been a venkys out party as originally attempted then that vote would of been a few thousand higher. Of all the MPS to represent the supporters , Graham Jones still stands head and shoulders above the rest. Having held quite a few meetings with Kate Hollern, I have never felt the same passion from her and she always appears to be going through the motions. I hope Duncan's efforts are taken on board by Kate. As our MP, she has a responsibility to our residents to fight all causes and with the same effort and passion, of other things within her mandate.
  32. 9 likes
    Oh my life. Just because he is against the legislation doesn't mean he is pro terrorisim, for the love of god.
  33. 8 likes
    Chris Brown is looking for a club. A solid 1-in-83 striker.
  34. 8 likes
    I'm putting it down to Balaji has realised he can @#/? off an entire league by buying every single player in League 1 then making Rovers go bump. "Can't get relegated if we're the only team in the league, Madame"
  35. 8 likes
    Mainly making brilliant message board posts and having twitter meltdowns
  36. 8 likes
    So no flaw at all then. Lets all just 'move on'. It's funny when you listen to people who just want to be positive, optimistic, move on, look to the future not the past: they are all putting their faith in the crackpot owners who took us to where we are and remain here - unapologetic, unrepentant. But, let's be positive and assume that Venkys have turned a corner (again); that they are no longer listening to bad advice (again); that the use of SEM clients is a thing of the past (again); that they are backing their choice for manager (again). Just for a second, let's move on... So let's say they buy some decent players on decent wages and we make a charge up the table. Let's say we even get promoted. Well, we are back in the same place (the Championship - of the future, not the past) that they deemed it not worthwhile finding a way to stay in last season. When they get us back, how will they not find themselves in exactly the same predicament? Still the only club "prevented by FFP" from investing further, possibly even prevented from paying their League One wage bill because of the different rules (unless the players have promotion clauses to reduce their wages to ensure FFP compliance ). What actually changes? Will they find ways to circumnavigate FFP rules that they didn't think of, or couldn't be bothered to do, last season? The past is the best way to learn for the future. It may be the past to you now but in reality we are going to have to give them another go at it. But, still, this argument ignores the reality that we have massively reduced the wage bill and are now putting together one or two replacements, with lower quality/experience/ambition - and some fans are lapping it up. Good old Venkys! The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist - Verbal Kint (The Usual Suspects, 1995). Well, actually the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to destroy a football club, take the @#/? out of the fans, drag them through hell, avoid any heat from the authorities (because they chose the most poorly regulated multi billion pound industry in the world), and all the while telling them that they care about the club and remain committed to its future success, and somehow convince the fans into believing them at every point (even to shout down non-believers), whilst delivering abject failure and a miserable matchday experience. (Venkys, 2010-2017)
  37. 8 likes
    Considering that we have looked yards slower than virtually every team we've played for years I can't say I'm too sorry he's gone.
  38. 8 likes
    Yeah but bostock is 71 rated on fifa and dack is 68
  39. 8 likes
    New info on Liam Feeney from my source: Nottingham Forest are interested in signing Liam Feeney from Blackburn Rovers on a short term deal. @Rovers @NFFC https://t.co/WYurcvO97j
  40. 8 likes
    Bennett is a very underrated player. Full of energy, pressing and forward thinking in wanting to get at teams back line. Would be one of the first on the team sheet for me.
  41. 8 likes
    The facts of the summer so far: 1) We've released 12 first team players who between them were taking in the region of £100k a week out of the club 2) We've signed 2 free agents who between them are probably earning about £15k a week 3) The club has therefore managed to shave off about £4 million from the payroll without lifting a finger 4) We're therefore 10 players down on the relegated squad of last season 5) The manager is talking about spending money but it hasn't happened yet. Sounds familiar. 6) The sales are yet to begin. No serious rumours linking any of our players with moves away yet. That isn't being negative. That is reality. Hopefully it changes.
  42. 8 likes
    Sounds like a hatchet man, who's here to get stuck in and battle. No complaints on that front from me, our midfield has been incredibly limp for ages, barely a proper challenge between the lot of them. His actual footballing ability is where he might fall down but I'm guessing his remit will be to get the ball and pass it to Whittingham.
  43. 8 likes
    For all the people complaining about fans whingeing- we're in the third division for the first time in over 30 years, we're in bucket loads of debt and Venky's treat the fans with complete contempt and have sold anything which isn't nailed down which could be worth a damn. The way people criticise fans that complain go on like we are still 10th in the PL. We've every reason to be angry, frustrated and completely despondent because of our owners and to criticise people for the mindset shows ignorance to our plight as far as I'm concerned.
  44. 8 likes
    Very pleased to see the revival and surge of support for Labour. You have to wonder what could have happened if Corbyn hadn't had to fight his own party in recent times. I've woken up this morning quite incredulous at the Conservatives ability to screw things up for this country, mostly driven by self interest. We've had seven years of austerity which has achieved nothing. Cameron promised s referendum to appease his MPs in the belief it would be a remain vote. When things don't go his way Cameron cuts and runs. Surprise, surprise the leading Tories who campaigned for Leave run away at the first opportunity. Next we get a PM who is now proven to be an incompetent liar who is effectively defeated at the first opportunity. Next week Brexit negotiations begin with a defeated, discredited and weak leader of a minority government leading the way. So thanks to the Tories we have austerity, a country woefully lacking in investment, our currency weakening, the economy heading for the toilet, our security forces severely weakened, a minority, toothless government and we are about to walk away from our largest trading market and our geographically closest neighbours. There are people out there who over the last seven years have actually voted for and supported this. Crazy. Totally crazy. I forgot - a world class health service falling apart at the seams through cuts, underfunding and a lack of staff.
  45. 8 likes
    Now you're getting it.
  46. 8 likes
    The Demise of Blackburn Rovers Under Venky's – 2011-2012 Season Part 1 – By Dan Ely Dan Ely (@DE.) continues his look back at the demise of Rovers under Venky’s. We move onto Venky’s first full season incharge of the club. Due to the many events that happened during that season we will be splitting this into a few smaller parts to make it easier reading. So without further-ado part one of the 2011-2012 season. May 2011 to end of August 2011. Blackburn Rovers had ended the 2010-11 season on a relatively high note. Having spent most of the second half of the season desperately battling relegation under new manager Steve Kean, Rovers secured survival on the final day of the campaign, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-2 at Molineux. The final whistle brought huge relief, a light at the end of what had seemed like a long tunnel. Little did Rovers fans know that they were about to enter a much longer, much darker tunnel which would ultimately become the club's sarcophagus. The dust had barely settled on the 2010-11 season before the first piece of bad news hit the club. On 31st May 2011, just nine days after Rovers had secured Premier League survival for another season, Managing Director Tom Finn resigned from his position at the club. It had been heavily rumoured that Finn would vacate his role for some time, particularly after John Williams left the club, but it was still a jarring blow to a fanbase that was still recovering from the previous season's turbulent end. Much like John Williams, Finn was diplomatic upon leaving, saying "The owners are putting in place their plans for how the club is to operate going forward, such as the appointment of Paul Hunt who joins the club this week. I have told Paul that he is joining a special football club that is an integral part of its local community. Blackburn Rovers might not enjoy the fan base of some of its Premier League rivals, but no one should doubt the supporters' passion and commitment to their club. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of that for the past 15 years, have had fantastic support from the staff at Ewood Park and Brockhall and wish the owners and everyone associated with Blackburn Rovers all success in the future." (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/9056794.Finn_leaves_Blackburn_Rovers/) On 8th June, the Lancashire Telegraph reported on Steve Kean's first appearance in court over a drink driving offence from earlier in May. Kean pleaded not guilty, with his defence gearing up to try and prove the Scot had his drink spiked. The LT wrote that the allegation against Kean was that he "registered 65 microgrammes of alcohol in 100millilitres of breath at a roadside test. The legal limit is 35", making him nearly twice the legal limit. Kean was represented by Freemans Solicitors, who the LT noted "specialises in helping celebrities and figures from the sporting world fight motoring offence allegations". Another notable quote appeared when the LT reported: "Kean was asked when the new season started and replied ‘August 22’." - the season actually began on August 13, suggesting that Kean was unaware of when the Premier League was set to begin. As a result his trial was set for 15th August, two days after the first match of the season. (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/9071295.Defence_may_claim_Blackburn_Rovers_manager_s_drink_was_spiked/) On 15th August, Kean would be convicted of drink driving and had his driving license suspended for 18 months, as well as being fined £1,800. Kean had eventually opted to plead guilty, but applied for extenuating circumstances due to the claim that his drink had been spiked. The BBC reported that "Kean admitted drinking two-and-a-half glasses of red wine with Sir Alex Ferguson after the game, and later a bottle of Budweiser at a pub in Blackburn. Mr Harrison [Kean's lawyer] argued that one of his drinks must have been spiked. Rejecting Kean's case, Judge Sanders said: "There is no direct evidence of lacing of drinks or tampering of drinks. There is another possible explanation and that is that he had more to drink than he has admitted today". (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-14526412) Further to the above, the Guardian noted "The 43-year-old initially told the police he had not drunk any alcohol that day", a lie which would undoubtedly have had a bearing on the court's perception of Kean's defence. As Judge Sanders himself said in court: "It is perhaps relevant that when he was stopped by the police and asked whether he had had anything to drink he replied 'no' and that was clearly not true". Despite the public embarrassment suffered by Rovers as a result of this incident, there was no suggestion that this tawdry episode would have any bearing on Kean's position at the club. (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/aug/15/blackburn-steve-kean-drink-driving) Meanwhile, things were getting no better on the transfer front. Phil Jones, Rovers' 19 year-old defensive “wonderkid”, had attracted interest from Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. Jones had only signed a new five year deal in May 2010, but it soon came to light that he had a £16m release clause, and that Man United had triggered this clause. It was then reported that Rovers were kicking up a fuss, with the Daily Mail claiming that "Venky’s believe the clause allows clubs to talk to the 19-year-old if they offer in excess of £16m, but does not force Blackburn to accept the bid". The paper also claimed that Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool met Jones' release clause, but the player opted for Manchester United. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2002336/Blackburn-block-Phil-Jones-transfer-Manchester-United.html) Inevitably, the player got his wish and joined Manchester United. Confusion still reigned over the fee paid, though. The Telegraph reported that "Blackburn are adamant that United were forced to increase their original offer of £16.5 million after the club’s owners, the Venky’s poultry group, sought legal advice to prevent the Old Trafford side signing the player for the value of a release clause inserted into his contract earlier this year", with Steve Kean quoted as claiming "With all the bits and pieces, all the games he will play it will go above £20 million". United, meanwhile, insisted they had paid no more than the £16.5m stipulated in Jones' contract. With Rovers fans concerned by the sale of one of the team's star players, Steve Kean was eager to stress that Rovers had let Jones go reluctantly, telling reporters: "We gave it a real good fight and made a fantastic offer. We offered him the biggest contract in the history of Blackburn to stay here. It was a staggering offer for a 19 year-old but Phil wanted to play Champions League football". Jones, meanwhile, simply stated "I’ve loved my time at Blackburn and I will always be a huge fan". (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/8573889/Manchester-United-celebrate-Phil-Jones-transfer-triumph-but-Blackburn-claim-to-have-secured-inflated-fee.html) The next departure was Andrew Pincher, who had been employed by the club as Secretary for six years. His name might not be well known to the casual fan, but according to the Daily Mail, when contacted by the FA in March 2011 and asked about the running of Rovers: "Andrew Pincher wrote to the FA's head of integrity, David Newton, to disclose the Kentaro contract. Pincher also confided to the FA that Venky's received consultancy services on their takeover from Brunei-based firm Crescendo Sports Limited. He wrote: 'An officer of SEM Limited, Jerome Anderson, has a connection with Crescendo". Pincher was replaced by Everton's assistant secretary Anthony Bloch, who at 27 years old became the youngest secretary in the Premier League. (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/9111975.Blackburn_Rovers_get_a_new_kid_on_the_Bloch/) (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4480682/Who-guilty-trashing-historic-club-like-Blackburn.html) The steady exodus of backroom staff continued throughout July. Academy doctor Chris Mowbray, club doctor Phil Batty and club physio Adrian Lamb all left the club before the month was over. Towards the end of July, Rovers appointed former army medic Duncan Robertson as new club doctor. Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, Robertson said "I turned down a couple of job offers just to come for the interview here, that’s how important this opportunity was to me. My career journey has taught me that it is always the quality of the people you work with which I value most, not the fanciness of any surroundings – and I know I am joining a great and highly-respected team. After everything that went on at Aston Villa, I knew I wanted to give it another shot, and I am confident that it’s going to be a very different kettle of fish here at Rovers, working with Steve Kean". (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/9168359.Blackburn_Rovers_appoint_new_club_doctor/) On the 28th July Rovers found themselves being laughed at once again by the footballing world. Venky's enlisted the players to star in a cringeworthy advert for their chicken franchise, with the likes of David Dunn, Ryan Nelsen, Michel Salgado, Morten Gamst Pedersen and Jason Roberts appearing in this brief clip. At a time when the club were already considered a joke for their handling of Sam Allardyce's sacking, Steve Kean's continued employment, various ridiculous statements and the general chaos surrounding the club, this did nothing to change perceptions. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYwf2SBWa5o) As far as transfers were concerned, there was little activity during this period. Various players would leave the club due to contracts ending. Zurab Khizanishvili, Jason Brown, Michael Potts, Maceo Rigters, Toni Vastic, Benjani and Aaron Doran all left the club in July. Either for minimal fees or simply released. The Sunday People, however, reported that Steve Kean had a "£50M warchest" at his disposal stating "Steve Kean is ready to launch the biggest Blackburn transfer spree since the moneybags days of Jack Walker – and sign SIX top ­targets". The paper then went on to link Rovers with an incredible amount of players, including Robbie Keane, Papiss Cisse, Pablo Piatti, Jose Rondon, Miranda, Marko Marin, Alexander Anyukov and former loanee Jermaine Jones. The paper also claimed Rovers had sealed a deal for 16 year-old Paraguayan starlet Rodrigo Baez. None of these players would make the move to Ewood Park. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/blackburn-set-to-splash-50m-on-summer-1698580) The People's article also claimed that Venky's "‘man in Brazil’, Joao Souza, has been at Ewood Park to help land ­players". This would not be the last time that Souza, who according to the Independent was "manager of their Brazilian division, Venky's do Brasil Ltda", would be linked to transfers at Rovers. At no point would he appear to have any major influence on incoming transfers, but it was concerning that, a man seemingly completely inexperienced in English football (or football at any serious level) was being consulted on transfer policy. As July came and went without any signings being announced, Rovers' fans began to fear the worst. Kean had said just before the final match of the previous season "It was important to know what type of budget we had and it's very healthy. The wage bill won't be cut, there will be funds available. It's a very competitive budget. Miles bigger than Rovers have had in the past. It was all positive and most enlightening for me to hear what they want to do next season and the season after" - but these quotes were beginning to look like little more than hot air. (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/revealed-how-blackburn-have-collapsed-into-chaos-6291478.html) (http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/kean-blackburn-set-see-biggest-transfer-budget-ever-1645931) In the midst of what appeared to be rather sensational reporting, Andy Cryer at the Lancashire Telegraph cautioned on 8th July "Fiction can easily be turned into fact at this time of the summer, as the national tabloids feed on the fans’ hunger for transfer activity by linking every player under the sun with a move to their club. What has to be remembered is not all these players are targets, have never been targets and probably never will be targets". Cryer bucked against the concerns of the fans by suggesting that the club were just "biding their time", and that "there is still more than a month remaining for Rovers to get their squad sorted. A major shake up isn’t needed, just a few additions here and there." (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/9129345.Blackburn_Rovers_blog__No_need_to_panic_yet_in_silly_season/?commentSort=score) However, as July came to a close, Rovers appeared no closer to signing anybody. The Guardian posted an article on 26th July, quoting Steve Kean as saying: "We'll be spending. We've got a very good budget and we're looking to recruit and strengthen in areas where we've seen we have to improve from last season. It's no secret that we're looking for a striker, and we lost Jermaine, who went back to Schalke, as well so we're trying to get a central midfielder in. And we need a centre-half to replace Phil Jones. We have a fixed budget to spend but it's one that is competitive which will bring in players of good quality." Kean continued: "The owners and the fans should be excited about what we're doing here. Trying to deliver European football in three or four years for this club is achievable. We're not going to say we'll get it next year but, if we can get a foothold in the top half of the table, that's a realistic goal". The Guardian noted that "Kean must convince his current key players to remain at the club if progress is to be made", quoting the manager as claiming "Any time we have a bid accepted for a player and we can get in front of them and speak to them, we can get across how exciting a period this is for the club. Sure, it's difficult recruiting players who are at clubs already playing European football, who are used to playing at that level, but if we can take them from different leagues or areas of the world and show them what we're trying to do, we're not a hard sell." (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/jul/26/blackburn-rovers-champions-league) In an opinion piece, again posted by the Guardian just a day afterwards, journalist Paul Wilson reflected that "Kean was responding to questions at a press conference, not posting a mission statement on the club website, but even so it is unusual to see a Premier League club go about its transfer business in that way. Most clubs and most managers prefer to do the business first and the talk later. Presumably Kean was seeking to reassure Blackburn fans that the club is not content merely to supply others but has some ambitions of its own, but if ever there was a case of actions speaking louder than words, the modern way of doing summer transfer business is the area to watch. When you have let more than half the window go past with no signings, just departures, it hardly strikes the necessary confident note when you speak, from a distant country, of signings you are still hopeful of making and areas in which you would like to strengthen. "This is not to say that Venky's, the club's owner, is keeping a damagingly tight control of Kean's budget, or that Rovers will not astound the world in August with a quartet of nifty captures that no one saw coming, but at the moment it does not look like that and time is beginning to slip away. In an ideal world Kean would like to make a statement signing, and present it as a fait accompli. Not Ronaldinho or David Beckham, or any of the other daft marquee projects with which the club has been loosely linked, just a building block such as Shaun Wright-Phillips or Matt Jarvis. At the moment Rovers look as if they will have another season of struggle and good players are leaving rather than joining, so the club will always find it hard to sell itself to targets who may prefer to join someone more obviously upwardly mobile. Kean is talking of a top-half finish, though that ambition is patently at odds with what has happened so far in the window." (https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2011/jul/27/steve-kean-blackburn) As Kean spoke of grand targets, the club were facing a fight to keep talismanic captain Chris Samba. The Congo international had made it clear when Sam Allardyce had been sacked that he had wanted to leave, and he continued to push for a move during the summer of 2011. With reputed interest from Arsenal, Samba told Sky Sports in June: "For four-and-a-half years I have been at Blackburn and fought against relegation. If a good opportunity presents itself, I want to take it. I hope the club will understand if I want to make the step up and not prevent a deal". Having just sold Phil Jones and yet to make a single signing, this was not good for the club. (http://m.goal.com/c/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/06/23/2544502/arsenal-target-christopher-samba-urges-blackburn-rovers-to-allow-) According to goal.com, Anuradha Desai was aware of Samba's ambitions, but had told the Daily Mail: "We don't want to let Chris go. I'm confident that we can keep him and I hope he'll stay. I know he has an ambition to play for Arsenal but I hope we can keep him for another year at least and prove our own ambition". The article also stated that Venky's had considered legal action over Manchester United's signing of Phil Jones, but had ultimately decided against it because, according to Desai, "we concluded that the person who would be most damaged by a delay and legal action was Phil. That wasn't fair on him. We wish Phil well". Samba would ultimately not leave Rovers in the summer window, but this difficult situation would rear its head again in January. (http://m.goal.com/c/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/06/18/2538083/chris-samba-has-arsenal-ambition-but-we-hope-to-keep-him-at) One player who had succeeded on getting a move was misfit striker Nikola Kalinic. The Mirror reported on the 26th July that Kalinic had been spotted in Croatia, suggesting that "The Croatian refused to fly with Rovers to the Asia Cup, as Mirror Sport revealed, and he also spurned Steve Kean’s attempt to bring him to Hong Kong for today’s Aston Villa game". Kalinic had been frustrated towards the end of the previous season as Kean froze him out of the squad, and from that point onwrads his departure seemed an inevitability. The Mirror noted that "Rovers are still holding out for £8million, but look set to agree a compromise figure to let the striker go and give boss Kean funds for a couple of signings". Kalinic would eventually sign for Dnipro on the 11th August 2011 for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £6m. (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/blackburn-nikola-kalinic-ukraine-tie-3324696) (http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1659386.html) Rovers finally made their first signing of the transfer window, bringing in Scottish international striker David Goodwillie from Dundee United. The fee was reported by the BBC to be "£2m plus £800,000 in potential add-ons", with Rovers having outbid Rangers to get their man. Goodwillie had been voted young player of the year in the previous Scottish Premier League season, and on the surface appeared to be a decent if not spectacular signing. Steve Kean would later invite ridicule, however, by telling journalists "David has always been put on a parallel with a young Wayne Rooney and you can see that when you see him play. He can score all types of goals, not just nice build ups and a tap in. He can create a goal for himself, score from outside the box, he can chip them in, pass them in, smash them in. We don’t mind how they go in because that is what we need at the club, a natural finisher, and that is something he is." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14344125) (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/08/11/2615899/blackburn-rovers-boss-steve-kean-likens-new-signing-david) Rovers' second signing of the summer was confirmed soon afterwards. On the 9th August it was confirmed that 22 year-old Serbian international midfielder Radosav Petrovic had joined the club on a four year deal from Partizan Belgrade. Steve Kean was quoted as saying: "Many European clubs were interested and we consider signing him a major coup. His record to date speaks for itself and he is exactly the sort of player we have been looking to recruit". The BBC noted that "Blackburn face a race against time to make sure Petrovic is eligible for Saturday's Premier League opener against Wolves at home", which was just four days away. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14465746) As the first team squad continued to change, so too did staff behind-the-scenes. Martin Goodman, a Rovers director and Company Secretary, resigned from the club in early August. The Business Desk, running an article on the story, noted that "Goodman’s departure means the only director remaining from the Walker-era board is ex-chairman Robert Coar", referencing the departures of John Williams, Tom Finn and Richard Mathewman - the son-in-law of Jack Walker, who had stepped down from a non-executive director role in June. (http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/205276-blackburn-rovers-loses-finance-director) With Crown Paints having decided to end their relationship with Rovers' the previous season, it wasn't until the 11th August 2011 - two days before the Premier League began - that Rovers announced a replacement. The Princes' Trust charity were to be sponsors for the season, meaning that the club would not get a penny from primary shirt sponsorship. Balaji Rao commented on this, saying "Helping young people is very much at the forefront of our community work in India and this partnership is a perfect way for us to support charities and worthy causes through football over here". Whilst on the surface this seemed like a generous and worthy gesture, supporters couldn't help but wonder if the club was already so toxic that no serious company would pay money to appear on Rovers' shirts. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-14487796) It was reported on the 10th August that Rovers were set to appoint Simon Hunt as Sporting Director. Hunt was a former player who had spent most of his career in Sweden. After retiring he held primarily scouting roles at various clubs, and had a brief stint as Sporting Director at West Brom. The Mirror reported that Hunt was at the club to "help out manager Steve Kean" and noted that he was "a close ally of George Burley". (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/blackburn-appoint-simon-hunt-director-3318866) The day of the opening Premier League match of the season, Rovers would make another signing. Secured by Venky's "man in Brazil", 28 year-old right-back Bruno Ribeiro signed for the club on a free transfer. Ribeiro, who had never been capped by his country, had spent his entire career in Brazil and both the decision to grant him a work permit and a three year contract baffled Rovers' fans. Kean would once again display his penchant for making ridiculous comparisons when he told reporters just before the signing was officially announced "Bruno, or Denis after Denis Irwin the boys call him because he never gives the ball away, will fill in that position and that is great for us". Ribeiro would not be seen again for the entirely of the 2011/12 campaign. (http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11676/7095244/rovers-seal-ribeiro-deal) (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2023745/Steve-Kean-delighted-Bruno-Ribeiro.html) The bizarre budget signing of Ribeiro made a little more sense when an article published by the Guardian on the 11th August stated that Steve Kean's transfer budget "may have diminished due to a restructuring of the club's debt". Kean was quoted as saying "the actual money that is available I don't know because the banks are involved in that and there is a restructuring taking place on the debt at the club. There are more qualified people than me at the club to answer that". It was a significant climb-down from earlier comments he had made, claiming Rovers would have the biggest transfer budget ever seen in the club's history. Nonetheless, Kean set a rather optimistic target for the season, telling reporters: "We want to be in the top half of the table this season, two good cup runs and to assemble a squad capable of pursuing all three targets." (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/aug/11/steve-kean-blackburn-rovers) Finally, after a lot of off-field nonsense, the first day of the Premier League season began. Just over 21,000 supporters turned up at Ewood Park to watch the opening game of Rovers' season - against Wolverhampton Wanderers, the team they had beaten on the final day of the previous season to ensure survival. Rovers had been hit with defensive injuries - Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen were never in contention to play this match, but on the eve of the game Gael Givet suddenly fell ill and was not available for selection either. With Phil Jones now plying his trade at Manchester United, and no money as of yet spent on a replacement, Rovers lined up with midfielder Steven N'Zonzi and 19 year-old central defensive youth prospect Grant Hanley at the heart of their defence. Of the 18 players that had been a part of the match day squad in the final game of the previous season, only 10 were available for selection in the first match of the 2011-12 campaign. Chris Samba and Gael Givet were out due to injury and illness respectively. Phil Jones had been sold to Manchester United. Jermaine Jones and Roque Santa Cruz had returned to their parent clubs. Keith Andrews had been loaned out, whilst El-Hadji Diouf had been frozen out and would soon be released. This match also saw the much-anticipated debut of the man Steve Kean had dubbed "a young Batistuta" - Mauro Formica. The Argentine briefly lived up to that comparison by opening the scoring on twenty minutes. That was as good as it got, though. Wolves equalised within two minutes and scored again on 47 minutes to sink Rovers. Not even the introduction of "young Wayne Rooney" David Goodwillie could rescue a point for Rovers. After the match, Steve Kean bemoaned his squad depth, stating "11 players have left the club and we've had three in. We need to strengthen in different areas and make sure we have a competitive squad." (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14429636) Not long after this, Rovers were once again back in the transfer headlines. On the 16th August 2011 it was announced that the club had put an official bid in for legendary 34 year-old Spanish striker Raul, who was under contract at German club Schalke - reportedly on a £100k per week contract. It fitted Venky's vision of a marquee signing - high wages and past their prime - but this one actually had a degree of validity to it, due to Raul's former Real Madrid team-mate Michel Salgado being employed by Rovers at the time. Nonetheless, it took Raul less than a day to decide against the move. Schalke's general manager, Horst Heldt, stated rather bluntly that "Raul does not want to go to Blackburn". (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14548198) Bizarrely, Kean had a different take on things, claiming "We had the funds in place to make the transfer happen and we knew what it would cost. We were willing to pay it and Raúl was desperate to come, but he’s under contract at Schalke. We got the feeling speaking to Michel that he fancies it, though. We had the impression it was do-able, but we just needed the final piece, that Schalke would let him go. We thought they would, but we got a strong fax back from them saying he wasn’t available at any price. He was anxious to give us a go and we were delighted with that. We felt it would fall into place and we were told that he was disappointed not to come". Nonetheless, Kean insisted "The big name will happen. We’ll be making funding available and we’ll be willing to get the players who demand these kind of salaries". (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/blackburn-rovers/8709622/Blackburn-Rovers-manager-Steve-Kean-says-he-is-determined-to-sign-desperate-Schalke-striker-Raul.html) Seven days after being beaten at home by Wolves, Rovers again found themselves coming away from a match with zero points. A resounding 3-1 away defeat to Aston Villa suggested that without reinforcements Rovers were in for a very difficult season. After the match, Kean told the BBC: "I thought we started the game positive. Then we found ourselves 2-0 down. We were in Villa's box 36 times, the same as they were in ours. There was nothing in the game," adding at the end of the interview that "I'm sure that by the end of the window we'll have a competitive squad", essentially admitting that Rovers had gone into the season without a team capable of competing. The BBC had a distinctly different take on the match, with their analysis stating: "Frankly over the course of the match Blackburn didn't do enough. I think if Steve Kean cannot be given the resources to strengthen before deadline day then they may struggle this season". (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14514645) Three days later, attacking midfielder Simon Vukcevic was signed from Sporting Lisbon for an undisclosed fee, believed to have been in the £2m range. Vukcevic was given a three year deal. Steve Kean commented: "He is an exciting player who can play wide on either side. As a character, when you meet him, he is a very focused guy – takes his football very seriously. He likes to take people on, to be the guy who makes a difference, a bit of a match-winner. He is a very good player with lots of international games for a country in the top 20, so he has performed at that level at a consistent basis. He will give us a different dimension. if you can get the ball out wide to him and he can isolate a full-back, then it will be hard for anyone to stop him when he is on the run. That's exactly the type of player we have been after." Another player Kean confirmed that Rovers were interested in was George John, a defender who played in the MLS for FC Dallas. The fee was reported to have been around £1.2m, with Kean telling reporters: "All the paperwork with the MLS has been agreed, the player has travelled to Greece to get his passport, and hopefully he will be in the country either tonight or tomorrow". This strange transfer never happened, with FC Dallas releasing a statement to confirm the deal had broken down: "Blackburn had significant interest in acquiring George; however, for the time being, they decided not to finalize the deal". (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/aug/23/blackburn-sporting-lisbon-simon-vukcevic) (https://www.mlssoccer.com/post/2011/08/28/fcd-defender-george-johns-move-blackburn-called) The final match of August saw Rovers lose their third match in a row, going down 1-0 at Ewood Park to a controversial last minute penalty against Everton. Incredibly, Rovers contrived to miss two penalties before Mikel Arteta converted Everton's spot kick. Hoilett's first penalty in the 46th minute was saved by Tim Howard, whilst Mauro Formica hit the post with his penalty on the 77th minute. Chris Samba and Gael Givet returning to the first team, meanwhile, was tempered by early injuries to David Dunn and Morten Gamst Pedersen. This defeat consigned Rovers to their worst start to a league campaign in sixty years. This would be Brett Emerton's last match for the club, after eight seasons of service. The 32 year-old's contract was mutually terminated a year early so that he could join hometown club Sydney FC. It was a difficult decision for fans to understand, especially considering how thin the squad already was. Australia's The Age noted that Emerton was "the first player to exchange the English Premier League for the A-League", and claimed that "Emerton has been contemplating a move to the A-League for more than 12 months and a deal could have been struck before now if Blackburn Rovers had not avoided relegation on the final day of last season." (http://www.theage.com.au/sport/soccer/history-as-emerton-swaps-epl-for-sydney-20110824-1ja9v.html#ixzz1VxHi9tg4) After the Everton match, Kean was in damage control mode. The Guardian wrote: "Steve Kean's fondness for a flattering figure is a constant in his rhetoric. For a manager who averages under a point a game, has won two league games since January and has overseen his club's poorest start to a season since Clement Attlee occupied 10 Downing Street, it can require a selective and imaginative interpretation of the facts. "I look at the stats from a half-full point of view," he said, citing 21 attempts at the Everton goal and, improbably, 60 penalty‑box entries – something that Barcelona may struggle to accomplish – before reluctantly accepting that not since 1951 had Rovers begun so badly. "If it's our worst start in 60 years then stats don't lie," Kean said. "But when you're dominating games and missing penalties, I don't know if we could have done any more." The facetious response would have involved the word "score". "Summer signing [David Goodwillie] hit the bar. David Dunn, too, had struck wood, with Kean making the strange suggestion that, if the grass had more zip, the midfielder would have scored, rather than clipped the post. Two spurned spot-kicks provided an example of the blend of misfortune and mistakes that may sum up Kean's tenure. For him, it amounted to another hard‑luck story. "There were very few deciding factors in the Wolves game, in the Villa game we dominated in the second half. We dominated the whole of this one," he said. And while Rovers were in the ascendant in a second period that culminated in Mikel Arteta pilfering the points for Everton with the game's third and most dubious penalty, his judgments jar with those of onlookers; no one controlled a dire first half. Such analysis can be branded one-eyed." (https://www.theguardian.com/football/2011/aug/28/steve-kean-blackburn) Kean's positive spin was already being derided in the media, but was usually accompanied by the admission that he required backing from the owners if he was going to have any chance of keeping the club in the Premier League. Rovers' threadbare squad badly needed additions, but the club only managed two significant additions on transfer deadline day. Scott Dann arrived from recently relegated Birmingham City as the answer to Phil Jones' departure. This was arguably the first permanent transfer of the Venky's era that actually made some sense. Dann was considered a good defender, despite Birmingham's relegation, was only 24 years old and had experience of the Premier League. Rovers left it extremely late, but the deal was done for a reported £6m which could potentially rise to £7.5m with add-ons. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14740455) Dann commented: "I heard of Blackburn's interest a couple of days ago and it has all happened quickly and I was delighted to get it all sorted last night. From a personal point of view I would have liked it to have been done sooner so I could have got straight in with my new team-mates but it hasn't worked out that way". He also somewhat bizarrely said "with the new owners (Venky’s) it’s a good time to come to the club", a sentiment which would not have been echoed by many supporters. His new manager Steve Kean was delighted with the transfer, calling Dann "a fantastic leader and a top player". (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/14762935) Rovers' other "big" signing on deadline day was Everton striker Yakubu, who joined the club for a fee of around £1.5m. In truth this was somewhat of a let down for the supporters, who had seen the club linked strongly with the likes of Vedad Ibisevic and Mounir El Hamdaoui. Rather than playing in top European leagues, Yakubu had spent the previous half of the previous season playing with Leicester City in the Championship. The man known as "the Yak" had a decent Premier League scoring record but it left fans feeling a sense of caution rather that disappointment with the transfer window. The club had signed a number of players who had the potential to become stars but apart Yakubu the majority of players signed had little or no experience of the Premier League. With youngster Jordan Slew also joining Rovers for £1m on deadline day, Rovers had brought Myles Anderson, David Goodwillie, Radosav Petrovic, Simon Vukcevic, Yakubu, Scott Dann and Jordan Slew to the club during the summer for a combined cost of around £15m. Meanwhile Zurab Khizanishvili, Jason Brown, Phil Jones, Maceo Rigters, Toni Vastic, Benjani, Aaron Doran, Nikola Kalinic, Brett Emerton and El-Hadji Diouf had been sold or released, making Rovers around £21m in transfer fees. Rovers' outlay in this transfer window was almost certainly in negative figures, just as it had been under the Trust. Nonetheless, Steve Kean told reporters that he was delighted with the business he had done during the transfer window, quoted by the Lancashire Telegraph as saying: "I think I’ve always said judge us at the end of the window. It was slow trying to get quality in but we’ve done that. I’m delighted for the owners and the fans that we could assemble a squad as strong as we have. I think the transfer window has been very good, very positive. There was always speculation that some of our quality was going to be leaving the club. That’s not happened, we’ve managed to keep the majority of the squad together and we’ve managed to add lots of quality on the last day – and the other business earlier in the window has all been excellent. Scott (Dann), Yakubu, Goodwillie, Petrovic, Vukcevic, we’ve made some marvellous signings. We’ve got another couple of young ones, Myles Anderson and the young lad from Sheffield (Slew). These are ones that will be for the future." Kean insisted that now was the time to judge his Rovers team, continuing: "When you look at the first couple of games it was difficult because we had most of our defenders injured. Starting now I think we can genuinely put a team on the pitch with people that are fit and ready to really hit the ground running. I do think we should have the points on the board. If we play as well as we did against Everton, together with the additions we’ve now got and the lads coming back from injury, then I think we’ll be climbing the table very, very soon." (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/9229678.You_can_judge_us_now__says_Kean/) Whilst Kean was talking positive, the mood across Rovers' fanbase was growing increasingly negative. Having watched Kean nearly relegate them the season before, Rovers' fans felt that a return of zero points from the first nine available signalled that Kean had not learnt from the previous season and was actually worsening the team as time went by. Although some still said Kean needed time, plenty were now of the opinion that Kean needed to leave if Rovers were to have any chance of survival. In August an open letter had been sent to Venky's pleading for change. When this was ignored, the national press picked up and printed the story. On the 8th September 2011, Henry Winter of the Telegraph wrote: "How much the fans’ letter represents the majority view is unclear, although the sounds of dissatisfaction at Ewood have been heard. Blackburn fans are not known for any militancy and clearly Venky’s have many questions to answer about the operation of the team and club". The letter itself included the following: "The fans were willing to give Steve Kean a chance and were very open-minded about an appointment of a very inexperienced manager, somebody who had never managed a professional football team in his life. The sense that any game was winnable under Mark Hughes has been replaced by the sense of expecting defeat against any team either home or away that now exists under Kean. There are odd team line-ups where under-performing players such as Jason Roberts and Michel Salgado continue to play whereas goalscorers Mauro Formica and David Goodwillie drop to the bench. A very real fear for the future is now setting on Rovers fans. Numbers speak louder than words. More than 1,000 season tickets down on last season? There is a growing frustration that the fans don’t believe they have been listened to by the owners. As you can tell, we are passionate football fans. We love our club. Some fans are angry, some are depressed about the current situation and some are desperate for change. Listen to our words, our chants, our unhappiness." (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/blackburn-rovers/8751015/Blackburn-Rovers-fans-urge-Venkys-to-listen-to-their-dissatisfied-voices-in-open-letter.html) In response to this letter, Steve Kean reacted nonchalantly, telling the press: "It doesn’t make me feel bad at all, I’ve got a great relationship with the owners. I think if you actually speak with the fans, the way we’re playing I don’t think we could have done too much more in the last game. I think maybe there’s a minority of the fans who are frustrated. The top half is certainly achievable. One win takes you halfway up the table." The LT noted that "A YouGov survey has also revealed this week that 81 per cent of Rovers supporters polled would like the club to have a new boss", but Kean was again undeterred, saying "I can understand people’s frustrations with results. We’re three games in and we don’t have any points on the board. I’m frustrated myself that we’ve not got at least four points. But we’ve now got our squad. Now I think our season certainly starts but that’s not because we’ve not got any points, that’s because this is our group and our group is a strong group. I honestly think the squad’s stronger than it was last year." Kean confirmed that he was happy with the summer's transfer business, claiming he had been backed by the owners and that to spend "in excess of £10m" proved that Venky's were behind him. There was also a suggestion that Venky's were going to be at games more often, with the LT confirming they were more able to travel locally "after buying Gary Neville’s house near Bolton", a purchase which was rumoured to have cost them around £5m. (http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/9243897.Kean__I_ll_win_over_Blackburn_Rovers_fans_with_new_look_team/) Another issue facing Kean was the expiring contract of Junior Hoilett. The young winger had been one of very few players to shine under Kean, scoring vital goals and terrorising opposition defences with his pace and direct play. On the 10th September Kean told the media that Hoilett's new deal "will be done in the next couple of days", claiming that "there are only a couple of little technicalities in it, the broad base of it’s agreed. That took quite a while to get there but the boy seems happy and we just want to get it put to bed and get him focused now." Nine days later, with Hoilett still yet to sign a new contract, Kean again reiterated that "We are getting there very slowly. I believe the term has been agreed and his base salary has been agreed. It is the smaller detail which can be slow but the main things have been agreed". Despite Kean's constant assurances that Hoilett would sign a new deal, this would continue to rumble on well into 2012 with no resolution in sight. (http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2011/09/19/2672984/blackburn-rovers-boss-steve-kean-confident-that-junior) Part 2 will look at what happened between September and December of the 2011-2012 season. View full article
  47. 8 likes
    I remember the games against Middlesbrough and Fulham at home around February/March last year. I saw signs in those games that we were starting to play his way and had an identity which hadn't been seen on Ewood for years. Middlesbrough were top of the league and we beat them, Fulham were in a similar position to us and we crushed them. Jokanovic was still learning the ropes at Fulham and sorting things out, they survived by the skin of their teeth and a year later finished top 6 playing the best football in the league. Goes to show that things can change very quickly once a decent manager has had time and a summer to sort things out if the club is run properly. No reason to think that if we had been run properly we couldn't have done the same under Lambert as Fulham did. He had us way ahead of Fulham last season despite a similar amount of time at the helm.
  48. 8 likes
    The stick Lambert gets is incredible. The mind boggles. Can't work out what the agenda against him is. I thought it was the Celtic link but Mowbray has that badge. I still think a lot of fans are sore that Bowyer's open door policy down at Ewood wasn't as accessible and Lambert put some noses out of joint. Some of the photos I saw on Facebook were nothing short of amateurish. Wifh every other manager they need time to get their own players in to be judged. All Lambert had to work with was to try to change the holiday camp losing mentality. Bowyer had umpteen windows and was still talked about as "he needed more time".
  49. 7 likes
    I disagree with this. Mowbray was spot on when he said Mahoney should become a cult hero for his home town team, get 50 games under his belt etc. Never in a million years will he feature regularly in the premier league (at this moment in time). At this stage in his career he needs regular football. Elliot Bennett has just tweeted that the signing of Dack is a real statement of intent and that's the attitude I want to hear from Rovers players. Unless, and wishful thinking on my part, Bournemouth plan to loan him back to us? Like Utd did when they bought Saha from Palace. May explain the recent cryptic instagram post?
  50. 7 likes
    Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck! 12:43 PM - 4 Jun 2017 If they'd had ten minutes of firing guns into packed pubs the death toll would have been hundreds, you thick tw@t.