In the aftermath of relegation there have been a number of developments over the last 24 hours.
Rovers director of football Paul Senior resigned yesterday. The reason for his resignation was not disclosed.
A statement allegedly written by the owners (which also bears striking similarities to one that was released in 2014) was published on the official website. The statement described relegation as a “temporary setback”, “shared the hurt of fans”, backed manager Tony Mowbray and vowed to turn things around. The statement did not contain any commitments about providing financial support to the manager.
Rovers player of the year Derrick Williams told the official website that the club was not able to recover from the poor start to the season "We shot ourselves in the foot too many times during the season so it is just gutting really. "I think our form lately shows that we are a much better team and we should be higher. But at the start of the season we just weren't good enough. "It was our fault, you can't expect other teams to pull us out, you have to do it yourselves and we didn't do that."
There is has been plenty of reaction from both Rovers and none Rovers fans to the club getting relegated to League 1:
Lancashire Telegraph on Fans Reactions: http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/15270524.Communicate__invest_or_go_call_to_Venkys_from_politicians_and_fans_after_Blackburn_Rovers_are_relegated_to_League_One/
Excellent piece on the Blue Eyed Boy blog: https://blueyedboy.wordpress.com/2017/05/07/grotesque-the-frightening-and-not-so-wonderful-world-of-rovers-fall/
Another excellent piece on The Marple Leaf Blog: http://www.themarpleleaf.co.uk/2017/05/the-precise-moment-when-i-realised-my.html
Selected Twitter reaction from Rovers fans: https://www.footballfancast.com/social-media/twitter/blackburn-fans-distraught-as-they-suffer-relegation-to-league-one
A (bitter) Burnley Fan Perspective: http://www.uptheclarets.com/me-and-blackburn-rovers
Twitter Reaction from Bolton Fans: https://www.footballfancast.com/social-media/twitter/bolton-fans-taunt-local-rivals-blackburn-as-they-suffer-relegation
In the immediate aftermath of relegation to League 1, Rovers manager Tony Mowbray cast doubt on whether he would remain at the club. At his after match press conference Mowbray said ““I will have some talks in the next week or two with the people who matter at this football club,”
“Whether the journey for me continues or not. Let’s see. If it does, I can only see it being really strong if we can keep the right players.
“We will see how the summer goes.”
Rovers dropped into League 1 after a dramatic last day of the season. Despite winning 3-1 at Brentford, wins for Forest and Birmingham saw Rovers relegated on goal difference. Reports have suggested that key decisions about staff both on the playing and none playing side will be made over the next couple of weeks as the club faces up to playing in the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years.
Ahead of the season finale at Brentford, Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has said that his squad will be “fully ready and prepared for Brentford”. Rovers head into the final match of the season facing a final day relegation battle with Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.
Talking to the Lancashire Telegraph Mowbray said “We will be fully ready and prepared for Brentford, We are at least taking it to the last day. The worst case scenario on Saturday was that we lost, everyone else won, and it was finished, it would have been a terrible week. We now have this week to really build it up, get the players at their peak and maximum fitness, mentality and quality and really build up to this game as a cup final.”
Brentford’s recent home form has been very good having win their last 4 homes games which included impressive wins against Derby (4-0) and play off hopeful Leeds (2-0). Mowbray knows that even a victory might not be enough but he wants his team to win and put the pressure on their relegation rivals “If we go to Brentford and win, it might not be enough, but we have to put that doubt in everyone’s mind.
“I believe quite strongly in this group of players and that we can go there and make life really difficult for a team who are strong at home.
“But recently we have won at Nottingham Forest, been to Wolves and drew 0-0, so we will go to Brentford looking to keep things tight, nick a goal, and hopefully win the match.”
Rovers announced yesterday that they had sold out of their initial 1600 allocation for the game. The game will kick on at 12pm on Sunday and will be televised live on Sky Sports Mix.
After Rovers defeat away to Barnsley, in a move that saw many fans asking if he'd been drinking the same Kool-aid as convicted drink driver and not-a-dog owner Steve Kean, Coyle claimed "[a] group of fans have got their own agendas".
However, we can now reveal that he was correct as the Agenda for todays game at Huddersfield has been circulated. (all credit to @ianherbert on twitter)
The four leading fans groups of Blackburn Rovers have joined forces creating a call to action under the banner ‘We Are Rovers’ dedicated to pressuring the owners to sell the club.
The formation of a unity organisation bringing together many of the main supporter groups – the Rovers Trust, Blackburn Rovers Football Community Action Group (BRFCAG), Ewood Blues and BRFCS.com – follows a successful, packed public meeting in Blackburn last week where fans called for united action.
We Are Rovers does not claim to represent all Rovers supporters and does not constitute a task force or other unelected body.
We will be organising campaigns which will be open and inclusive to anyone who wishes to participate in them.
Rovers legend Simon Garner has agreed to be the supporters’ ambassador and will act as a spokesman for We Are Rovers.
We Are Rovers has two core objectives:
to seek to encourage the current owners to put the club up for sale
to collectively work with new owners on ways of re-engaging supporters and re-establishing Blackburn Rovers as a club at the heart of its community
We Are Rovers will campaign everywhere to highlight the disastrous ownership of Blackburn Rovers by the Rao family, based in Pune in India.
Respectful, peaceful and professional protests will take place at Ewood Park on selected matchdays alongside a high profile PR campaign against the Venky’s, the company which ultimately owns Rovers, in its backyard in Pune.
We Are Rovers has been formed after the Rovers Trust balloted members to ask for a significant change in its approach – from seeking meaningful dialogue with the owners to help them understand Rovers and the supporters better, to a demand they put the club up for immediate public sale.
Members agreed with a 97% mandate. BRFCAG followed up with a similar ballot of members to back the Trust and this was also close to unanimous.
Simon Garner, Blackburn Rovers’ all-time record goal scorer, said: “I have supported Rovers fans in their efforts to take back control of the club for five years and the We Are Rovers initiative is a very welcome step up in the fight to change ownership.
“Like most fans, I have had to watch appalled at what has happened to Blackburn Rovers. Equally bad is the impact terrible ownership has had on the team, the community and on the supporters.
“I will be fully behind We Are Rovers as we seek to further highlight the actions that have brought our once proud club to its knees.
“For the sake of everyone concerned about this famous old club, we need the Rao family to hear the message in Blackburn and in India: Do the decent thing and sell Blackburn Rovers now!”
As a distinguished former player in the pre Jack Walker days, Simon knows how it is when there are little funds for team-building and managers have to make do.
He said: “We Are Rovers is not about the manager, the team or the league position. It’s not even about the few remaining administrators left at Ewood Park who are trying to run a football club in appalling circumstances.
“Owning and working for a football club; playing for and supporting the team, should be a joy and a privilege - it certainly was when I pulled on that famous blue and white jersey.
“But the pride and the fun have been driven out of the club. The fans’ passion will never be removed though and that’s what is driving We Are Rovers.”
Since the public meeting, media coverage of the crisis at Ewood Park and the fans’ determination to put an end to the Rao family’s reign has been widespread and positive.
Under the headline, “Venky’s and other corporate vandals must be stopped from owning clubs”, Oliver Kay, chief football correspondent, wrote in The Times at the weekend:
“It is an appalling mess, a serious threat to the future of a proud, historic club who were one of the Football League’s founder members in 1888, won the Premier League title under Jack Walker’s beneficent ownership in 1995 and were, for a time in the last decade, an example to all those provincial clubs who seek to balance realism with ambition in the bid to stay afloat in the top flight.”
In depth media coverage in India – in the hugely respected Times of India and in the New Indian Express – are beginning to hit home in the Rao family’s backyard.
We Are Rovers says: “It’s a welcome sign that, though the owners may be 6,000 miles from Ewood Park, we can still take up our grievances with them in their homeland.
“There is a real appetite among journalists and the media in India to understand and report on what has happened to Blackburn Rovers.
“We are receiving a lot of requests for information and interviews and we are very happy to fulfil all these requests as we step up the campaign for new ownership.”
To find out more about We Are Rovers and how all supporters can play their part, please visit: