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  1. In Podcast 66 BRFCS editor Wen Y Hu asks Paul of the Rovers Trust to explain the Trust's recent application to register Ewood Park as an asset of community value with the local council. Subscribe to it in iTunes here. Don't forget to rate us in iTunes and add a review. If you are unable to subscribe to iTunes but would like to download the podcast, then you can do so through this link: Podcast 66 A direct link to listen to and discuss the podcast is available through the Podcast 66 topic. View full article
  2. In Podcast 73 Glenn and Ste B, BRFCS admin for over twelve years, discuss their decision to stand down from the adminstration of the BRFCS website and hand over the task to BRFCS editor Wen Y Hu. Glenn and Ste look back on a decade and a half of involvement in BRFCS and talk about the history of the site, the people and the events, and their views on community. Subscribe to it in iTunes here. Don't forget to rate us in iTunes and add a review. If you are unable to subscribe to iTunes but would like to download the podcast, then you can do so through this link: Podcast 73 A direct link to listen to and discuss the podcast is available through the Podcast 73 topic and you can join in the discussion with Glenn and Ste on the main messageboard here. View full article
  3. After collapsing with heart failure during Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, where he required emergency life-saving treatment on the pitch, Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, 23, is reported to have regained consciousness and to have uttered his first words since his collapse. He is still in a critical condition, however, and is continuing to have treatment and receive medical support in intensive care at the London Chest Hospital. Bolton's Premier League fixture against Aston Villa, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed as the players and the club as a whole are still coming to terms with the tragic events that were witnessed on the pitch on Saturday. This weekend's Premier League fixture at the Reebok Stadium between Bolton and the Rovers, due to be played on Saturday, is to be confirmed later in the week. It is shocking that a young man like Fabrice is in such a condition and the thoughts of all at BRFCS are with Fabrice and his family at this difficult time. BRFCS also extends its support to all connected with Bolton Wanderers Football Club in hoping that Fabrice is able to pull through and make a full recovery. View full article
  4. Published at the end of August through Grosvenor House Publishing, Agents, Rovers and Cricket Loving Owners is the culmination of some nine months of research and writing by author Michael Blackburn.[caption id=attachment_5089" align="alignright" width="300] Image courtesy of Michael Blackburn[/caption] Driven by a desire to challenge the account of events portrayed by influential sections of the media with regard to the ownership and running of Blackburn Rovers, the author set out to inform football fans of what is actually happening at Ewood Park. The result is a thoroughly readable account of the first twenty months of the ownership of the Rovers by the Indian poultry giants Venky's, which serves as a record of the calamitous and reckless mismanagement of our football club by the Rao family, led by Madam Desai, and their associates. A full book review by BRFCS match reporter Parsonblue is now available and to hear about his motivations and how he went about writing his book, listen to his interview with BRFCS editor Wen Y Hu in Podcast 41. The book is available for purchase at £7.99 via the book website, www.rovertaken.co.uk, and also from the BRFC Action Group market stall in Blackburn town centre. Later in September it will also be available through Amazon at £12.99, although the markup in price and most of the proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Amazon rather than the author. For further details, please visit the Rovertaken website and for discussion of the book, please visit the book's thread in the BRFCS forum. View full article
  5. Rovers have finally announced that Roque Santa Cruz has returned to the club on a six-month loan deal from Manchester City. Talking to the press Roque said, "I feel like I am coming home. This has been the easiest decision of my career. I want to get playing and scoring goals again and this is a real chance for me to prove myself after a frustrating period. Everyone knows what Blackburn Rovers means to me." Manager Steve Kean was also delighted to have Roque back at the club: "When he was here first time he had a fantastic time and showed his quality. I think he feels he has got a little bit of business to finish. Hopefully he will go and do that until the end of the season. He has got an infectious personality and was very popular here first time around. I'm sure he will be this time. He's coming back to a place that was special to him and I am sure he is going to deliver as good if not better." Roque could be the first of a number of signings. Sources have revealed to BRFCS that Rovers are closing in on a further three players. Discuss View full article
  6. [caption id=attachment_829" align="alignright" width="300" caption=" Image courtesy of cn174 ][/caption]Rovers midfielder Keith Andrews, currently on loan to Ipswich Town, appears to be ready to make the move permanent and is being quoted on Skysports.com as saying: "I know I've got 18 months left on my contract there [at Blackburn] but I really don't want to be there. I've come here (Ipswich) and had a new lease of life here. I'm sure something will get done in January." View full article
  7. BRFCS chief reporter Kamy has a short write-up in Metro Sport giving his views and predictions for the January transfer window. Read about it on the Metro's Blackburn transfer news, rumours and speculation page. View full article
  8. In the 18th BRFCS podcast, produced by J*B, Wen Y Hu is joined by chief reporter Kamy and assistant editor Eddie to discuss the recent Board meeting and Barclays Bank involvement, the transfer budget and Steve Kean's position, the Sunderland and West Bromwich Albion games and a number of other items. The podcast is available on the following link: Subscribe to it in iTunes here. Don't forget to rate us in iTunes and add a review. If you are unable to subscribe to iTunes, but would like to download the podcast, then you can do so through this link. A direct link to listen to and discuss the Podcast is available through the Podcast 18 topic. View full article
  9. [caption id=attachment_2130" align="alignright" width="229" caption="Image courtesy of cn174][/caption] Rovers captain Chris Samba will be out of action for the next few weeks after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Chelsea. View full article
  10. Following on from his interview with national daily The Independent last week, Ian Battersby talks to BRFCS about club ownership issues. One of very few Rovers fans to have spoken with Venky's chairperson Mrs Desai, financier Battersby discusses his views on the Venky's ownership of the club and the wider implications this has for the health of the game in this country. "Be under no illusions, our club is dying," says Rovers fan Ian Battersby. "137 years of football heritage has been decimated inside 12 months. It's like watching a slow motion car crash." It's a view echoed by many of Rovers' supporters. Through his business involvement in football, Battersby knows the inner workings of the game from the inside and says Blackburn's current troubles should send a warning shot across the bow of every professional football club. "It might be easy to ignore our plight on a national scale, but with current levels of debt at most clubs reaching unsustainable levels, everyone seeks the holy grail of wealthy foreign owners coming to the rescue," says Battersby. He points to other North West clubs such as Bolton and Wigan, who, like the Rovers under Jack Walker, have been bankrolled by local businessmen with a deep connection to their hometown clubs. "The point will come when either they have to write off this debt or seek foreign money to move forward. It can't go on ad infinitum." Battersby believes the Premier League are culpable in allowing the current trend of foreign ownership to continue without suitable safeguards. He has witnessed first-hand with Venky's ownership of the Rovers just how little prospective owners need to know about the modern game of football, and how weak the fit and proper test actually is. "We hear an awful lot about the sham that is 'fit and proper'. Evidence of cash in an account on a given day hardly cuts the mustard. This is a major industry we are talking about here — it's worth billions globally and there has to be something akin to licensing of owners. How can someone wing their way into the UK, take ownership of a club and within 12 months destroy a community? The warnings of Portsmouth, Notts County and now Blackburn have to be heeded. If the same had happened at Jaguar or similar, there would have been outrage in the House of Commons and yet we sit and watch this happening. In essence, the Premier League are watching one of their member clubs get savaged and haven't batted an eyelid. It is nonsense." Battersby and business partner Ian Currie met with the Rao family in Pune in India in October. There they delivered a few home truths about the issues and responsibilities which faced owners — specifically those relating to the Rovers. It was advice that was subsequently ignored. Even the notion of conducting their business almost exclusively from Pune didn't sit well with Battersby. "It's a farce to expect our manager to travel to Pune and back inside a day for what amounts to a three-hour meeting. Apart from the fact that he needs to be concentrating his efforts on running and preparing the team, the absentee landlord operation is a joke. That's the board's job. They should have their relationship with the manager and then work with the owners to implement the agreed strategy for the club. But we have no board as such and no strategy, so it doesn't look overly promising, does it?" "Nobody in Blackburn is empowered to do anything and unless you have delegated authority from India, the whole thing grinds to a shuddering halt. There is no appreciation of how dynamic running a Premier League club is. Things can change many times within a day that need decisive action." However, Battersby says the warning signs were there. "It was quite clear then, and it is ever more clear now, that they have little concept as to what running a Premiership football club entails." Further, he questions whether the deal to sell Rovers to the Venky's Group by the Walker Trust was in the best interests of the club. "It seems to me that 12 months ago everybody sat in a room with all parties wanting the deal to happen for their own reasons. In that scenario maybe many of the 'what ifs' were conveniently overlooked." He also says the Venky's did not fully comprehend what they were buying into. "I think they thought the initial down-payment of £25m plus responsibility for existing bank debt of £18m to buy the club was essentially 'job done' and, with an annual working capital injection of £3m to £5m alongside astute player trading, they thought they could get on and expand the Venky's brand over here. It's an incredibly naive view." Blackburn Rovers Football Club is just one of 170 subsidiaries in the Venky's Group. Each has a business head who reports directly to the Venky's board; in Rovers' case, that appears to be Steve Kean. "The notion of a board executing the owners' plans on a day-to-day basis is a complete anathema to them and many of our problems flow from that," states Battersby, pointing out that much of the antipathy the fans have for the new regime is down to the "wall of silence" which has been erected around the club. The misguided response of Venky's was to appoint Vineeth Rao as their UK "middleman", but he has little knowledge of football and even less connection with Blackburn. "We have a sporting director who nobody would know if they were sat next to him and that's a high-profile job allegedly responsible for player recruitment. We have a deputy chief executive — but no chief executive — whose effectiveness is, in the circumstances in which he operates, negligible. The August window was a real opportunity to get the club on an even keel again after the trauma of Wolves, but when problems with the bank surfaced and a lucrative shirt sponsorship deal failed to materialise, the budget was very badly impacted and these were the first signs of the extent of the cash call on Venky's, something that appears not yet to have been addressed. As fans saw a raft of sub-standard acquisitions – most of which it is now believed were not instigated by the manager – and poor performances, they rounded on the only visible target of the new regime, Steve Kean." "The last few months have been horrendous. Steve Kean has borne the brunt of everything, in my opinion somewhat unfairly," says Battersby. "As Roy Hodgson said after the home defeat to West Brom, the problems of a club are rarely the fault of one man." However, Battersby says that Rovers' fans are justifiably angry and frustrated. "We are having to sit and watch our club being torn apart by ineptitude, failed promises and a continuation of nothing happening. Generations of fans are distressed that their heritage is disappearing whilst Venky's sit quietly in India. I understand fellow managers and the LMA uniting behind Kean – you would expect that – but they are passing comment on our club without any real appreciation of what our fans are living through. I bet they barely give it a moment's thought afterwards, because it doesn't mean anything to them." "The problem is not about individuals anyway, it's about the abject management of the club by the owners. It's all very well Mark Lawrenson et al. throwing out their smug comments, but little old Blackburn means nothing to these people. We are a small-town club and the impact of all this on our community is devastating. The media have the temerity to ask why people like Jack Straw are getting involved. Behave! He is the local MP and he can see immediately where this is heading. This is a much wider problem than merely a football club. This is a whole community and the football club is a central influence on much that happens economically in the area." Tired of inaction, Battersby e-mailed Mrs Desai again on Christmas Eve and laid out what he saw as the three options available to her: (1) Commit the required £20m or so to the January window. (2) Accept you don't have the infrastructure in place now to be able to take that risk and accept that relegation could therefore become reality and plan your assault from the Championship with a proper structure and budget in place. (3) Plan an orderly exit. To date, there has been no response. "Venky's, for everyone's sake including their own, need to come forward and explain all that has happened: own up to their mistakes, implicate other parties if necessary so that we can all understand where and how we have ended up here. It will create a storm without doubt, but at least fans can get some sort of handle and appreciation. At the same time, communicate your plan and how you intend to deliver it. All we seek is some openness and honesty." "What concerns me now, though, is that they seem intent on selling rather than buying and if it ends up involving our best playing assets in January, then they will have us relegated whilst neutralizing their own cash position," says Battersby. "At which point they could throw the keys in and let someone wade through the wreckage. In that scenario, starting life in the Championship with your assets gone and cash flow down the pan, you could really see us continuing our free-fall through the divisions. I don't think asset-stripping was ever their intention, but in the light of the events of the last few months it isn't that far-fetched anymore. Certainly the cash now required to save Blackburn is at a level they never contemplated and you can easily envisage family disunity at having to gamble £20m or more on one subsidiary in a corner of north-west England. With local opinion so much against them now, would you be rushing to write a cheque?" "Nobody knows with any certainty in which direction the Venky's will eventually decide to take the club, but you would have to be a supreme optimist to think it will be in a positive direction. So if you are a football fan hoping your club finds a wealthy foreign owner to cure your problems, just beware – because if you happen to be located north of Watford, when it all goes wrong nobody will want to listen." Venky's management of the Rovers has raised a number of broader issues with regard to the corporate governance of Premier League clubs. Battersby suggests that a much more robust approach to ownership needs to be taken by the Premier League. He believes the Premier League need to assess potential applicants as they would a large corporate entity applying for a substantial bank loan, but in his proposed arrangement this assessment would be to obtain a licence. Such assessment would cover the following areas of prospective owners' performance: Financial strength and track record Quality and strength of the management team Experience of delivery in the sector Feasibility of business plan and strategy Corporate governance Accordingly, there would need to be provision for the submission of quarterly or half-yearly accounts in addition to the annual accounts. Thus, the Premier League would meet quarterly or half-yearly to review adherence to an approved business plan and the terms of continuing approval would be against set covenants. If these were not being met, then the licence would be withdrawn. "In the case of Premier League ownership," says Battersby, "you would envisage being granted a licence to operate initially, assuming you passed the process of in-depth analysis, and this would be renewed annually against 'performance behaviour' or, if there were any cracks appearing, you could have quarterly or half-yearly monitoring. There would have to be powers of withdrawal that owners sign up to at the initial granting of the licence. They might even have the power to impose their own interim administrators if things were going badly wrong." Whilst this would not be a panacea for the many potential problems involved in owning a professional football club, Battersby believes that having a recognised process and structure in place is a fundamental necessity. Moreover, it would also ensure that well-meaning but ultimately naive owners such as the Venky's would never get far enough down the line of acquiring ownership because they would fail the robust tests put in place. View full article
  11. Filmed in the summer of 2012, Venky's — The Fall of Blackburn Rovers looks into how the former Premier League champions have declined so rapidly under Venky's ownership. The documentary highlights such issues as manager selection, ignorance in the owners' communication with the club and community, and the naivety and lack of footballing knowledge of the Venky's when seeking management advice. It is to be released this coming Monday via the Squashed Fox production company's YouTube channel. Documentary director and producer Rishi Sikka, himself a Rovers fan, sought the views of a wide range of people on Venky's catastrophic management of the club and has interviewed members of the professional football world, the media, local and national government, and Blackburn Rovers fan groups. Former Rovers stars Derek Fazackerley and Simon Garner, PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor, journalists Nick Harris and Alan Nixon, and Rovers global advisor Shebby Singh are among those interviewed. The Rao family, Blackburn Rovers' owners, were given every opportunity to take part in the documentary to give their side of the story, but they refused all offers. Venky's running of the Rovers from India has proven disastrous for the football club, yet the financial implications of their ruinous tenure is only one aspect of the story. The documentary reveals how their incompetence has wrecked the close-knit community that the club revolves around and has affected community–club relations, in some respects beyond repair. With the continuing uncertainty surrounding the club, the man behind the project Rishi Sikka has decided it is time to release the documentary via the Internet to give the club's plight the broadest platform he feels it deserves: "If Venky's have any sense at all, they will watch this documentary, and if they have hearts, they should at least feel something." The documentary is to be released on the Internet at 8pm on Monday, 27 May 2013, via the Squashed Fox production company's YouTube channel. A trailer is already available. Check out the links below. Venky's - The Fall of Blackburn Rovers Launch date: Monday, 27 May 2013, 8pm Squashed Fox YouTube channel: http:///www.youtube.com/SquashedFoxLtd Trailer: Join in the discussion on the forum here. View full article
  12. In BRFCS Podcast 43 the BRFCS editor Wen Y Hu interviewed Oliver Jones and Wayne Wild, the co-chairs of the Rovers Trust, which launched last week on Monday, 27 September. In a separate interview below, they have been good enough to answer many similar questions to provide us with more details on the trust. Can you clarify the overall aims of the Rovers Trust in terms of ownership of Blackburn Rovers Football Club? Put simply, we want to bring the club into community ownership. What does this mean? Well, we want to be ready for the opportunity to make an offer for the club (however it presents itself — either a sale or, God forbid, something worse like Portsmouth). If we can't raise enough to buy it outright, then we want to co-invest with any new owner so the fans have a substantial stake and rights to protect the history, future and reputation of the club. This model is already successful at Premier League clubs like Swansea, so it is achievable. If the worst happens, we don't want to be in a position like Pompey Supporters Trust, where they are under really tight timescales and have struggled — we want to make sure we are ready. In terms of how achievable outright ownership is — we've always said it depends on the price, but community funding is becoming more and more common and a realistic alternative to traditional investors — all we are doing here is putting it on a bigger stage to allow 10,000-plus fans to take a stake in the future of their club. Our role as Rovers Trust is to put the structure in place, which is what we are doing and we have some of the best experts in the country helping us. After that, it is up to the supporters to choose if that is ultimately what they want — if it is, then we all need to do whatever it takes to make it a reality. Can you account for the activity that has gone on behind the scenes to create this umbrella organisation? As you can imagine, bringing together two groups, at different stages of development, with different people involved has taken a little bit of time and discussion to understand and clarify the parameters of a merger. This was greatly aided by the fact that both groups are essentially fans that want the best for the club and believe that to be a future where some or all of the ownership resides in the supporter base and local community to protect from the current situation from ever happening again. We have agreed that the best way for us all to achieve our aims is joining together and hope that we can reinforce this message among the supporters. Many believe that we are trying for the impossible, but we had 20,000 regular attendees at Ewood before the current ownership came along, and somewhere around 100,000 global fans. If every one of these joined in, we would have no problem raising the money. Together we can, but we need people to believe with us. Over the last two months we held four or five meetings to firstly understand where each other stood on various key points, what the rules and regulations were in each of the groups, and ultimately what the aims were. This has led to a Memorandum of Understanding being produced by Richard Speak at Pall Mall Capital (our London-based corporate finance specialist) and Khurshid Valli at Gateley (our Manchester-based commercial lawyers). This is now agreed and to formalise it we are having a little signing ceremony on the morning after our Sportsman's Dinner (which is on Friday, 12th October, by the way — tickets still available at £50 for corporates and £35 for supporters). What is the legal status of the different bodies within the Rovers Trust organisation? There are currently four legal entities under the Rovers Trust Group umbrella. These are the original BRST Industrial and Provident Society (BRSS Ltd IPS), the original BRSIT Community Benefit Society (BRSIT CBS), the BRSIT Limited Company (BRSIT Ltd) and the BRSIT Community Amateur Sports Club (BRSIT CASC). BRSS Ltd IPS, and the more recently formed BRSIT CBS, are the Financial Services Authority approved corporate entities that are designed for social or community fundraising. (The FSA is the public body that regulates financial services, fundraisings and to some extent charities.) These two entities have a number of pre-set rules and regulations that are focussed on the preservation of capital and assets in the entity, not least of which is something called an asset lock. The asset lock means that any money put into the CBS as an investment in shares must be carefully protected and cannot be distributed without the members' approval. So, for example, if Rovers Trust is successful in buying the club, the assets therein such as Ewood Park, Brockhall, etc. could not be sold off or put at risk by securing debt on them without the members having to vote on it. This is obviously hugely beneficial to the fans and to the community, as no vulture investors could try to sell down the assets to make profits. Given the two original groups, there are currently two societies, but going forward we intend for the BRSIT CBS to be the membership vehicle. This is due to the fact that the CBS legal form has more protections for the community built in to it and also has a specific provision above a normal IPS in that it has to have as one of its main charters to benefit not only its members but the greater community it operates in. In BRSIT CBS' case, this is the greater Blackburn and Darwen community. The BRSS Ltd IPS entity will be dormant unless it is required in the future. More detailed information on the legal form of a CBS can be found on the Business Link website. The Limited Company was first established by BRSIT as a normal commercial trading company in order to be able to get a bank account and get the scheme off the ground. The founders of BRSIT currently own it (Dan Grabko, Wayne Wild and Neil Thornton). However, under the Memorandum of Understanding, BRSIT CBS will take 100% ownership of this entity so the members will ultimately own it as well. The Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) is the newest entity in the Group. This is the Rovers Trust Sports Club. Over the next year you will see us launch programmes in the community backed by the members, particularly focussing on junior football as well as something for the older generations. We hope to be able to have a visible presence in Blackburn for members and potential members to come and find out firsthand what the Rovers Trust aims and ambitions are not only regarding ownership of the club, but also what Rovers Trust and its members can do for the local community. We hope that we can go some way to filling the gap left by the reduced funding the official BRFC Community Trust has seen over the last two years. The CASC also qualifies for benefits and tax reliefs that we hope to be able to capitalise on for the membership proposition. More information on CASCs can be found at www.cascinfo.co.uk. As we develop, it may be that more entities are introduced, but this should not distract people — we are Rovers Trust, and any entity created will be owned by the members. What is the current status of the board, the members and voting rights? The boards of each group have been merged with myself and Ozz leading this first phase as co-chairmen. The full board is up on our website and every officer can be contacted directly. Each officer has a specific role and we expect that this enlarged group is going to be able to focus on more new and exciting strategies while having as its core purpose the structuring of fundraising to enable community ownership in the club. In the week since our launch, we have had 100 members sign up and we haven't even begun marketing yet. BRSIT Ltd itself had around 3,000 interested parties, so we hope to able to sign these up as members as soon as possible and we are reaching out through all of the other fans groups and forums to encourage people to join up. We also hope to be able to have a big membership launch meeting in November, where we will be able to give full details of not only the membership offer but also the next major stage — starting to raise the money required to show the owners we are serious. It is too early in the planning to say any more on that, but we hope it will be exciting and compelling for the fans. It is one member one vote, so regardless of whether you can afford to invest in a community share, this really will give you a voice in the future direction of your club if you are a member and we are successful. Initially, members will be voting on the likes of the make-up of the Rovers Trust board, subscription rates and packages, etc., but in time with the successful acquisition of an ownership stake in the club, we hope that our members will be able to have a direct influence on critical, but general, strategic matters within the club such as transfer budgets, long-term investment plans, etc. What is the relationship between the BRST and BRSIT? In all honesty, as of our launch, there is only Rovers Trust. The original entities obviously still exist legally, but there is no culture of a BRST faction or BRSIT faction on the board. Nobody is vying to retain the old identities or voting against each other. It is just a board making decisions about what is deemed the best way forward for Rovers Trust. The past has been left behind to make way for a unified future. What does it mean to be a member of the Rovers Trust or one of the Trust bodies? As explained above, membership in Rovers Trust from a purely legal perspective means that you are a member of BRSIT CBS. It also means that as a member, you are a partial owner of BRSS Ltd IPS, BRSIT Ltd, and BRSIT CASC, because BRSIT CBS owns all of these entities. All junior members (under 16s) are members of BRSIT CASC, and are not members of BRSIT CBS and do not hold a voting right in that entity. This is in compliance with FSA regulations, stating that all full members of a CBS must be at least 16 years old. How does membership of BRSIT and the pledging of funds under the fans ownership initiative relate to Rovers Trust? The BRSIT pledges were expressions of interest — there was no cash exchanged and no contractual obligation to execute a transaction. Rovers Trust will be contacting each and every pledger to ask them to be a member in Rovers Trust and, when we are ready, to commit to us their original pledged amount on a risk-free basis. We are still developing the pre-share documentation and process, so it is too early to go into details, but we intend to protect our members to the best of our abilities. Any other donations and funds donated to BRSIT or raised through sales of the BRSIT wristbands, etc., that have not already been expended towards the running costs of BRSIT Ltd will be used for Rovers Trust. If we are contacted by a supporter who wishes to have their donation back now that BRSIT has been merged into Rovers Trust, we will of course return it — but we want to stress our aims are the same, our Board includes all of the old BRSIT Board on it, we remain advised by the same people that advised BRSIT and, if anything, this merger has increased our chances of achieving the original aims BRSIT set forth, not diminished them. Can you explain your relationship with supporters organisations such as the Fans Forum and BRFC Action Group and clarify the respective roles of the various groups as you see it from the perspective of the Rovers Trust? Rovers Trust is independent from all fans groups. At the same time we are heavily dependent on each and every one of them. Rovers Trust needs all of the fans groups' members to become our members as well to help achieve the aim of ownership. We believe that any member of any fans group can also be a member of Rovers Trust. We won't be offering travel or pre-match meet-ups, we will not have a home pub, and we certainly won't be competing with any fans group. Rovers Trust will be seeking to achieve influence and ownership on behalf of all of our members, which in turn means all of the fans groups out there. If that is attractive to the individuals in the various fans groups out there, then they should join us. We won't be commenting on any individual fans group, in the same way we won't be commenting on footballing matters at the club. Until Rovers Trust attains an ownership stake in the club, it is not our job to take stances on whether the team performed well, who the next manager should be, or who the club should sign. Likewise, we won't be supporting nor condemning actions by any particular fans group. It is up to each group and its members to voice their concerns or not, and act on them however they see fit. However, if they want to have fans ownership at Blackburn Rovers, then they should join us as that is what we will be campaigning, lobbying, asking and demanding over the next months and even years if that is what it takes. We believe the best owners for our club would be the fans and the community, making decisions with only the club's welfare at heart. What is your view on the resignation of Steve Kean and potential candidates for the vacant manager's position? Obviously the resignation is good news for Blackburn Rovers on many levels. The fans that have stayed away may now return and hopefully the finances of the club will become more stable. Rovers Trust is keen to see this stability remain for the long term, but with the current owners' record we can't count on this to be the case. We would urge fans not to think that this is a resolution. This is only the very first step in what would be required to implement the necessary changes at the club to restore it to its well-run reputation. While Steve Kean's departure is excellent news, it has obviously made our job a little bit harder as it will make some forget that the manager situation was just one of the most visible symptoms of the larger problems at the club. We will of course continue to pursue our aims regardless of who the next manager is. Rovers Trust hope that, for the good of the club, it will be someone with the experience and skill to bring together the squad and lead the club back to the Premier League where we belong. Thanks to Oliver (Ozz) and Wayne for the interview and also to Rovers Trust finance officer Daniel Grabko for his help with the background work for the interview. For further information about the Rovers Trust, including details of how to become a member, visit the Rovers Trust website. View full article
  13. A major new documentary is set to be aired early next month which will examine Venky's ownership of Blackburn Rovers. The documentary entitled Venky's — The Fall of Blackburn Rovers charts how under Venky's Rovers have fallen from a stable Premier League club to a club fighting for survival in the Championship with the management structure appearing to have failed. The documentary was the brainchild of Rovers fan Rishi Sikka, who through his company Squashed Fox decided last year to embark upon making this documentary. It has taken Rishi and his team nearly a year to get the documentary finished. It will look at the mistakes that Venky's have made from the moment they sacked Sam Allardyce and replaced him with Steve Kean. Through interviews with Rovers fans it will show how the club has been separated from the local community and demonstrate how Venky's have consistently listened to the wrong advice. The documentary will also reveal some contents of a dossier which has been ignored by football authorities, whilst also examining the role of global advisor Shebby Singh over the last twelve months. Talking to BRFCS Rishi said: "Hopefully the documentary will help demonstrate how far the community has been driven away from their football club through pure ignorance. If the Venky's have any sense, they will watch this." Rishi has been invited onto a forthcoming podcast and further coverage of the documentary will be provided once it is aired. For those wanting a sneak peak of the documentary, see the . View full article
  14. Rovers have confirmed that Mauro Formica has signed for Rovers. The highly-rated Argentinian has signed a four-year contract, but the transfer fee has not been disclosed. Manager Steve Kean, speaking to the official site (www.rovers.co.uk), said: "Mauro is a fantastic talent, an attacking player who has been in great demand. He has great technical ability and is a typical Argentinian with a bit of fight and a bit of devilment in him. He's an exciting talent and I must say that this transfer window has progressed really well for us." View full article
  15. In Podcast 67 BRFCS editor Wen Y Hu is joined by assistant editor Eddie to discuss the Burnley, Leicester and Huddersfield games. Subscribe to it in iTunes here. Don't forget to rate us in iTunes and add a review. If you are unable to subscribe to iTunes but would like to download the podcast, then you can do so through this link: Podcast 67 A direct link to listen to and discuss the podcast is available through the Podcast 67 topic. View full article

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