The struggle for the soul of the club commenced on day one. There were about thirty clubs in the town when John Lewis decided to form a new one. Reasoning that money was the key he invited the sons of the mill owners and tradesmen to become the first members. In doing so he was taught a swift lesson as those he had invited voted to keep him from the office he wanted, secretary. He soon got his wish because the wealthy elite found the job demanding and tiresome. Lewis lost control of the club in 1897 when it became a limited company and the purchase of most of the shares by the mill owning families gave control to Richard Birtwistle, Lewis attempted to galvanise the small shareholders (shop keepers and clerks in the town) to help him re-gain control but he was easily defeated and resigned his directorship. From then there has been little change. A consortium of wealthy industrialists and tradesmen have controlled the club. After the First War there were attempts to change the voting rights to give the small shareholders (IE supporters) a say but they were quickly crushed. Before the Second War Alderman Critchley attempted to organise a place on the board for a small shareholders representative but he was defeated every time. The power of the board was so great that they could conspire to remove from office Blackburn's greatest son, Bob Crompton, whose greatest offence was to be recognised as the club's leading light. After the war nothing changed. Many of the directors of the club were openly contemptuous of the fans which led to the fiasco of the Final tickets in 1960, a consequence of which the club lost 30% of its fans overnight. The levels of attendance of 1959 and 1960 have never returned. Even so the club was slow to respond and it was not until Bill Bancroft took over that the importance of the fans' view was recognised. The appointment of one of the unsung heroes, Keith Cafferty, brought a voice close to the fans whose views Bancroft more often than not listened to. Since that time the club has slowly moved to listen to the fans. It is a red herring to assume that control of the club by one man, Jack Walker, changed the dynamics of the situation. Walker knew well the necessity of crowd support which is why he replaced the popular Terry Ibbotson with John Williams, a man who had trained in giving the public what they want. That changed overnight when Venky's took over. In their defence Indian friends inform me that considering the views of supporters is unknown in the country. Which can be the only explanation behind utterances such as "a few people generating thousands of mails" and the generally recognised smear campaign against the fans. There are signs that the club has realised that they have been misdirected and the appointment of Myers and Waggott can be interpreted as recognition of the fact but this has been a very small step. Stuart is one hundred per cent correct and history supports him. Protest has an effect. I doubt Bancroft, the most opinionated and curmudgeonly of men would have appointed a commercial manager if he had not seen that fans were staying away. As a follower of the club since 1952 and a season ticket holder since 1960 I can only applaud those who still struggle to try and ensure that the club is aware of the importance of the fans and do not simply accept the status quo.