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Everything posted by Herbie6590

  1. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... Black(burn)adder Goes Forth Rovers fans: “But it’s the same plan that we used last time...and the seventeen times before that...” Gen. Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Mowbray: “EXACTLY...& that is what is so brilliant about it. It will catch the watchful opposition totally off guard. Doing precisely what we've done eighteen times before is exactly the last thing they'll expect us to do this time!" (with humble apologies to Richard Curtis & Ben Elton) For quite some time now, Rovers have been struggling to find a solution to the “Danny Graham Question”. Graham has proved to be one of the best value for money signings made in the Venky’s-era and perhaps even further back. The unique skills, experience and characteristics he provides sadly do not as yet include eternal youth and are proving very difficult to replace. Of course, that was before the untimely and unfortunate injury to Bradley Dack which has served to bring the problem into even sharper focus. Dack and Graham have proved to be quite the double-act for Rovers, instrumental in both the promotion success from League One and in establishing the newly-promoted side in the Championship. But now Tony Mowbray faces the task of replacing the both of them at the same time and it’s proving to be quite the conundrum. Mowbray seems to have been a proponent of the wide-striker concept for some time. Back in 2017, he signed Marcus Antonsson on loan from Leeds to play wide-left and in January 2018, added his former Coventry City confidant Adam Armstrong on loan from Newcastle to play wide-right. Armstrong’s pace lends itself to taking on and outpacing a full-back but despite this, "#minishearer" seems still to have a hankering to play through the middle. This approach has continued in the Championship albeit with a changing cast list. First Ben Brereton was brought in late in the summer 2018 transfer window. Sam Gallagher, a former Rovers loanee that had worked under Mowbray at the end of the fateful relegation season returned on a permanent deal last summer. Each has been played in the wide-right role but with little tangible success thus far. Last Saturday, against PNE, once again we enjoyed/endured the spectacle of a 6 feet, 4 inches tall striker labouring down the right flank, trying to link up with an overlapping right-back in Ryan Nyambe, all with the intention, it seems, of providing crosses for the diminutive Adam Armstrong (5 feet, 8 inches tall). I have noted in previous columns that this is a tactic that was used by Mark Hughes; but once, in specific circumstances, aimed at allowing Roque Santa Cruz to exploit Patrice Evra’s stature. It was not the default setting. Armstrong of late, thankfully, seems to have revelled in the opportunity to fill the goal-scoring vacuum created by Dack’s absence, but the bizarre spectacle of Rovers continually launching long, high balls down the middle and Gallagher trying to provide crosses from the flanks to him remains mystifying. Armstrong is clearly most potent when receiving the ball to feet, running directly at retreating defenders, unsettling them with his pace and so it proved early on against Preston. Once more against North End, Rovers hit the ground running and took an early lead. However, there were a number of Rovers fans who insisted that tactically, the worst thing Rovers could then do on Saturday was to make that a two-nil lead; dark humour indeed. As it transpired, there was no need for concern. Following a lengthy hold up which saw the unfortunate Corry Evans stretchered off following a painful and probably season-ending encounter with head-high boot of Clarke, Paul Gallagher played a delightful free-kick into the Rovers box. Despite the close attention of Johnson and Lenihan, perhaps inspired by Harry & Meghan, they chose that moment to step back from actual front-line defending. The knock down fell to Harrop who smashed the ball into the top right-hand corner leaving Walton helpless. The lead had lasted less than a quarter of an hour. Steve Waggott may well have attributed this goal to the presence of Preston fans in the lower tier of the Darwen End. What then transpired, was either a competitive local derby with neither side able to establish superiority or frankly, a dull match in which two out of form, but evenly-matched sides struggled to find any real fluency to their play – depending upon your perspective. Once more Rovers failed to better their Lancashire rivals – seven games now since a Jordan Rhodes inspired Rovers came out on top. As the poet John Hegley once quipped, "The main difference between Blackburn and Preston, is that Preston is more western...". There was little to choose between the two sides here. The highlight possibly came even before kick off, when Morten Gamst Pedersen emerged from the tunnel looking as sprightly as many of the current first-team squad and resplendent in a current Rovers shirt bearing his name and the number 12. The outstanding contributor on the field was also a veteran left-winger, the doughty Stewart Downing, another with a trusty left foot and a few years MGP’s junior; his every touch silky and considered. For those of sufficient vintage, his range of passing and ability to find a yard to cross are reminiscent of David Wagstaffe. Though Downing’s fitness levels are possibly a tad higher, Waggy’s left foot could land the ball pretty much on a given blade of grass so arguably he didn’t need to run. Rovers haven’t had much success in signing veterans in recent years but Downing thankfully has certainly halted that trend. For Tony Mowbray, the search for a Baldrick-style cunning plan goes on. Brereton wasn’t even in the squad on Saturday, rumours suggest a loan move to the Netherlands to join ADO Den Haag is in the offing and that might be best for all parties. Alan Pardew may not be everyone's cup of tea, but if he can rekindle some form in Brereton then his Wembley cup final dance deserves a reprise. Gallagher continues his struggle for form from out on the right-hand touchline and Danny Graham looks a little like Ernie Wise did after Eric Morecambe’s passing, lost without his partner in crime and contemplating a life in retirement. The January transfer window is still open but the overwhelming message coming out of Ewood is seemingly one of austerity, expectations are low, but for Mowbray, the problems grow. Charlie Mulgrew has seemingly opted to return to Rovers from Wigan rather than continuing his loan...perhaps he can play outside-right ? Mulgrew's 27 goals from 99 appearances is a strike rate that seems unlikely to be matched any time soon by Gallagher or Brereton. Next up a trip to Hillsborough and for me, a local match that offers the prospect of being back home before even 606 starts. Whether General Mowbray tries something different is open to question; after all, doing what we’ve done on nineteen previous occasions is the very LAST thing that the Owls will expect.
  2. BRFCS is delighted to announce that renowned Rovers historian & author Harry Berry (A Century of Soccer, The Blackburn Rovers Miscellany, The Men Who Made Blackburn Rovers since 1945) has given us access to his archive records of Rovers first team players. The initial batch of records representing players with surnames beginning with A have been loaded & can be accessed from the new Home Page &/or by following the link below :- https://www.brfcs.com/mb/index.php?/player-archive/ Our sincere thanks go to Harry for sharing this content, over time the record will build up to cover all players with a first team appearance but rather than wait until all the records are complete, we thought we would load them in instalments. Thanks also to @OnePhilT who once more has done a sterling job building the infrastructure to house these records and has single-handedly loaded this first batch of records. Hope you enjoy using this as a reference point for all your Rovers player enquiries...
  3. Herbie6590

    January transfer window 2020

    Yes, but perhaps not favourably 😆
  4. From the latest Rovers Trust mailing : BRFC Marketing Prospectus: Making it EASY to support Blackburn Rovers The key aims of Rovers Trust are to: -Preserve the Assets and Heritage of the Club. -Regenerate Support. -Mitigate a Lost Generation of Support. This Prospectus lays out suggestions from Rovers Trust members, under the following headings: 1. Pride of Lancashire – Celebrating the history and heritage of Blackburn Rovers. 2. Season Ticket Holders - Rewarding those who make the biggest commitment to our club. 3. All fans - Encouraging all fans to come to Ewood, be they lapsed Rovers fans, new fans, or neutrals. 4. The Next Generation - Ensuring every local child’s first experience of football is with the Rovers at Ewood Park. 5. The Matchday Experience - Improving the matchday experience at Ewood Park. Pride of Lancashire: Plans are in place for East Lancashire/Blackburn to bid for ‘Capital of Culture’ status in 2025, and at the heart of this will be its famous football team; celebrating the 150th birthday of Blackburn Rovers. The Rovers Trust will assist through their Memorandum of Understanding with the Club. -Lancashire citizens need to be exposed to the Heritage of the Rovers. This can be achieved by the club developing a more active partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. -2020 plans to celebrate 25 years since our Premier League win. There are also ongoing discussions to build a physical Hall of Fame / Museum / Time Tunnel around Ewood Park, to be opened by the greatest living Rover; Bryan Douglas. -Ewood Park should more prominently depict key aspects of Rovers history. A statue of Bob Crompton will be crowd-funded in the grounds; the first ‘greatest footballer in the world’ and died-in-the-wool Rover as a fan, player, and manager. -The Ewood area should be regenerated as an entertainment hub, with more promotion of events at the Empire Theatre, more events in the stadium such as the successful Elton John concert of 2017, other sporting events, and the inclusion of a café/restaurant area attached to the ground. -Blackburn Rovers should sponsor more local events, particularly sporting events and music events, such as ‘Darwen Live’. -A ‘history trail’ should be installed from the Museum in Blackburn town centre, to Ewood Park, with close ties between the town and its football team. -Long term, plans should be made through Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to twin Blackburn with the Spanish city of Bilbao, owing to the shared history of the towns thanks to Blackburn Rovers. An annual summer friendly will be arranged between Rovers and Atletico, alternating grounds to preserve and celebrate this link. Season Ticket Holders: Season Ticket Holders have a long-term commitment. The club needs to acknowledge this commitment by making continued support an EASY thing to do. Rovers Trust members suggest: -Promotion of Season Tickets much earlier in the season (March, rather than in May). This allows Rovers fans to plan their budgets ahead of the costly Summer holidays. -Add the option of a Rolling Season Ticket. This would mean a supporter could simply pay for the next Season Ticket automatically on a given date each Season, or via a continuous Direct Debit. -Allow Season Ticket Holders to bring a friend to a match at a reduced price. For example, ‘Bring a friend for £10’. All fans: There are more Rovers supporters NOT going to Ewood than going. A half- empty stadium suits nobody; not the club, not the team, not the fans. We need to encourage more Rovers supporters into the ground, paving the way to a Season Ticket commitment. Rovers Trust members suggest: -More graded Season Ticket pricing to include those fans who are Students at College and University regardless of age. This would be in addition to the standard age-related format. -At least three £10-ticket games per season, to be planned 3-months in ahead Season Ticket Holders warned in advance. -Promote a loyalty scheme for ‘walk-on’ supporters, which uses the additional walk-on charge to guarantee a reward. For example, ‘50% off the price of every 5th game attended’ (excluding Category A). -Give a voucher for a reduced-price game for one-off walk-on fans. For example, ‘10% off the price of the next game’ (excluding Category A). -Promote a ‘10-game ticket’, which a fan can use to enter 10 games of their choosing (excluding Category A). Sometimes the commitment to a Season ticket, or the restriction of a Half-Season ticket, can be too much. Offering a reduced commitment at a good price gives more fans another option to commit to Rovers and may lead gradually to a full Season ticket commitment. -The club should ensure there is an area for our disabled fans both inside the stands and outside on the terraces. -Rovers should open a ‘Neutral Section’, similar to Fulham, for mid-week matches. Perhaps the Darwen End Lower Tier, near the Jack Walker Stand. With this in mind, the Rovers Trust would liaise with Bury Football Club Supporters Trust. -‘Freshers Week’ incentives for UCLan, Blackburn College, and Lancaster University 1st year students. The Next Generation: Every child should have their first experience of football with the Rovers at Ewood Park. Rovers Trust members suggest: -Include a Rovers Shirt in the price of a Junior Season/half-Season Ticket. A Summer Holiday or Christmas present alongside their ticket, that gives them that vital status symbol on matchdays. -Promote the permanent ‘Next Generation Stand’ in the Upper Tier of the Blackburn End with £5 entry to a child under 11, with one parent going free. -Rovers players and staff should each ‘adopt a school’, ensuring the school is provided with tickets to games, as well as access to P.E. coaching sessions and healthy eating lessons with players. -Rovers should provide every Primary School in Lancashire with a digital version of the Matchday Programme, available to be printed as reading material in the classroom. -Rovers could devise/sponsor a set of lesson plans relating to the P.E. (Ball Games), Geography (links to Bilbao, exploration of another culture), and Science (Healthy Eating) curriculums. -Liaise with the DW Dome at Shadsworth to encourage new supporters. The Matchday Experience: -Blackburn Rovers should open a Kiosk in the Blackburn Mall, to be open on all Fridays and Matchdays for same-day ticket purchases. -Test arrangements for transport from wider areas of Lancashire to matches; Ribble Valley, Haslingden, Chorley, and Lancaster. Arrange for transport and tickets for Blackburn College and UCLan students during ‘Fresher’s Week’ and term holidays. -Hold a ‘Happy Hour’ in the concourses and Blues Bar after victories. -Encourage flags and banners: Hold ‘Get Creative’ events where flags/clappers can be designed by children, with matchday in mind. Reinstate the Blackburn End flag crossing the stand at the start of games. -Plan to introduce ‘Safe Standing’ in an area of the ground. For example, the Blackburn End side of the Riverside Stand or the Riverside side of the Blackburn End, taking care not to block the views of fans in seats. We welcome your reactions, encouragement, and further suggestions. Please send them to: enquiries@roverstrust.co.uk or chair@roverstrust.co.uk
  5. Herbie6590

    Preston (home)

    Angel Of The North
  6. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... Lack of Dack Sets Rovers Back They say you don’t choose your football team, rather it chooses you by dint of circumstances. Call it fate or luck if you will. Just imagine the alternative. A sort of due-diligence process, whereby you scored your potential team on various characteristics and arrived at a “suitability ranking”. Many modern-day supporters happened at their favourites by simply looking at the league table or if more cosmopolitan, the Champions League winners’ roster. Had I been able to decide on the criteria to be used in such a scorecard, the prospects of my potential club to reach the FA Cup final would have been one of the key factors. I loved the FA Cup. (My choice of tense there is a conscious decision). I am of a generation that remembers FA Cup final day as being one of those rare occasions when you could watch a live game on TV (not even the League Cup final was broadcast live back then). The week after, you then had England v Scotland live in the Home Internationals, truly saturation coverage. I loved the whole FA Cup final day; much like an over-indulgent wedding, paid for by a proud father of an only daughter; no expense spared, nothing too good for his pride and joy. All that pomp, circumstance and sense of occasion rolled into an easy to consume televisual feast. The build-up, long before the days of reality TV let’s not forget, had cameras at the team hotels, on the coaches, circling helicopters following their route, pre-game interviews on the pitch; I couldn't get enough of this heady mix. Add an FA Cup final edition of “It’s A Knockout” and “Question of Sport” to the mix and that was your day pretty much sorted. I was insanely jealous of fans of lower level teams who reached Wembley – Sunderland, Fulham, Southampton, West Ham and QPR all had their moment of glory. Two semi-finals being the best we could muster; Cardiff and Old Trafford each great days out, but victory eluding us on each occasion. Morten, oh Morten, I still cannot believe you missed THAT header... We should really have won it during the Dalglish years. Victory in 1993 or 1994 would have made the perfect appetiser to the entrée of 1995’s league triumph. That Boxing Day knee injury to Alan Shearer possibly the significant contributory factor. Despite Steve Livingstone’s best efforts, the 1993 quarter final against Sheffield Utd will be remembered for a heart-breaking penalty kick defeat. Anyhow, enough whimsy, coming back to modern times – we now enjoy kick-off times all over the shop, half-empty, no three-quarters empty stadiums, VAR in some but not all games, replays in some rounds but not all, weakened teams being selected by clubs all over the country, TV coverage largely behind paywalls...what on earth has happened to this famous old competition? How did we, the supporters, ever allow it? Let’s be honest, the FA Cup is finished isn’t it? Well it most certainly is for Blackburn Rovers, for this season, before even the 3pm Saturday games kicked off. Saturday’s lunchtime encounter with Birmingham City was entirely in keeping with the current malaise surrounding the team. A number of chances created, falling to misfiring strikers, contriving on one spectacular occasion to block a goal bound shot of their own, with the Birmingham keeper and defence AWOL. Scant consolation is that Danny Baker no longer produces his famous "Own Goals and Gaffes" videos, for this particular clip would have been a shoo-in. Since that excellent win at Bristol City, the high point of an unbeaten run which raised hopes of January fuelling a promotion push, the talk has instead moved to noting that it’s now five games without a win in all competitions. Rovers seem to have discovered and mined a rich seam of inconsistency over the last 12 months or so with an efficiency that would have put the most productive members of the NUM to shame. This latest sequence though has caused more than a little concern, coming as it does after the serious injury recently sustained by Bradley Dack. There were plenty of unsubstantiated rumours doing the rounds that the current transfer window would see Rovers cashing in on their prime asset, a potential sale to West Bromwich Albion being the most vaunted destination. The recent publication of Venky’s London Ltd accounts (Rovers’ parent company) indicate that losses continue to grow despite promotion. If sufficient income can neither be generated on matchdays, nor via commercial activities, then logically, player sales is the only way to go. Of the current squad, Dack is very much the crown jewel, his injury may well have upset his fellow players, supporters and finance director equally, but for fundamentally different reasons. On the field, the Forest league game and Birmingham cup game highlighted that without Dack, Mowbray remains unsure which formation is the best alternative. Quite often, playing several different ones within the ninety minutes. Versatility is a much-prized asset but players like Stewart Downing have played at least four positions, Gallagher and Brereton continue to be used in wide positions and Armstrong has played wide left, right and centrally, often in the same game. The search for a “Dack-less formation” goes on, but this constant tinkering has been occurring for over a year; the inconsistencies in form likewise. The expectations of supporters for the window are now being managed by Mowbray with talk of there being “no treasure chest”. At best it seems, a loan or two, perhaps not even that. The “need to sell first” chat is gathering momentum, but with Dack injured, who else could raise the necessary finance? More to the point, cash in the bank doesn't score goals nor make saves or tackles, so it would have to be spent wisely – and how confident would any fan be in that regard currently? Sadly, the two substantial fees spent by Rovers in the last year have resulted in under-achievement and deep disappointment. Sam Gallagher and the increasingly forlorn Ben Brereton, seem unable to live up to the promise ignited by the size of their fees. Of course, the fees aren’t set by the players but they seem to be having a similar effect on them as a sizeable fee once did on Kevin Davies. The impact on Brereton especially is heart-wrenching. Many Rovers fans will have read Matt Jansen's excellent book over the Christmas holidays and will have learned of the fragile nature of confidence and how difficult it is, once lost, to restore in an elite athlete. At this point, one has to wonder whether Rovers should engage the services of a sports psychologist like Prof Steve Peters to work with Ben to rebuild his confidence. If you spent £7m on a supercar, you would in all likelihood ensure it was regularly serviced and maintained. Rovers cannot afford to write this fee off, they surely must consider all options to recover this situation and help the player. Ultimately as we know, Davies had to leave, start again and reinvent himself (very successfully) at a local rival under the tutelage of a manager once described by David Dunn the best man manager he ever played for, yes, Sam Allardyce of course. Right now, given the pressure that is starting to build and the recent caustic press comments of the manager, the chances of Brereton, Gallagher and Mowbray all being at Ewood in January 2021 seem slim. Curiously though, at that point, by dint of circumstances, we will almost certainly still have Bradley Dack.
  7. Herbie6590

    Rovers Trust’s Suggested Marketing Prospectus

    Podcast out now featuring @mhead
  8. In this episode, Ian Herbert chats with John Murray from the Rovers Trust to learn more about the Trust's recent marketing prospectus and the memorandum of understanding with the club that is in the pipeline. If you want to know what the Trust is up to now, how it's role has evolved & what's in the marketing prospectus - this is the podcast for you! https://www.roverstrust.com/2019/12/18/brfc-draft-marketing-prospectus/ View full record
  9. Herbie6590

    Rovers Trust’s Suggested Marketing Prospectus

    Giving this a bump as there will be a podcast episode out later this week with John Murray, chair of the Rovers Trust about the aims & objectives of the Trust these days and what happens next regarding the prospectus. The Trust is actively canvassing for opinions & more details can be found here:- https://www.roverstrust.com/2019/12/18/brfc-draft-marketing-prospectus/
  10. Herbie6590

    Ben Brereton

    For absolute clarity Linz isn’t the ginger ninja badges lady - that’s Jen.
  11. This week's "Accrington Observer" column...with a few added extras... That Was Then, This Is Now Way back in January 2010, the fresh, new decade was ushered in with the New Year’s Day Premier League table showing Blackburn Rovers in a respectable thirteenth; a place and a point above the Owen Coyle-led Burnley. Just one week later, Coyle was to de-camp to the side eighteenth in that table, Bolton Wanderers; continuing his grand management tour of Lancashire, but condemned never again to hit the high watermark of his time at Burnley. If only that was the last we were to hear of Mr Coyle... That season would end with Rovers in tenth and seemingly established as a Premier league club. Our nearest and dearest would suffer relegation in May 2010, whilst Rovers and Bolton would survive the drop until 2012. It’s fair to say that the last decade has been tumultuous for Rovers. The Walker Trust eventually sold the club late in 2010 to the now infamous Indian chicken conglomerate, Venky’s. The logic of that purchase evaded many at the time and little has emerged subsequently to explain the rationale. What is beyond doubt is that in terms of expensive hobbies, the purchase of Rovers is perhaps second only to Elon Musk’s fixation with outer space. Though in his defence, Musk’s venture can at least boast a record of a successful lift off and delivery of stratospheric expectations;and in his case, lack of atmosphere is a pre-requisite for normal working conditions. Rovers began the decade led by a rugged former centre-back turned manager, ably assisted by a former full-back, sitting thirteenth in the league. Post-Venky’s, well...there are parallels but clearly, the 2019 vintage doesn’t boast a squad with more than twenty internationals competing effectively in the top division. The question as to when Rovers might again share such an exalted status is one that has vexed supporters now since 2012. The last twelve months has served to demonstrate that with a solid, dependable and capable squad, a challenge for the play-offs seems tantalisingly to be within reach but that same squad, on its day, is more than capable of turning in some truly woeful displays. Throughout 2019, form has arrived and departed with all the predictability and reliability of a Northern Rail train. The end of December offered up a glorious opportunity to raise the benchmark of expectations with a chance to capitalise on a very tidy unbeaten run with two eminently winnable home fixtures against Wigan and Birmingham, followed by an away trip to struggling Huddersfield. If ever a sequence of results was to capture the year’s frustrations in a microcosm, this was it. In a really decent gesture to the wider football family, Rovers donated some complimentary tickets for the Birmingham game to Bury FC fans who have been without a team to support this season thanks to the unseemly demise of their club. After watching the spectacle served up, one can only imagine if some of those supporters re-evaluated their lack of live football and concluded that it was not perhaps as bad a fate as first feared. The Birmingham game will not go down in the annals of history as one of the great Boxing Day encounters. That it took penalty kicks for each side to score summed up the levels of creativity and attacking verve on display. That penalty kicks were so softly conceded also demonstrated the defensive naivety on display. A poll on the BRFCS Twitter feed before Christmas voted that the best performance of 2019 was the 2-0 victory away at Bristol City, just twelve days earlier. A side that contained six changes had adapted swiftly to record a notable and stylish victory. Here, a side that also contained six changes struggled for fluency. That same poll on BRFCS voted Bradley Dack as player of 2019, there was no doubt that his guile, cunning and trickery was missed here and will be missed for the most part of 2020 for that matter. The year and the decade were incomplete however without a visit to Huddersfield. Once more, Mowbray was to ring the changes – five this time - albeit three enforced by injuries. Desperately seeking a formation and tactics to fill a Bradley Dack shaped hole, Graham and Gallagher were selected but it wasn’t easy to discern the formation. It looked like young John Buckley was to take on the mantle of the right-winger in waiting in a 4-4-2. It was not to be a successful experiment and the key feature of this game was the constant tinkering with formations and tactics. Rovers started brightly, scored early but handed the initiative back to Huddersfield almost immediately. Rovers passing accuracy was appalling. Nobody emerged with credit on this score. Substitutes were thrown on in an attempt to change the game but the month was to end with a whimper; toothless, disorganised and shambolic. In a delightful display of gallows humour, a Rovers fan on Twitter announced that he had won two tickets to the upcoming Preston game. Quick as a flash the replies rolled in “second prize three tickets...”, “third prize a half season-ticket...”. Glorious! 2019 has at various times threatened a play-off push and then almost immediately, a pivot to relegation form. With the loss of the talismanic Dack, Mowbray’s penchant for playing strikers out wide, Danny Graham’s age catching up with him, the defence struggling with the loss of Cunningham and the potential loss of Adarabioyo; Tony Mowbray currently has more on his plate than Homer Simpson at an “all you can eat buffet”. The decade therefore ends with Rovers a division lower, crowds down and massive losses being racked up year upon year. What will happen in the next ten weeks frankly is impossible to predict, where the end of 2029 will find Blackburn Rovers is anybody’s guess...but we can (and will) continue to hope...and dream. Footnote :- just as I was finishing this column, the Venky's London accounts were published and have been analysed on their own thread on here but it brings into sharp focus the extent of the dilemma facing the owners of Championship clubs confronted with FFP regulations but a desire to chase the dream of Premier League football. Rovers are entirely in hock to Venky's. They pay the bills, they cover our losses and without them, to stay solvent, we would have to hack our wage bill so dramatically that we would be looking at Accrington Stanley as our natural local rivals. With crowd numbers largely stagnant, TV money helpful but nowhere near PL levels, the only other realistic source of income for Rovers is the sale of players. We are back to the pre-Jack model for the club. The strong rumour circulating is that Dack was likely to be sold in January for a tidy sum, but we all know why that is off the table, so the club now has to plug a further income hole off the pitch and more importantly, on the pitch. It could get a bit rocky over the next 3/4 months as there seems to be little headroom for spending in January based on these latest numbers. Those promising academy prospects like Buckley, Rankin-Costello, Magloire and Wharton are the future - whether as on-field contributors, or a means of bringing in transfer fees...ideally of course, both. Hold on to your hats folks... Happy New Year everyone !
  12. Consider the case of Bradford Park Avenue. Their cross city rivals for almost 60 years clearly were Bradford City. After losing a re-election vote, in 1970 they dropped into non-league from whence they have yet to emerge. These days, BPA’s local rivals are Guiseley, with very little chance of their paths crossing with Bradford City any time soon. With 50 years passing since their last encounter, whole generations will not have seen BPA play Bradford City.
  13. In a packed episode we hear from Bryan in Iraq, Bill in Canada plus Scott, new contributor Mark and the trusty Marple Leaf himself, Michael with a varied menu of items for your pleasure. Thanks to everyone who has contributed large or small to the podcast in 2019, let's make 2020 bigger & better than ever. HNY ! View full record
  14. Stupid ? Really...? They are one division below us. We were in that division two years ago with a substantial wage bill. Are you seriously suggesting we could cut the wage bill by c.£15m p.a (so as to breakeven) and NOT get relegated ? Because if you are, apply for a job at Ewood because your expertise would be warmly welcomed. Now explain to me again why my analysis is "stupid"...preferably using facts....
  15. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    Reading have some shenanigans with land adjacent to their ground I seem to recall...I'm sure it will all be above board... *cough*
  16. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    I think that graphic is accounting operating losses. FFP has its own calculation to take into account allowable expenses etc so the net profit from the accounts is adjusted to create an "FFP profit" figure which is then rolled up to generate the 3 year figure (must be <£39m) which is the threshold calculation...
  17. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    Not many o/s of the PL for sure. Accrington Stanley spring to mind.
  18. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    I’d venture Lenihan, Travis, Nyambe in that order is our new pecking order of saleable assets. For FFP purposes it’s not simply a case of adding up the last three years’ losses & hoping it comes to less than £39m of course. The running costs of the academy are an allowable expense for FFP so the development and onward sale of talent is the most likely income stream. Ticket sales aren’t growing, non-Matchday revenues opportunities are minimal, sponsorship in the Championship isn’t great, TV money is better than League One but nothing to write home about so player sales is the only other option. I suspect that under their new (former Burnley) CEO, the EFL will soon stop the sale & leaseback of a stadium; a loophole closed. Sheff Weds hilarious legal action will bring that to a conclusion no doubt. Rovers recently advertised for a new head of commercial or marketing or something like that, with responsibility for growing revenues...having seen these figures, it’s no wonder. That role is probably the 2nd most important in the club right now. If the incumbent fails to deliver, we are going to struggle. Of course for those like me, longer in the tooth, we are back to where we once were. From Keith Newton, via Tony Field, Paul Bradshaw, Kevin Hird, John Bailey through to Simon Barker and the likes, if the money was right we took it & rebuilt. We’re back there it would seem.
  19. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    These numbers confirm that owning a Championship football club is akin to playing high stakes roulette. The only way you might see a return on the investment is by winning promotion to the promised land of the Premier League. Otherwise, it’s a very expensive hobby. Venky’s continue to bankroll the losses and without that support, Rovers would be insolvent. It’s hard to see how the club can spend significantly without contravening FFP based on these numbers. To echo Rich Sharpe’s recent Tweets, the academy is the way forward, develop your own, sell them on at a profit. One can only assume that the signings of Brereton & Gallagher were predicated on the basis that they would grow, develop and be sold on at a profit. The importance of spending such large sums wisely is brought into sharp focus. The absolute imperative of growing Matchday & non-Matchday income is clear to see.
  20. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    I think we should not expect much spending in January....
  21. Herbie6590

    Old Rovers Footage

    Seen on Twitter earlier...
  22. Herbie6590

    Venkys London Ltd accounts

    I'll do a quick review on here once they are published...any accountants who log on here feel free to contribute to the debate...
  23. Herbie6590

    Huddersfield Town 29.12.19

    Dack was played wide left when he first broke into the team & away at Shrewsbury he was ambling around doing very little, provided no cover to Williams at LB, leading to Shrewsbury’s goal All this prompting my now infamous outburst on the podcast that “Dack was an elegant solution to a problem we didn’t have...” ....then he was moved inside and....🤷‍♂️

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