Tag: Blackburn Rovers

How Literal Will The Premier League’s Survival Sunday Be?

In an August 2009 Radio 5 Live programme on the Premier League’s financial troubles, Supporters Direct Chief Executive Dave Boyle addressed the issue of the “chasm” between Premier League and Football League finances. “Once upon a time,” he said to a gathering of football people including the then-Birmingham chairman David Gold, who wasn’t ‘sitting comfortably’, “relegation meant you’d not had a good season. Now it seems to be this existential ‘it’s the end of the club, it’s the end of the world as we know it.’” Boyle’s theory was tested to an extent by that season’s relegation of Hull City and Portsmouth. But it was difficult to gauge how much of Hull’s traumas were down to the gap between the leagues, or the gap between owner Russell Bartlett’s financial strategies and sanity. And Portsmouth, of course, was a test of a different set of theories entirely, largely connected with the wisdom of allowing convicted Russian/Israeli gun-runners to try out a Premier League club’s bank account for size. Allegedly. Some of this season’s bottom six might put Boyle’s theory to a more pertinent test. The bottom six has mostly been the three ‘Bs’ – Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool – nestling uncomfortably on top of the three ‘Ws’ – West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers (the five ‘Ws’, if you have a certain view of the Hammers’...

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Living Colour: Ince as a Cult of Personality

In what appears to be incredibly bad timing, on the same week Professional Footballers Association Chief Executive Gordon Taylor called for the hiring of more minority managers in English football, League One club Notts County sacked one of the two with a job. Earlier in the week, Taylor marked Paul Ince as one to be fast-tracked for future Premiership managerial vacancies, and along with Chris Powell of Charlton, one who might benefit from institutionally-imposed pressure on clubs to interview and hire more black British managers. Then, the Ince-led Notts County continued a five match beaten streak in which no goals have been scored to begin its month of April. County now sit perilously close to relegation back to League Two. Regardless of skin colour, form like that threatens any gaffer with the sack. Having only previously managed at the League Two level with Macclesfield Town and the Franchise, Ince was thrust into the spotlight perhaps a touch too early when special dispensation was granted to allow him the managerial leap three divisions up to the Premiership in 2008. That experience in the top flight was rather short-lived, however, as after Blackburn endured a six match beaten streak by December, Rovers chair John Williams sacked Ince six months into the job. Ince climbed back down the ladder, this time settling in League One with the club he had led to promotion–the club formerly known as Wimbledon FC. One has to wonder if the fast-tracking of...

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Odd Goings-On At Blackburn And Watford

There was a rumour circulating recently that Watford Football Club were in takeover negotiations with someone who had neither changed his name nor had a troubled business and financial background. These were quickly dismissed as nonsense. And though it is being too kind to take full notice of what potential Watford owner Laurence Bassini has to say about… ANYthing, it was certainly worth a second look at what he said about his putative involvement with Blackburn Rovers, and how “I was offered Blackburn Rovers, as Jerome Anderson is a good friend of mine.” The Lancashire Telegraph newspaper interpreted this as Bassini being offered the club BY “agent Jerome Anderson,” which isn’t quite what the wannabe Watford supremo said. However, what he did say was enough to get fans up in even more arms than ever before about Anderson’s true role at Ewood Park over the last year. Or at least it should have been. Alas, of the 40-odd comments the article received from Telegraph readers, 36 were a sectarian Burnley/Blackburn argument which was childish and pointless even for a ‘web warrior’ offering. Only four readers thought even as much as “hang on a minute” about a players’ agent’s suggested involvement in seeking a buyer for their club. Maybe Blackburn fans are suffering from lunacy-fatigue and are just pleased that the team is playing football again after months of rollerball...

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Ronaldinho For Blackburn: Straight From The Horse’s Mouth, Or Not

You’d have been as well off with Wikipedia for reliable sourcing of “Ronaldinho for Blackburn” news. This time yesterday, entries one and three on page one for the Google entry “Blackburn Ronaldinho” read, “Blackburn have denied reports that they could be ready to make an audacious bid to land AC Milan’s Ronaldinho in the transfer window”, and, “Premier League club Blackburn Rovers have sensationally joined the race to sign Brazilian superstar Ronaldino”. He is now, apparently, returning to Brazil, although . So, was anyone lying, if anyone? And why? The impression was certainly been created that there is an arse/elbow co-ordination deficiency at the heart of Rovers’ new ownership. While it is clear that the sister rules the two brothers in the Rao family’s business empire. The Blackburn ‘project’ was supposed to be Balaji Rao’s, the – let’s be brutally honest here – porn star-looking one who is in charge of the family’s ‘non-synergistic diversifications’. But he’s been about as vocal on his new diversification as a Harpo Marx tribute act with laryngitis and a missing car horn. There were reports that the whole Ronaldinho thing was his idea. But he has also been called the “brains” behind the idea of making Maradona manager, which is surely a contradiction in terms. His brother Venkatesh, the man who puts the ‘Venk’ in ‘Venky’s (as in ‘Venkateshwara Hatcheries’, or ‘VH Group’),...

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2010: A Football Financial Review

You could frame it. If you wanted a short, pithy representation of all that has been wrong with football finance in 2010, you could do no better than quote a Plymouth Argyle fan known as “Sensible Surfer” on the BBC Football website over the Christmas period. “Ridsdale set to take control… good news,” he/she said, a phrase which would sit nicely as an explanation of irony…except that it didn’t appear to BE irony. And it served as fair comment on Argyle’s current state that, relatively, Peter Ridsdale – the failed former Leeds and Cardiff chairman and serial over-borrower – IS good news for the cash and panic-stricken South Westerners, with the heaviest possible emphasis on the word ‘relatively.’ If professional football entered 2010 in a state of moral and financial bankruptcy, it is leaving it in much the same manner. Certain football problems have been “solved.” Some more have emerged. While others, hello Portsmouth, look set to run forever. The “greater fool” theory still underpins much of the game’s financial strategies. The theory is about as scientific as it sounds – buying something in the belief that you will be able to sell it again for a higher price (to a “greater fool”), regardless of what has happened in the meantime (increased debts, usually), or even whether the original price was rooted in reality. Finding a “greater fool” is...

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