Tag: Blackburn Rovers

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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Match Of The Midweek 1: West Bromwich Albion 1-3 Blackburn Rovers

To the outsider, Blackburn Rovers had always been one of the more stable Premier League clubs. However, since the arrival of Indian Poultry giants Venky’s last month, the off-field business at Ewood Park (covered elsewhere by Ian and Mark) has seen Rovers become the Premier League’s latest basket case. On the pitch, Steve Kean has had a loss at home to Stoke and a draw against West Ham in his opening games, and needed a win to end 2010 on a personal high note. Kean hasn’t looked to make many changes to the team since Sam Allardyce left the club, with the only new face being highly rated teenage centre-half Grant Hanley alongside Ryan Nelsen. Hanley’s presence is down to an ankle injury to Christopher Samba, and Phil Jones’ knee ligament damage, but his performances so far suggest that Samba may struggle to regain the position, regardless of his alleged recent fallout with Kean. Another area in which Blackburn have retained their continuity is their style, with a number of trademark physical challenges in the opening minutes, and even before the hosts have settled, Blackburn take the lead. Morten Gamst Pedersen provides a looping pass to Kalinic, who beats the offside trap and places the ball past Scott Carson for his first league goal in over three months. 0-1. Initially, West Brom try and play Blackburn at their own...

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Cause For Concern At Blackburn?

I was surely not alone in thinking “Ha-ha-ha” when hearing of “Big” Sam Allardyce’s Blackburn departure. But unless there has been a master plan in place since day one (and Maradona’s unexpected appearance in England a few weeks back now has a new explanation), the decision appears the latest example of Venky’s – and in particular Anuradha Desai’s – utter ignorance of English club football, which is no laughing matter. All the questions about Venky’s true motivation for buying Blackburn have been aired. And a refreshingly large number of people have recognised that the deal is far more about Venky’s worldwide profile than Rovers’ Indian one. Not least because, as I mentioned the last time I wrote about Blackburn, Desai said so. Seemingly blissfully unaware that Indian newspaper interviews can be available in this country via the internet, she told the Economic Times of India on October 27th:  “Football is a global craze and as the VH Group globalizes, setting up feed plants and hatcheries around the world, we believe we can benefit from being owners of a major football club. IT will help build OUR brand.” (My emphasis). If you were being really picky, you could question her interpretation of the words “craze” and “major.” And she hasn’t stopped offering more head-in-the-hands moments than is good for the soul. Indeed, almost every time she has opened her mouth...

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Big Sam Not Big Enough For Blackburn

If there is one thing that the internet has brought us, it has been instant public opinion. However right or wrong, well informed or otherwise it may be, it’s there, in our faces within a few minutes of a news story breaking. This has a value in itself, of sorts. The more people there are commenting on specific story, the closer we can get to something approaching the way the wind is blowing in terms of general opinion. It may or may not be represtentative of the broader public, but this is almost irrelevant. The Internet Has Spoken and, no matter how right or wrong The Internet may be, there’s a good chance that some hacks, hungry for a quote but without the inclination to tramp the cobbled streets of Blackburn on a freezing December evening, will seek to use this as a gauge of something more significant than it probably is. As such, there was as much of a story in the internet’s reaction to the sacking of Sam Allardyce as there was to the actual sacking itself, and it may prove valuable to other managers looking in from the outside to take some lessons from the contrast between the sacking of Chris Hughton at Newcastle United and Allardyce’s dismissal this afternoon. Newcastle United may be five places above Newcastle in the Premier League, but they are only...

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4,000 Holes In Blackburn Takeover Bidders?

It has been a confusing week for Blackburn Rovers-watchers. All that has been certain about the club in recent times is that it would be bought by Indians, and that Mirror and People journalist Alan Nixon would be up there breaking the story to the world. Well, it looks like Nixon can take that holiday he’s been looking forward to ever since the Jack Walker Family Trust put the club up for sale in the summer of 2007.  Nixon had come up with some unlikely suitors in his time. There was a “mystery Pakistani consortium” in October 2007 which had “drawn up a short-list of clubs to bid for” and had decided – and this phrase will make it seem longer than three years ago – “Mark Hughes’ highflyers” were the “most attractive because of their cost and profile” (i.e. they were cheap). April 2008 brought Scottish “sportswear supremo” Chris Ronnie to the table, with a previous job as “a right-hand man to Mike Ashley,” a phrase to chill the blood in Newcastle. June had Ronnie “closing in” on a takeover and July had him…”pulling out because he thinks the club is only worth £25m.” While Ronnie was pulling out, “Altrincham entrepreneur” and “friend of Rovers keeper Brad Friedel” Nabeel Chowdery was pulling in, claiming the club was “probably worth £40m but the price they are asking is too...

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