Wednesday, 24 August 2011

An open letter to the Venky Group

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to you to express my deep concern over the future of Blackburn Rovers Football club. The season may only be two weeks old and I don’t want to offer too much of a knee-jerk reaction but I already fear for our Premiership status. The takeover last year seemed incredibly promising but is in serious danger of turning into a complete disaster.

Ever since Jack Walker invested his money into the club it has prospered; for a small industrial town in Lancashire to be one of only four clubs to have won the Premier League is remarkable. It was his life’s ambition to witness the club lift the trophy and every fan of the club will always look back and remember the moment when Walker himself lifted the trophy to rapturous applause. He was a quite remarkable man and will be remembered and adored forever.

This is what the club stood for, the values it represents and in all honesty I believe you just cannot comprehend this. I can understand that as a wealthy and successful company it can be lucrative to purchase an English club in the Premier league to further your brand name but you must have some prior football knowledge. I was immensely happy when the purchase went through as I thought it would guarantee our future…how wrong I was.

Our trusted and respected former Chairman John Williams had searched high and low to find suitable investors and his opinion was one I believe every supported respected. Within two months of taking over he resigned. I believe this was when you began to lose the trust of the supporters and when the serious underlying issues surfaced.

The sacking of Sam Allardyce could well prove to be the catalyst in our decline but in all honesty I don’t believe many supporters were overly sad to see him go….at the time. Under his tenure we secured Premiership status and had some very credible results, although the standard of football was not great. The appointment of Steve Kean certainly raised eyebrows within the football world but I for one wanted to see him given a chance. He speaks very well but lacks the necessary experience of managing at the highest level and again this could cost the club in the long run.

However, there are two things that really worry me about the future of the club; one is the influence of Jerome Anderson, the head of Sport, Entertainment and Media group and the other is how you are portraying us over the world.

I have to start with that abomination of an advert that was released a month or so ago. The club has already lost much of the respect and appeal it had built up and releasing an advert portraying the players eating your chicken was just a complete aberration. How could any advisor you have honestly condone that dreadful endorsement? Why would any player in their right mind want to join a club that could enforce you to be part of this?

My second and probably biggest concern is the influence SEM has over the club. Both the manager and his assistant John Jensen are looked after by the company and they were heavily involved in brokering the deal to buy the club in the first place. I do not want to mention names but my opinion of football agents is that they are vermin. They are parasites that feed off the excess money that floats around the Premier league and have far too much power within the game. How can you do business with these crooks in suits? (I am aware there are actually some very respectable, honest agents whose names are tarnished by the others – to those I apologise)

I would appeal to you to think long and hard about what you intend to get out of the relationship you have with Blackburn Rovers. As one of the founder members of the football league the club is steeped in history and tradition and I am incredibly worried you and your group will ruin all of this.

It may be a toy/plaything for you but for all supporters it is our club and it is becoming increasingly difficult to have any faith in the people running it. You are clearly intelligent people who know how to run successful businesses, please, please do not ruin our club!

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