In November 2015 Venky’s, took advice from their ‘Advisor’. Believed to be Gandhi Babu, who has had a watching brief at Ewood Park for several years.
It was becoming apparent to the owners financial advisors that their target of return to the Premiership for 2016 - 17, was not going to be achieved, and had to be realised at all costs.
Manager Gary Bowyer had steadied their sinking ship for over three seasons. And was working with one hand firmly tied behind his back. To compound matters a transfer embargo was in place for the club having fallen foul of FFP. But that embargo was about to be lifted. Due to the excellent work behind the scenes of financial Director Mike Cheston, Chief Executive Derek Shaw and Bowyer himself. The embargo would be lifted in time for the January 2016 transfer window.
On November 7th 2015 Bowyer had only accumulated 3 wins from the Rovers opening 16 games. They were perilously close to the divisions bottom three, lying in 16th position.
Having learned a bitter lesson in foolishly sacking Sam Allardyce, Venky’s were advised to act and change their Manager. The players were good enough, they were told, they just need a more experienced manager to guide them up the table they were told.
Balaji Rao (pic above) was particularly keen on the idea. £105 Million was at stake, for promotion to the Premiership. That is the minimum amount what each club will receive in season 2016 -17 from the new Sky TV deal. Venky’s badly need that money to clear mounting debts of £92 Million and rising.
Football agents hovered like vultures. Trying to push forward claims for their out of work clients. Rovers ‘advisor’ opted for former Aston Villa and Norwich boss Paul Lambert. Having been convinced he was the man to take Rovers back to the “land of milk and honey”.
19 games later, under Lambert, Rovers are no nearer. They lay 16th in the Championship table, the same position Bowyer left them in. Promotion this season is now an impossibility. In fact, at this moment in time, Rovers have a battle on their hands to keep out of the relegation dog fight.
During Lamberts tenure Rovers went 9 league games without a win, their worse run for 5 years, the alarm bells sounded as this is what the owners had not foreseen or hope for.
Lambert is confident however, that Rovers can mount a promotion challenge next season, if he is given the financial backing, and to his credit results and performances of late have been good.
But have the owners got the stomach for it? Are they prepared to spend good money after bad?
Their venture into English football has been a disaster. Thanks mainly to very bad decisions, sacking good men and putting their faith in unscrupulous ones.
A lot of Football clubs are for sale, Aston Villa, Leeds United, Morecombe, Crawley, and Everton, to mention but a few.
Are Blackburn Rovers about to join them ?.