It has got to said, then put to bed. Gary Bowyer has worked a miracle at Blackpool. The man is a genius. How the Rovers heirarchy must be regretting that crazy sacking on 5th November 2015. Nothing has gone right at Ewood since that fateful day. Who would have thought we would have slipped into Div One just 18 months and 76 games later. A result of sacking Bowyer and completely destabalising , club , players , coaching staff and fans. A stabalised club with a happy playing and coaching staff was ripped apart, and for what ? To bring in two desruptive managers, one also inept at his job , that lay the foundations for our demise to the 3rd tier of English Football. All this after Bowyer had finishes of 7th and 9th, then worked for 12 months under a transfer embargo and severe FFP restrictions , whilst keeping the club stable and out of relegation trouble . Then we sacked him , you could not make it up. Bowyer joined Blackpool last June. Just relegated, no team , no money , no fans and owners worst than the Venky's. At least Venky;s let us 'slag them off' without taking us to court. Bowyer has really performed the impossible at Bloomfield Road, the pundits had Blackpool for certain relegation to Non League. Now they are playing in the same Division as Rovers, thanks to Bowyer. Bowyer will probably be back in the Championship before Rovers. But not with Blackpool, someone will snap him up. Someone with an eye for a good manager, unlike Sunil Pasha and our owners. The ' Bowyer Bashers' have been made to eat their words, no way did they envisage Div One on the 5th November 2015, as they applauded the demise of Bowyer and the appointment of Lambert. They say Bowyer should have done better ! Really ! The truth of the matter is that Bowyer massivley over achieved at Rovers, with a squad he put together with bargain basement and astute signings. Some of thoes players have failed to flourish without Bowyer. Non more so than Rhodes and Gestede. Both have had two big money moves since leaving Rovers. Both have lost their goal scoring mojo. Under Bowyer they flourished, that is the mark of a top manager. Gives no pleasure in saying "told you so", when Bowyer was sacked , but "told you so". Disaster to follow i predicted, disaster we got .
Whilst delighted Tony Mowbray is staying at Rovers , there is still one cloud on the horizon, and that is can he trust the owners ? I say that not just on our past expiriances, when personal have departed quickly and without explanation. Bowyer, Lambert, Shaw, Myers, Senior, to name but a few. But on the revelations of how Coyle was appointed last June. A prominent media outlet has revealed that in late May , Mike Cheston offered the Rovers job to Neil Warnock, who accepted and they shook hands on it. Cheston was to depart o holiday , so it was agreed to make the announcement on his return and formalise the contract. In the mean time enter Dave Sheron, football agent, agent to Owen Coyle and associate of Jerome Anderson and ex SEM employee. Sheron contacted Balaji, on behalf of his client Coyle who had just been sacked by Houston in the NFL. Sheron, who had dealings with Venky's in the past, talked Balaji into giving the Rovers job to Coyle. ChestoN had to make a massive U turn. Prompting Warnock to make that infamous comment that he had been talking to a club "that did not know what they were doing ". Cheston was ordered to issue that equally infamous statement , Coyle was the outstanding candidate". A statement that will forever haunt him. Coyle lied to the media and the fans when he said , " i do not have a agent , just a solicitor, and have never heard of SEM." Sheron is in partnership with Jerome Anderson and his wife Lisa Anderson , they are partners in Sports Holdings Ltd, a sports agency. Sheron was also named as a director in the adminintors report regarding Kentaro SEM. So Anderson was by association complicit in the hiring of Coyle. Why would Balaji/Venky's want to get involved with Anderson again ? I am informed that giving Coyle the Rovers job was a favour owed to Sheron by Balaji. So we can rejoice all we want at Mowbray;s appointment and the owners promised backing. But are they to be trusted ? Coyle's appointment is a deciet too far for me by the owners. To be further associated with Anderson ( the man who ruined Blackburn Rovers ) is a real kick in the teeth to the fans. It is all there out on the www, Google it.
BLACKBURN Rovers fans groups have called for an end to the Ewood Park ‘decline’ after relegation to the third tier for the first time in almost 40 years.
Rovers suffered their second relegation in five years under the ownership of the Rao family who purchased the club in November 2010.
Since then Rovers have dropped out of the Premier League and gradually slipped down the Championship table, culminating in relegation last weekend.
The last set of club accounts revealed that loans from the Rao family now total £110million, a figure that will only continue to rise as the club face up to the prospect of a huge drop in annual turnover which stood at £22million.
The Blackburn Rovers Action Group (BRAG) have been campaigning against the club’s owners since 2012 and they have again called on the Rao family to sell up.
A statement released in the wake of relegation from the Championship read: “Supporters and community groups have called for the club’s owners to communicate and begin to support their ‘baby’ and these calls have remained unheeded.
“Since that ill-fated day in November 2010 when Venkateshwara Hatcheries purchased Blackburn Rovers, this famous football club has been in a decline which the owners seem both unable and uninterested in halting.
“The statement released by the owners on Monday was an insult to the supporters of Blackburn Rovers, who are in agreement by a vast majority that these people are not fit and proper to run their football club.
“The supporters of Blackburn Rovers are issuing a vote of no confidence in the board of directors and the owners of their club and the only acceptable outcome for the supporters is for Venkateshwara Hatcheries to sell the club with immediate effect.”
Rovers finance director Mike Cheston admitted earlier this year that the club were reliant on funding from the Indian owners, and Rovers Trust chairman John Murray anticipates it will take even more capital in the 2017-18 season to keep the club on an even keel.
He said: “It’s been a decade of decline and destruction. We need a cash injection.
“It (the club’s financial position) is so stark that it almost needs the exhibition of the fierce loyalty of the Rovers supporters and the natural resilience of Lancashire people.
“The club is not just about the management or the team, it’s about the legacy, the history and the community.
“The team is going to need virtually dismantling and trying, as Owen Coyle did, to put a team together is going to be really difficult.
“Our club is poorly run, leading to dangerous decision-making. The owners of our club have no feel for the football business, and at best have been badly advised.
“No-one in the hierarchy at our club has a full appreciation of its heritage, and the fierce loyalty we have as fans.
“Rovers supporters are the only ones who will stand up to protect our legacy and future.”
It promises to be a summer of uncertainty at Ewood and the club’s director of football operations Paul Senior resigned from his role within 24 hours of relegation.
The Action Group believe that Cheston, who has been in his role since January 2014, should also stand down.
They said: “Within 24 hours of relegation we saw the departure of Paul Senior, director of football operations and yet another unnamed generic message from the owners.
“Employees are uncertain of their futures, local businesses are suffering and Ewood Park once again has an operating boardroom that consists of just Mike Cheston.
“We once again call for Mike Cheston to do the right thing and walk away from his position at the club.”
Trust chairman Murray was interviewed by BBC football programme Football Focus in the lead-up to the Brentford game which, despite a 3-1 victory, was where Rovers’ Championship fate was sealed.
But it was during that interview he said he truly appreciated the infrastructure that Jack Walker put in place at the club during his tenure.
He added: “Mark Clemmit was down from the BBC and we were standing outside the Jack Walker statue and he was astounded by the quality of the infrastructure at Ewood Park.
“The bricks, the club shop, the Blackburn End, the pictures, the TV screen, all that, and these are things on a matchday that you walk past without really noticing.
“When it’s completely empty you realise the legacy of Jack Walker.
“You are left feeling that all of that is being quietly dismantled by the owners at the moment.”
Murray says the Trust will now look to push forward something of a ‘regeneration programme’ and look at ways of inviting fans back to the club should the Venky’s walk away.
More than 15,000 Rovers fans watched the final home game of the season, a 1-0 win over Aston Villa, something which provided Murray with some hope for the future.
The two supporters groups are also joined in their backing of the work done by head coach Tony Mowbray since taking charge of the team in February.
“Head coach Tony Mowbray inherited a team that appeared low in confidence, belief, fitness and tactical awareness,” the Action Group added.
“Given just 15 games to pull off a great escape, the gap proved just too big with Rovers being relegated on goal difference despite losing just three of those 15 matches and picking up 11 points from the last five fixtures. If the season started the day Tony Mowbray took charge and ended on Sunday, Rovers would have been a top 10 team.
“Fans are left asking could this have been avoided if Owen Coyle had been dismissed when it became clear that his appointment was an abject failure?”
A Blackburn Rovers spokesman said: “A lot of hard work is going on behind the scenes and we hope to be able to comment further in due course.”
For more information on the Trust visit www.roverstrust.co.uk. For details on the Action Group visit their Twitter via @BRFCActionGroup.
Acknowledgement to Lancashire Telegraph
TONY Mowbray has agreed to stay on as Blackburn Rovers head coach after productive talks with Venky’s in India.
The 53-year-old revealed after relegation on the final day at Brentford on May 7 that he would travel to India to seek assurances before committing his future to the club.
And Rovers have now confirmed that the 53-year-old has agreed to stay on at the club ahead of their League One campaign in 2016/17.
He said: “I’m very happy with the discussions that I have had.
“I’ve met the owners, I’ve met the people that I am working for, and I am very happy to move forward.
“Whilst we were all disappointed with the end of last season I see it as an opportunity to now move the club in the right direction and grasp this opportunity whilst it is there for us.
“The owners were supportive of my ideas and plans, and they have assured me of their financial commitment to help achieve our targets. It was all very positive.”
Mowbray replaced Coyle in February, leading Rovers to 22 points from his 15 games in charge, which saw just three defeats. But that wasn’t enough to keep the club in the Championship as they were relegated to League One on goal difference despite a final day win at Brentford.
He has previous experience of managing in League One, leading Coventry to eighth place in 2015/16, five points off the play-offs, despite being in the top six for much of the first five months of the season.
Mowbray left Coventry in September of the following season, before taking over the Ewood reins in late February.
With acknowledgement to Lancashire Telegraph.
THERE will be sympathy for Rovers’ plight from many quarters, questions raised from others, but relegation will be tough to take for the club’s long-suffering fans who have been used to fighting above their weight.
From the fans’ reaction at the final whistle, it was clear where they point the finger of blame for the club’s relegation: owner’s Venky’s.
Since taking over six-and-a-half-years ago, the Rao family have now presided over relegations from the Premier League, in 2012, and now from the Championship.
Next season will be the first since 1979/80 that Rovers have plied their trade in English football’s third tier and just a sixth in their entire history.
The facts and statistics are worrying, the decline alarming, and the Rovers fans making the long journey back to East Lancashire yesterday will have been contemplating ‘what next’?
The outlook appears bleak. How can the club arrest a slide which is only continuing to accelerate?
Relegation will impact the entire club and the whole town. Jobs will be lost, further cuts made, and crowds at Ewood Park could plummet even further.
There will be an estimated six-figure drop in television revenue - another gap the club’s owners will need to plug.
Then comes the wage bill, incredibly Rovers were operating with the ninth highest in the Championship, and with wage costs exceeding annual turnover, it’s an unsustainable model.
Around £12million has been recouped in transfer fees this season but that will have done little to dent the club’s owed loans to the Rao family which now total more than £110 million, five times more than they inherited back in 2010.
Of the departures defensive duo Shane Duffy and Grant Hanley have already achieved promotion to the Premier League with Brighton and Newcastle respectively, while Jordan Rhodes and Tom Cairney will be battling it out to join them through the play-offs.
Any owners of clubs outside of the top flight will insist a place at English football’s top table is their aim, and the pre-written statements that are relayed to the fans from Venky’s always include such a reference. It’s starting to wear thin.
A return to the top flight is two promotions away and next season’s squad will once again be made up of free transfers, loan players and youngsters.
Brockhall, and the club’s Academy, remains something of a jewel in the crown.
It offers a slice of hope, but assets must be secured, and supplemented with quality in the form of permanent transfers.
And then there is the future of head coach Tony Mowbray. He will want assurances that he can build a side capable of launching an immediate push to return to the Championship.
You can point to missed opportunities in games, the number points thrown away late on and injuries to key players, but in truth, woeful mismanagement and decision making on and off the field, poor recruitment, and underperforming players have been the reasons for relegation.
Mowbray got the best out of the players in his 15 games in charge, losing only three, but the managerial change came too late.
Now is the time to give him all the tools necessary to lead a fightback.
With acknowledgement to Lancashire Telegraph.