In the summer 2011, Gary Bowyer, then Blackburn Rovers U/21 manager / coach. Recommended to the then Rovers manager Steve Kean, that they sign Jamie Vardy (pic above) from neighbouring Fleetwood Town.
Vardy had arrived at Fleetwood from none league Halifax Town for £15,000 three seasons earlier.
He was scoring for fun in division two as Fleetwood soared up the league table. Fleetwood’s asking price was £800,000. A fortune to Fleetwood and much needed revenue.
Rovers were awash with the Venky’s money at the time. Agent / advisor, Jerome Anderson, was certainly spending it for them. Bowyer saw the potential that was in Vardy and told Kean so.
Swansea, Peterborough and Crewe all made bids for Vardy, but would not meet the asking price. Swansea then did bid £800,000. Kean / Anderson were not interested. But along came Nigel Pearson and Leicester City and snatched Vardy from under Swansea’s nose for £1m.
A punt, as Pearson described it at the time.
Rovers never made a bid. Instead Kean / Anderson paid Newcastle £4m for Leon Best. The more the fee, the higher the players wages, the longer the contract, the more the fee for the agent.
Draw your own conclusions.
Kean, like Pearson also had a £1m punt. For Jordan Slew from Barnsley!
The rest is history, Jamie Vardy is now valued at £40m and rising.
Gary Bowyers advice was dismissed. Although Bowyer did go on to do some pieces of business for his employer. Notably the signing of Rudy Gestede from Cardiff for £300,000. Rovers sold him for £6m. Then sacked Bowyer !
Some people never learn.
Why oh why did we sack Gary Bowyer ? It was a monumental mistake. And I am not saying that in hindsight, I said it the day he was sacked. Before we had any idea who the new manager would be. Bowyer was right for Rovers at this particular moment in time, why could the club not see that. He had led us through 3 years of upheaval , there was light at the end of the tunnel, the transfer embargo was about to end, then the rug was pulled from under him. Brutal. Bowyers 3 seasons league finishes of , 9th, 8th, 7th, under almost impossible circumstances, are beginning to look pretty impressive now. And he would have delivered a top half finish again this season, of that I have no doubt. But that was not good enough for some. Greed took over. The land of milk and honey was on the horizon. Next season a guaranteed £180m for just being in the Premiership. So someone sold Venky;s the dream. Someone told them it could be them. Someone, an unnamed agent, sold them the dream that Paul Lambert was the man to take them to that land of milk and honey. Do they never learn ? Have they not learnt a thing after the disaster of sacking Allardyce in December 2010. Resulting in leaving the land of milk and honey and being plunged into 6 years of hell, and counting. Allardyce had his detractors, but we were 10th in the Premiership, with a pretty good team. So why sack him ? Because we should be in the top 4 and playing in Europe, that is why. And who said so ? An agent said so, Jerome Anderson in fact. So the owners listened and sacked Big Sam. Now the same has happened again, history has repeated itself. Instead this time , instead of heading for the Championship under Kean, we are heading for Division one under Lambert. And the most up setting thing is that some supporters buy into these crazy ideas. Not a word of protest when Sam went, not a word of protest when Bowyer went, not even a word of protest when good men like Williams, Finn and Goodman are cast aside. Greed takes over, we are heading for the land of milk and honey ! Do we never learn.
When you have good men and good managers like Allardyce and Bowyer , you hold onto them, at all cost, or you reap what you sow. You deserve all the pain coming your way. Want to know how a good club should be run ? Look no further than Burnley, hate to say it, but it's a fact. Solid and steady. No panic when things are not going well. Did they sack their manager when relegated from the Prem, last season ? No. Would Rovers have done ? Yes. Run by people who love and care about the club. And the sad thing is, that used to be how Rovers were run, by people who cared. And who did Burnley use as their role model when they re built and re shaped their club ? Blackburn Rovers, that is who.
The saddest thing of all, is that Gary Bowyer, for all his faults , cared and loved Blackburn Rovers. He spent 10 years at Ewood, he was one of us. He was treated badly. Shame on us.
Following the brutal sacking of Gary Bowyer, and the appointment of Paul Lambert (Pic above). Rovers first experienced manager of repute since Sam Allardyce in 2010.
Venky’s new found vigour will now be put to the test.
Will they now free the club of the restrictions of financial fair play and the transfer embargo.?
Will they find new manager Lambert, funds to strengthen the playing squad.
Will they continue their pursuit of Jerome Anderson, and maintain their lawyers attempts at legal redress, against their former advisor and his Kentaro / SEM Sports agencies.
Exchanges between Venky’s and Anderson’s Lawyers have been in progress since 2011. As reported in the Daily Mail 29th April 2015.
Venky’s Lawyers make numerous disputed claims about Kentaro’s involvement in Blackburn after Venky’s bought the club in November 2010.
Amongst many things, it alleges it was Anderson who persuaded the new Indian owners to sack Allardyce and replace him with Steve Kean, a client of Kentaro’s agency partners SEM.
Kentaro are now in administration in the UK. But Anderson says it was entirely Venky’s decision to dispense with Allardyce as they wanted “good entertaining football”.
A quote that has come back to haunt matriarch Mrs Anuradha Desai. Although she maintains she was duped and reading from a prepared script provided by Anderson.
Anderson’s dealings with regard to transfer fees, and players lengthy and lucrative contracts, and excessive agents fees, are also allegedly being pursued and investigated by the owner’s lawyers.
Venky’s have taken encouragement from the lengthy pursuit by the Swiss and American authorities, of FIFA and their officials. And the Rao family are prepared for the long haul in their persuit of Anderson.
Here is wishing them every success.
Thank you Gary Bowyer for saving Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
For the best part of the last three years Bowyer has been Rovers manager. Following the disastrous reigns of former managers, Kean, Berg, and Appleton. Not to mention the disgraceful stewardship of the club by ‘advisors Jerome Anderson and Shebby Singh’.
Bowyer had a mess to clean up, some would say mission impossible. As Rovers finances spiralled out of control. Excessive transfer fees and lucrative / long player’s contracts, culminating in disastrous relegation from the Premiership in 2012.
Bowyers sacking was unexpected and brutal. Although just three wins from sixteen games this season did for him in the end.
The squad Rovers now have is a massive testament to Bowyer.
Amongst the players Bowyer had to off load – Bradley Orr, Nuno Enrique, Fabio Nunes, Leon Best, Mauro Formice, Morten Pedersen, Danny Murphy, Dickson Etuhu, Edinho Junior, Nuno Gones, Bruno Ribiero, Diego Rosada, Hugo Fernandez, DJ Campbell, Simon Vukevic. That is fifteen players who were on the books, on big ridiculous money when Bowyer took over. Add to that Paul Robinson and David Dunn. All on big money and long contracts and not wanting to leave. Bowyer, a rookie manager, had all that to sort out.
He brought in Rudy Gestede, Tom Cairney, Craig Conway, Ben Marshal, Shane Duffy, Corry Evans – all very bright young players, all hungry to play for the club and all shrewd investments.
Whether Bowyer was a manager capable of taking us back to the Premiership, we will never know. But in terms of his legacy at the club, how anyone can knock that is way beyond me. The above list is not even accounting for the eight years he spent at the club nurturing top talent like Hanley, Henley, Reya, Olsson x 2, Lowe, Hoillet, Jones and Many more coming through.
Bowyer spent ten years at Ewood Park, and Rovers were lucky to have him. I hope the owners generously treated him well in his Remuneration settlement. A glowing testimonial and thanks from the owners would not have gone amiss.
Good luck Gary and thank you. We will be forever grateful.
On the 13th December 2010, one month after the Venky’s take over, Manager Sam Allardyce was mysteriously sacked by Blackburn Rovers.
Average attendances at Ewood Park, at the time, were 24,999. As supplied by Wikipedia.
Fast forward five years and Rovers gates have crashed. With an average in 2014/15 of 14,912. Gates have been in decline since the day Big Sam was shown the door. There are many reasons for this but more of that later. Attendances during and just before the Venky’s reign where ..
2009/10 25,000 (Premiership)
2010/11 24,999 (Premiership)
2011/12 22,551 (Premiership)
2012/13 14,997 (Championship)
2013/14 14,962 (Championship)
2014/15 14,912 (Championship)
2015/16 ?? (Championship)
Gates are falling fast. It is not all due to being in the Championship. In Rovers last spell in the Championship 1999/2000 average gate 19,253, 2000/2001 average gate 20,740.
Rovers Director of communications, Alan Myres, stated that gates need to be 20,000 for Rovers to break even financially. And this would not happen until promotion back to the Premiership. Rovers last spell in the Championship 1999/2001 disprove this theory.
The Venky’s reign has been a reign of error. Blackburn Rovers Football Club was in perfect working order when Venky’s bought it. Now it isn’t.
They have sucked the life out of the club and the fans.
I do not think Myres can even begin to comprehend the ill feeling towards Venky’s that exist in Blackburn.
Fans of long standing, no longer go to Ewood Park and will not whilst the club is under the current ownership. Sad but true. Venky’s run Blackburn Rovers like a corner shop, it is just a part of their business portfolio.
If the missing fans are even going to consider returning, Venky’s need to address and issue public statements on the following...
• Why was Allardyce sacked, and who advised his dismissal?
• Why was Steve Kean, a rookie Manager appointed, and who advised his appointment?
• Why did Chairman John Williams and Chief Executive Tom Finn leave the club, and why were two of Footballs finest administrators allowed to go?
• What was Jerome Andersons / Kentaro / SEM role at the club?
• Why were average players signed by the club for large fees and huge contracts. And who authorised this? Effectively bankrupting the club.
• Why was Andersons son, Myles Anderson given a Premiership contract and huge salary when he had not played a professional game for anyone at any level. Do Venkys and Anderson think the fans are stupid?
• Why are Venky’s not seeking legal redress against Jerome Anderson and his agencies for mismanagement and alleged malpractice? Or are they? We need to know; it is our money!
• Why has Mrs Anuradha Desai not issued a personal public apology for ruining our club and our lives.
I could go on and on, the list is endless. But until these issues are addressed the fans will not return Premiership or no Premiership despite, what Alan Myres thinks.
His pricing policy for the recent home game with Burnley was ridiculous. Resulting in a crowd of under 20,000 and Ewood Park a third empty. Scandalous.
His explanation that other clubs “Cashed in on big games” was ill-advised. Rovers are “not other clubs”. We have suffered five years of hell. We should be treated as the POUNDLAND of football. Small steps at a time to entice fans back. Not trying to cash in with premium prices for big games. Some Christmas and New Year promotions / discounts to the seasonal games would not go amiss.
For a comprehensive and well written assessment of the ‘VENKY'S REIGN OF ERROR’ - "THE STRANGE CASE OF STEVE KEAN’ - ‘ANDERSONS INVOLVEMENT’ - ‘THE PROTEST MOVEMENT’ - PLUS MANY OTHER EXCELLENT ARTICLES. GO TO WEBSITE, EWOOD PARK, THE CRADLE OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL. To follow link here