GARY Bowyer insists he reflects on his time at Blackburn Rovers with great pride ahead of his first return to Ewood Park since being sacked 14 months ago.
Bowyer spent nearly 12 years at the club, including two-and-a-half as first-team boss, before being sacked in November 2015 with Rovers 16th in the Championship.
He returns to Ewood as manager of League Two side Blackpool in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
And Bowyer, who led the club to eighth and ninth placed finishes in his two full seasons in charge, as well as guiding Rovers to safety in 2012/13, said he looks back at a ‘wonderful time’ at the club. “It will be my first time back at all,” Bowyer told the Lancashire Telegraph.
“I have not been to a game, or set foot in the building since I was sacked after going three games unbeaten and having lost two games out of 10.
“But I spent 11-and-a-half wonderful years there working with the youth team, and seeing the likes of Phil Jones, Grant Hanley and Jason Lowe progress through to the first-team and become first-team players in the Premier League, that gave me an enormous sense of pride “That was the same when I was fortunate enough to be reserve team coach and when I was given the chance to be caretaker.
“Me and the staff helped keep them up that year, having been in the bottom three at one stage, and that would have been back-to-back relegations had that been the case.
“I also had enormous pride when I was asked to take charge of the first-team because it is such a wonderful club, full of great history and tradition.
“I was very grateful for the opportunity to be the first-team manager of such a fantastic football club.”
Bowyer admits he was “disappointed” to lose his job at Ewood but was grateful for the reception he received in a pre-season friendly between the two sides at Bloomfield Road in July.
He added: “It will be good to go back and say thank you to the fans.
“I was able to thank the fans that came for the pre-season friendly as I got a wonderful reception from the fans who came.
“It was very much appreciated by myself and my family who were in the stands.
“It was quite emotional and I did not think that I would get that.
“So I am looking forward to going back there. I still have a lot of friends at the club who I still speak to on a regular basis.
“But once the whistle goes it will all be professional, it won’t be about Gary Bowyer, it will be about Blackburn Rovers v Blackpool.
“We will have an excellent travelling faithful, we have more than 1,000 fans making the journey who will be cheering us on, and we know that we will have to be right at it.”
Blackpool, 13th in League Two, go in to the game as underdogs, sitting 38 places below Rovers in the Football League pyramid.
But after knocking out Championship side Barnsley in the last round after a replay, Bowyer insists there is a belief that they can pull off another upset.
“Realistically, outside of our dressing room everyone will expect Blackburn Rovers to go through,” he added.
“But it will be up to us to go there and have a real good go.
“The message will be the same, to test themselves against a Championship side and see how good they are.”
With acknowledgement to Rich Sharpe LT
Comments from Rovers fans on LT forum.
I hope that you get a good reception back here Gary, and please don't fall off your seat laughing at us....
You are always welcome back to Ewood with open arms, Gary as you have done a tremendous job at Rovers under difficult circumstances and not to mention, proven to be a far much better Manager than that clown Owen! Still cannot fathom why OC has not been sacked when Rovers are second from bottom and you were sacked when Rovers were in 16th place.
I hope to see you before or after the match to say "hello".
Thanks for all the good work you did for us when we were in desperate straights Garry, talk about platting sawdust on a windy day.
I firmly believe that if it hadn't been for you the club wouldn't be here now, really is that simple.
I'm sure you will get a great reception from all Rover's fans but seeing they have closed the Riverside you will have to come out onto the pitch so we denizens of the Jack Walker can see you!
Then like you say it's down to business and game on.
Agree with every word BJ.
Monumental mistake sacking Bowyer. The club is now reaping the consequences for it's stupidity.
When Bowyer was sacked on the 5th November 2016, i said the club would go into free fall, and so it has.
We did not have the infrastructure to support a manager with Lambert's ambitions, not Lambert;s fault. But he should have realised it.
Bowyer was at the club 12 years, he understood it. He knew were Anderson and Kean had 'hid the bodies'. He worked with Allardyce and Williams, and before that with Ince and Souness.
He knew the club inside out.
He progressed from Youth to first team manager, and he was proud of it. He was one of us.
Bowyer was building towards a seriously good side, he gave the club the stability it now craves, then had the rug pulled from under him. Disgraceful.
Venky's and the fans got lucky with Bowyer. A unlikely escape from relegation 2012/13, then two top ten finishes. He built a team with bargain basement buys. He turned players bought on the cheap into million of £'s players.
Venky's thought the job was easy, "if Bowyer can do it some else will be able to do it better ". How wrong they were !
When Bowyer was sacked, he had suffered his first blip, we were 16th in the league, 4 points clear of the bottom 3 and recovering nicely, after just 16 games played.
At no stage this season has Coyle's record even matched those 16 games.
Fifteen months on are Rovers any better off for the sacking of Bowyer ?
I would suggest it has put us back almost 4 years to the relegation scap in 2012/13.
In football be very careful what you wish for !
Brockhall Bill Reg Rover
Good post. But what about the 12 months Bowyer worked miracles under stringent FFP rules and a transfer embargo ?
January 2015 until November 2015. The embargo was lifted January 2016, only after Bowyer/ Shaw's efforts to sell players and reduce the wages. Lambert reaped the benefits.
Bowyer kept us competitive and in the Championship.
Out standing achievment.
Coyle comes no where near Bowyer's expertise and man management skills.
Never mind protest against the owners, the only banners visable at Ewood on Saturday should be, BRING BACK BOWYER. / GARY COME BACK. Going to make mine now !
Brockhall Bill Ewood Eddie
Making mine tonight. How about.
COME BACK GARY. VENKY'S OUT.
A double whammy.
Just need a 2o ft banner and a plane to fly it over Ewood !
You can build from mid table mediocrity Bill, it takes patience and time but when you have a manager who cares about and understands the club in charge it can be done.
Bowyer came through the ranks at the club, Lambert and Coyle are like the majority of other managers, mercenaries with a job.
ONCE more Owen Coyle has as good as admitted that he has no real faith in his players by settling for a home point against a mediocre Birmingham City side who have not won since early December.
His quote that the point will be important come the end of the season is a tacit admission that his sole aim is to finish in 21st position in the Championship and nothing more.
The bizarre decision to play Darragh Lenihan at right-back instead of the far more suitable Ryan Nyambe, and the pointless late substitutions once more points to Coyle and his sidekick Sandy Stewart being to basic decision-making what Laurel and Hardy were to piano removals.
The game would have been comfortably won if the management could get the 10 to 15 per cent more out of players that half-decent managers earn their corn by doing.
Throw on a wildcard like Connor Mahoney, unleash the Burnley-slayer Anthony Stokes, someone Birmingham haven’t had ‘scouted’ for the past month or so.
It all smacked of settling for a point and since Birmingham also settled for the draw it meant the entertainment value of the last 20 minutes was nil.
We may not pay the extortionate prices some clubs demand, but we don’t sit in the cold to watch a damp squib.
Having equalised just before half-time you would have expected Rovers to have come out for the second period growling.
Instead, Coyle and Stewart appeared to suck all the life out of them and they restarted as weakly as they had started the game.
The silence regarding incoming players speaks volumes and it seems as if we will have to face the last 19 games with a squad most of whom are either injury-prone, too ‘young’ for Coyle to consider or disinterested.
It is already evident that we will not go down fighting. We won’t suddenly ‘turn a comer’ just by sheer luck.
Coyle is happy to pick up a point at home, lose away and make excuses that we have all heard too many times.
We need the man in charge to TAKE charge and get more from the players that he has so far.
With acknowledgement to Simon Smith L.T.
Rovers supporters comments from LT forum.
Absolutely right, Coyle did all but wave a white flag from the dug out.
How on earth is this guy still in a job.
Having mediocre owners ,manager and players will have one outcome relegation . I really hope Gary bowyer seals Coyles fate on Saturday and gets him sacked . Under this clown we are doomed. Does anybody know anything about the Bob McNair rumours ? Really hope they are true.
Agee with every word Simon.
Birmingham were indeed there for the taking, but Rovers never looked like doing it. Not helped by conceding a 2nd minute penalty , hasten to add.
Coyle will take us down. It as all been said time and again on this forum.
I agree with you, the man is inept in all things ' football management. '
Why the club persist with him is the mystry of this football season. No one can believe it, in the world of football.
To think we disposed of Gary Bowyer.
Beggers Belief !
Following the Boxing Day defeat at Barnsley, the clubs fourth consecutive league defeat. In a post-match interview manager Owen Coyle, chose to go down the same route as the previously failed Rovers manager Steve Kean by publicly questioning the travelling support stating “We know there’s a minority there that have their agenda and that’s up to them.”
After a torrid six years that has seen our beloved Rovers nosedive from a respected mid-table and well run Premier League club, into a shambolic circus bereft of leadership, direction and hope. A club that sits rooted in the relegation mire facing the drop into English footballs third tier for the first time in forty years. A club with a working boardroom of one UK based director, absent, neglectful and disinterested owners, mounting debt, a first team squad patched up with free transfers and loaned players, and a manager who has previously proved to be a failure and shows no signs of improving either tactically or motivationally.
Yes, the supporters of Blackburn Rovers do have an agenda. This agenda is to have a well-run, transparent football club. One that sits proudly at the centre of the local community, one that we can feel connected with, part of and a club that operates by its motto of Arte Et Labore (By Skill and Hard Work).
The Blackburn Rovers Football Community Action Group on behalf of its members asks of the following people:
Anuradha Desai on behalf of Venky’s, once went on record saying “We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remain one of the best-run clubs within the Premier League.”
Yet, six years of mismanagement and neglect show otherwise and the supporters would like to ask our absent owners, “What is your agenda?”
Owen Coyle continues with his Keanesque sound bites, stating that “We will not go down”, “We are working hard and close to turning the corner” and now questioning the supporter’s motives. With a record of just five wins, five draws and a staggering thirteen defeats from twenty three league games. The supporters would like to ask the hapless Coyle, “What is your agenda?”
Mike Cheston (Finance Director) by his own admission cannot make major decisions at Ewood and claimed that he had made recommendations for the replacement of Paul Lambert, only to find Owen Coyle parachuted into the managerial hot seat whilst he was on holiday, on his return Cheston then bizarrely claimed that “Coyle was the standout candidate” Given Chestons endorsement of Owen Coyle, he should now be held accountable for this failed appointment. A finance director overseeing mounting debts and the downsizing of staffing levels within both the club and playing squad. The supporters would like to ask Mr Cheston, “What is your agenda?”
Suhail Pasha. Blackburn Rovers’ man of mystery. The man who was recently appointed as a go between to improve communications between Ewood and Pune, a man who has links with SEM Kentaro and was involved with Venkys at the time of the ill-fated takeover. Since his appointment Pasha has not made a single public appearance, interview or comment regarding his role. Blackburn Rovers have not yet publicly announced his appointment despite Mike Cheston confirming it at a recent supporters meeting. Pasha has declined to meet with supporters and has overseen the ever decreasing communication between the club and supporters. The supporters would like to ask Suhail “What is your agenda?”
Gandhi Babu, listed as a Director of Blackburn Rovers, and rumoured to be of a financial background, given our financial position and lack of business plan, the supporters would like to ask Mr Babu, “What is your agenda?”
Robert Coar, a non-executive director and previous chairman of Blackburn Rovers. When asked about his role of the last six years at Ewood, he chose to respond with a threat of “I’ll see you in court” to a supporter. The supporters would like to ask Bob, “What is your agenda?”
The supporters agenda is transparent, you all know that agenda, what nobody knows is what is the agenda of those involved at Blackburn Rovers, over to you!
Reproduced with thanks and apologies to BRAG and Spanish Rover.
The suggestion that Sam Allardyce might be charged, and banned, by the Football Association for openly discussing ways to circumnavigate the rules on third-party ownership, appears to have more to do with his employers seeking to vindicate their decision than any major transgression. Allardyce was an ungrateful and grasping employee, and his standing was undoubtedly damaged, but the FA must now suspect that, had they held their nerve, he could still have been in a job. So they need to play up his crime — make it seem more serious than it truly was.
The biggest scandal over third-party ownership concerned West Ham and Carlos Tevez, a transfer that took place in 2006. When did the FA get around to outlawing the practice? 2009. And FIFA? 2015. As Allardyce said, there is a way around it — and it starts at the top.
Faced with a third-party contract, the Premier League deploy lawyers to walk the club through the offending clauses, and remove them. To fully comply, they must then buy out the third-party owners, too.
Allardyce told Telegraph journalists, posing as investors: ‘You can still get round it. You get a percentage of the player’s agent’s fee that the agent pays to you, the company. You’re not getting a part of the transfer fee any more, because you can’t do that. But because of the size of the contracts now, the contract will be worth £30m, £40m, and you’ve done a deal with the agent where you’re getting five per cent of the agent’s fee, which is massive for about two hours’ work.’ So that’s pretty much the same as the Premier League’s guidance. You can’t have third-party ownership clauses, and you can’t have influence and you can’t claim the transfer fee — but you can be compensated, although the player will no longer be your property. And the FA want to ban Allardyce? If he was a lawyer, he would charge £1,000 an hour.
As rovers sink further into the abyss under Owen Coyle (pic above). Here are some thoughts I posted on a Rovers forum back in November 2016.
Was I right or wrong ?. Events since suggest I was right.
Owen Coyle has now had 16 league games in charge. The same number as Gary Bowyer was given by the owners last season. So i now presume that is the benchmark given by Suhail Pasha, advisor to the owners, when assessing the managers performance in the first third of the season. Might sound a tad harsh, but it is more than some managers get, such is the world of football now.
The question now being, why is Coyle still here ? It can not be to stabilise the club, his continued presence is de stabilising the club, as supporters grow more and more frustrated. Bowyer stabilisd the club over two and a half years, so any pretence of stability fly's out of the window. To compound the issue, Bowyer had a much better record than Coyle over those 16 games.
More points, less defeats, less goals conceded, better goal difference, higher league placing, and not in the bottom 3. The only area Coyle betters Bowyer is one more goal scored. And have to mention, the home attendances were averaging over 3,000 higher under Bowyer.
So why is Coyle still here ? Could it be, as rumour has it on this form, he is connected to Anderson/Kentaro agency, who is rumoured still to have a influence in matters at Ewood Park ? There are even rumours on twitter that Pasha is connected to Kentaro/SEM. Something is strange, it does not quite add up or make sense.
Bowyers record 2015. P.16 W.3 L.5 D.8 F.15 A.15 GD.0 PTS 17 POS. 16th.
Coyles record 2016. P16 W. 3 L.9 D.4 F.16 A.25 GD.-9 PTS 13 POS 23rd.
How and why is Coyle still here ?
Originally Posted 11th November 2016
November 8th 2016. Exactly one year since Gary Bowyer was sacked.
What have we achieved ? Are we in a better position ? Is the club more stable ? Are the supporters any happier ? Have attendances increased Are we any nearer getting back into the Premiership ? Do we play better football ? Have we a better manager of repute ? Is Ewood a happier place to be ?
The answer to all that is a big fat NO. So what was the point ?
Bowyer Bashers, explain please !
Originally Posted 11th November 2016