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Blackburn Club Focus - Decisions needed as confusion reigns

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By Mushtaq Quraishi

Thursday 24 May 2012

The chaos at Blackburn Rovers continues. Despite the club suffering relegation from the Premier League for the first time in 11 years, the inquest into where it all went wrong has seemingly not even begun. If it has, then owners Venky’s have not yet tackled the root cause or causes of Rovers’ miserable season. In an interview aired on Sky Sports News on Wednesday, co-owner Venkatesh Rao admitted that “everything is in confusion” following relegation. Furious fans are even more confused about why Venky’s have not yet made a decision on much-maligned manager Steve Kean’s immediate future.

Rao claimed that “the whole picture will be clear” in the next month, although that statement will not fill supporters with much confidence. Kean travelled to India to meet with the owners last week, with many Ewood Park regulars hoping and expecting that he would have been sacked. Instead, the ever-positive Scot appears to have survived, for this week at least. If Rao is to be believed, then a definite decision over Kean’s future will be made by June.

While many would suggest that Kean should be held responsible for Rovers slipping into the second tier of English football, there are other issues which may also need to be explored. A question which has been asked by several supporters since the departure of the highly-respected John Williams is - why is the club operating without a chairman? Blackburn have also been without a CEO or managing director for quite some time, while even Deputy CEO Paul Hunt has departed the club since relegation. Will the decisions Rao hints at being taken next month include the implementation of a structure at the club?

Other factors which need to be considered include the playing staff. Should they have been expected to guide the team to survival last season? If not, then why not? Was enough money invested in the squad? Why were players such as Michel Salgado marginalised over reported contractual problems? If Venky’s begin to answer these questions, which are on the lips of many fans, then they may be in a strong position to assess their options ahead of next season and decide on which players should stay or go, what the transfer budget this summer should be and whether or not Kean is the right man to spend any of the available money efficiently.

As it stands, according to a survey conducted from across the Premier League clubs, 56% of Rovers fans indicated they would not be renewing their season tickets - a figure which was alarmingly 20% higher than any other club. The Lancashire Telegraph suggests that between 5,000 and 6,000 season tickets have been sold for the 2012/13 campaign through the early-bird deal - and numbers are currently down by approximately 10,000.

Therefore, it is clear that Venky’s will have a lot of questions to answer, decisions to make and convincing to do before the fans start to feel valued once again. Blackburn supporters can only hope that things become clearer within the next month, as Rao has suggested.

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