Blackburn Club Focus – Speculation that Qatari oil giant is looking to buy Rovers off Venky’s

When the Jack Walker Trust put Blackburn Rovers up for sale around three years ago, they found it desperately difficult to seek out a buyer for the proud Lancashire club. It took more than 18 months before significant interest was shown and just a year ago Rovers were eventually sold to Indian poultry giants Venky’s. Now, according to recent reports in the Daily Mirror and The Lancashire Telegraph, a wealthy Qatari oil giant could be set to launch an astonishing takeover bid for the struggling club.

The arrival of a mega-rich owner from the Middle East would be a fairytale ending for many passionate Rovers supporters, who are now buzzing in anticipation of a possible takeover. Sadly for them, it has been reported that ‘after just missing out on Manchester United’ the Qataris, who already have ties with Paris Saint-Germain, Malaga and Barcelona, are simply on the hunt to buy an English club and could opt to purchase Everton instead.

Despite the fact that the group in question may not actually be fully committed to or interested in purchasing Rovers – links with Everton suggest they are exploring several avenues – supporters of the Ewood Park outfit look set to step up their anger towards Venky’s. Further protests are expected over the next few weeks in order to drive the current owners out of the club. A Facebook page titled ‘Venkys out. Oil Giants in’ has attracted almost 100 fans so far, while supporters on Twitter are frequently using similar slogans.

According to fans, Venky’s have made some poor decisions since buying the club last year. Many believe that they have failed to adequately replace chairman John Williams and managing director Tom Finn, while there are some that are simply disillusioned by their lofty aims for the club on such a low budget. In the past, both Steve Kean and Venky’s have claimed that Rovers could qualify for Europe via a top-six Premier League finish over the coming years. Some fans cannot see this happening.

News of a possible Qatari bid has already caused quite a stir, but if there is to be an offer made and Venky’s refuse to sell, then fans may give the current owners an extremely difficult time over the coming months. The Indians are already relatively unpopular in Lancashire due to their continued support of under-performing manager Kean, but should they reject a bid from Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, then fans could take their protests against the current regime to a whole new level.

Meanwhile, Rovers are offering supporters a discounted ticket package for the next three crucial home league games in order to encourage supporters to get behind the team. Adults will be able to watch all three matches against Swansea, West Brom and Bolton for just £20, while seniors, students and juniors can enjoy the action for just £10.

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