Blackburn RAOvers or Mandaric’s Wednesday?

by admin

Friday, December 17th, 2010

It’s been an interesting season so far. Chelsea went on their worst run of form for a decade, United have drawn almost as many as they’ve won and Liverpool were flirting with the relegation zone until Halloween. What’s interested me the most is the mentality of some owners who really don’t know what they’re talking about.

Case in point, Blackburn Rovers was recently bought by the Rao family for £23m. Maybe it’s me but if I’d just taken over a club as big as Blackburn Rovers I’d want to show the fans that I know at least a bit about football even if I was only there to make money out of it. I wont milk it any more so here’s a bit of what they said.

“We see real sustainable growth for the club…both within the UK and also internationally and we intend to exploit our in-depth knowledge of the Indian market in particular, and beyond that the whole of Asia.” Still awake? Read between the lines and you can gather they intend on making Rovers a big club but these are the fans not the board of directors. It helps if you know what you’re getting into, that’s all I’m saying, especially if you’re investing £23m.

But never mind their treatment of the fans, what about Sam Allardyce? He wouldn’t ask for sympathy but I’ve got to give him some. Obviously the 7-1 defeat to United will stick out in everyone’s minds but if you base his performance at Rovers on results, he’s done well. He’s showed he can beat the big sides and win away, picking up three points at St James’ Park and Bloomfield Road this season as well as beating Arsenal, drawing with Chelsea and reaching the semi-final of the Carling Cup last season.

The new owners said, after they took over, that Sam Allardyce “deserved a chance”. How generous of them… Were other board members at the club afraid to advise the new owners then before they sacked him? It certainly seems that way, as it doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Good luck to you Blackburn fans with those guys.

In all fairness, there are some dedicated owners out there. Milan Mandaric, former owner of Portsmouth, has bought Sheffield Wednesday and agreed to wipe out their £30m debt. That sounds like a generous thing to do for a club in the lower leagues given Mandaric’s former position. But what really swung if for me was his statement after the sale was confirmed. Rao family take note.

“I am grateful to the shareholders…and will do everything in my power to restore Sheffield Wednesday to the top table of English football…it is an honour to be given the chance to take one of the oldest names in the game and work to make it great again.” I really buy that. Enthusiasm, respect and knowledge of the club. Is it too much to ask?

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