The View From The Other Side
As always, Vital welcomes its members and readers to post articles, sharing their thoughts on the issues within our club.
Michael @ccmichaelLD has once again stepped up to the plate, providing a unique insight from 'The Other Side'
For the first time in its 136-year history our club is under threat.
Not from the developers, not from the administrators, not the Bank, the owners or (as some would have you believe) the manager. We the fans threaten the existence of our own club. Believe what you will about this season, our owners, our manager, our squad, the Premier League or the officials. It is all irrelevant. For the first time, our fans are embarrassing the club, because we cannot unite. Letters have been sent to Indian publications, Planes have been flown over the grown, protest marches have meandered through the town and still the fans are divided.
We are in a very special elite, a handful of clubs managed to be at the inauguration of the football league and the premier league. We are one of five clubs to have won the league title in the last twenty years. In that time we have had legends of the game, grace our dressing room, not only as players but also as managers. Dalglish, Souness, Shearer and Hughes to name a few. We have a rich history that every fan, resident and any one associated with Blackburn can be very proud of. But we are not without our disappointments. In 1965-66, for example, we won just eight games all season and were relegated. We quickly won three games on the bounce to be heralded as potential winners of the second division. However by the end of the season, with a change of manager, we ended up fourth, and destined to remain in the second division until a dive into the third tier at the beginning of the seventies. A period, which stretched until 1974. The key however to all of this, which is all readily available on www.rovers.co.uk, is that in that final game of 1974, watching Rovers win the Third Division title, was a crowd of 21`000 people. A number akin to those we see at Ewood in these heady days of top-flight football. The club, in five seasons, dropped two divisions, yet the support never wavered. Ask yourself this; was your dad, or granddad a better Rovers fan than you?
id he love the club more than you? No? Then how could he possibly put up with, two relegations in five years, when we seem incapable of dealing with losing seven games in eleven?
The manner in which the club is run, is obviously of the utmost concern to all of us. We all feel passionately about the on goings, we don`t however necessarily agree in how to resolve it, or even if as yet there is anything to be resolved.
What makes us stand out as a club, and as a set of fans, is our level of tolerance. Tolerance of each other, and of our opponents. Sadly from an inside view, it appears that the past twelve months have shaken that tolerance and our collective abilities to listen and appreciate each other. Clearly this has coincided with the takeover of Rovers by the Venky`s Group, and the subsequent appointment of Steve Kean. I am not here to argue the finer points of these issues, they have been dealt with ad infinitum, and we now face a much more pressing threat.
We now enter a stretch of games, in which, we expect a high level of points. It is pivotal to the rest of the campaign. It is pivotal to the type of signings we can make in January. It is pivotal to whether we can tempt Junior to sign a new contract, and in light of the 'news` of interest from Qatar, it is pivotal to the potential of attracting new buyers of the club, if that is to be our fate. So, having said all this is it then wise for us to further embarrass the club with a funereal show of flowers and cards? Is it not somewhat unwise? Could it not, in itself, undermine the hard work that Jack Walker did for us all those years ago? Would we not be better uniting under the red rose of Lancashire and showing that we cannot be divided, not even from within? That we may be beaten, but we`ll never lose our spirit. Our team, and they are that, OUR team, need our fullest support, not to overcome these next six teams, they are more talented than any of us, but to give them the spirit that we all feel so deeply. To show our own players that we are Blackburn Rovers, that we love their inadequacies as much as their brilliance. Forget the owners, forget Steve Kean and forget the protests, for now the largest priority is winning. If you were at work and your customers were constantly berating your boss, would it make you work more or less? Right now WE, need the players to kill themselves on that pitch, to guarantee the victories, the rest of it is crap! It can be put on a backburner, there is a time and a place for protesting, and it is not now. Too much hangs on the success of the next six games for the divisions in our support to be prevalent. Let Swansea, West Brom and Bolton feel the roar of a Rovers crowd singing their team to glory, lets make sure Wigan, Stoke and Sunderland know that they`re playing the Rovers. We will not roll over, we own this league, its our rightful place and we can make sure we stay there in the upcoming games.
We owe it to the team of the late 60`s. In particular we owe it to one man whom Venky`s honoured this season. We owe it to Ronnie Clayton. He retired before Rovers returned to our rightful place at the top of the footballing ladder.
Ask yourself again, were your Dad and Granddad better Rovers fans than you? Did they Love the Club more? No, well prove it! You`ve got six chances, and after that it`s too late, our time has passed. We need the results now. Don`t look back at the end of the season and wish that we`d done things differently. We have an opportunity to ensure our club remains great, and we cannot do that singing divisive songs, or acting against each other. We do that by being united, better still, we do that by being Rovers!