Date:Tuesday November 29 2011
A new press release by long-time supporters of Blackburn Rovers has been released this afternoon which has made it clear there will be another protest during the Rovers vs Swansea City match aimed at putting pressure on manager Steve Kean and owners Venky's.
The new protest comes on the back of months of unrest at the club and is organised for the Saturday afternoon match and will be similar to previous protests at home matches.
With protests having taken place for nearly 3 months now, beginning prior to the only league victory of the season so far against Arsenal on Saturday 17th September 2011. Rovers despite this success have had an otherwise poor campaign in which the team is currently rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table, and manager Steve Kean has consistently failed to impress both on and off the field.
Promising news has come in the form of Kean saying in the media that he would be willing to talk to protest organisers but with similar promises made earlier in the season to no avail the protest is aiming to show how dire the communication at the club has become. Kean himself made the same promise live on Sky Sports News on the 18th September in which he told the world that he would be willing to meet protest organiser Glen Mullan.
However nearly 3 months after making such claims, Vital Blackburn Rovers understands that no such meeting has taken place. Numerous attempts at organising such meetings and attempts to speak with the manager, The Board of directors and the club owners Venky's have gone ignored. So it will be interesting to see whether this transpires.
Indeed, communication between the club, its fans and the media have never been in such a poor state. Under the Walker Trust and former Chairman John Williams, a phone-call, letter or email was usually replied to within 24-48 hours. Sometimes even directly by phone by Mr Williams himself. A pleasure this author misses the 'apparent' luxuries of under this 'current' regime.
Following very poor performances away to the then league bottom team Wigan Athletic in which a draw was scraped due to a last gasp penalty, and a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of Stoke City the weekend just gone. It is apparent that Rovers fans plan to carry out protests at the next match at Ewood Park on Saturday the 3rd of December against Swansea City, should the team win, lose or draw.
Protest organisers appeal to all fans unhappy at the current management of the team and the club as a whole to seek out information on future protests via contact with Glen Mullan or Simon Littler and through the dedicated pages on Twitter and Facebook.
This new protest Press Release also reflects the need for answers to pressing questions on the mind of most Rovers fans in this current climate.
These concerns documented include:
1- Why has Venkys taken out mortgages on future income and put none of their own wealth into the club?
2- What is Jerome Anderson`s role at the club?
3- Who is identifying player targets for the club?
4- Why does no-one employed by Venkys here in England including the board not know the answers to the questions posed to them on the 4th November?
5- How cut adrift at the bottom of the league does our club have to be before Steve Kean is removed as Manager of Blackburn Rovers?
6- Why has Chief Decision make Mrs A Desai only been to Blackburn once in over 12 months?
7- Why do we not have a chairman?
8- Why do we not have a Chief Executive?
9- Why have the club replaced employees who are widely recognised as some of the best in the modern game and replaced them with inexperienced individuals?
10- Who owns Blackburn Rovers?
11- Who owns Ewood Park and the training ground, and is it mortgaged and if so why?
12- Why has the club denied the bid from Qataris when the Qatar Company insist a bid was made?
13- What is the club's contingency plan should we get relegated?
14- Why will the board and Venkys not meet with supporters to listen to these concerns?
15- Why has the club tried to ban supporter`s freedom of speech, by banning banners and yellow garments from Ewood Park?
16- Why does the Manager insist on saying a majority of supporters are fully behind him when all evidence suggest otherwise?
17- Why have the club planted seeds with statements that have brought violence to the stands at Ewood Park?
18- Why has someone at Ewood Park passed the protest organisers personal details to individuals who have resulted in threats, and one assault to date?
19- Why did the club not remove a R.I.P Banner with Glen Mullan`s name on which was attached to Blackburn Rovers ground Ewood Park for over 6 hours?
20- Why have the club not made public the minutes of an interim meeting which took place on the 2nd November with 8 supporters?
21- Why have the club not arranged the meeting with the board which was J Newsham's recommendation following the interim meeting?
22- Why did Venkys agree to refund a few supporters who traveled to Pune independently during their exhibition tour, and to date those individuals have not received a refund?
23- Why has our principle sponsor had to go public about his concerns and the clubs lack of communication?
24- Why did the club not manage to secure a paying sponsor for this year`s replica shirts?
25- Why has the club been saying for 5 months that Junior Hoilett`s contract is as good as signed and still it appears no closer?
26- Why does Venkys have no daily presence here in the UK involved in the day to day running of the club?
27- Why did the owners leave at Half-time during the recent Wigan Athletic Fixture
28- Why was Steve Kean rewarded with a new contract, when our league position and his performance of just 6 wins in 34 games is one of the worst the league has ever witnessed?
29- What is the role of Steve Kean at Ewood Park, as the club have confirmed he does not communicate with them and answers directly to Pune?
30- Why have all our accounts been removed from the UK and moved over to India
In regard to the protest on Saturday 3rd of December 2011, Vital Blackburn Rovers has been made aware that Supporters are advised to meet at Ewood Park from 14:30 to call for Venkys to sell the club and for the removal of Steve Kean. The protest will then proceed into the stadium and singing will continue for the managers removal for the full 90 minutes regardless of score. The club has advised that supporters who have any banners will have them removed by the stewards.
A bright yellow eye-catching official protest t-shirt has been on sale for supporters for nearly 2 weeks now reading "100% Support the Players 0% Venkys and Kean."
It is believed that over a thousand of these t-shirts have been purchased to date and orders are continuing to be made daily.
It will be interesting to see how fans are treated on Saturday against Swansea as fans wearing this item were asked to remove these t-shirts or risk ejection from the stadium in the recent defeat to Stoke City. I myself have spoken to several fans who experienced the intimidating behaviour of stewards at the Britannia Stadium and would hope that this peaceful form of protest be allowed at Ewood Park.
In a country which supposedly prides itself for it's freedom of speech surely this minimal form of protest should be allowed.
In particular, I don't think this issue could contravene Health and Safety Rules any more than any protests which have been known to take place in this country?
The Press Release on the whole reflects disappointment that Steve Kean felt the need to 'gesture' in the direction of paying fans in a provocative way. Another example of this managers poor behaviour on and off the field.
Protest organisers have spoken to the Lancashire Police with regards to the removal of t-shirts in the stadium, in which they revealed that they would be opposing any plans by the club to remove the yellow T-shirts from supporters.
However it should be warned that in a conversation with the FA yesterday afternoon (28/11/2011) I was advised that 'football club officials can implement whichever rules they like'.
So whilst this Rovers fan encourages the wearing of protest t-shirts, I would advise a few more layers 'just in case'!
Protest organisers Glen Mullan & Simon Littler Statement:
"These will be the most intense protests to date as the club has shown a total lack of respect to its paying customer. Communication from the Board of Directors, Venkys and Steve Kean has been zero since the club was bought over 12 months ago. No-one at Ewood Park seems willing to answer any questions or meet with any supporters to address these concerns. It is not clear who now makes decisions at Blackburn Rovers, whilst our club has become a shambles both on and off the pitch. Despite our best efforts over the last 3 months to open dialogue with the owners and board of directors the club has ignored all contact. We feel the club should be looking to work with supporters to bring a peaceful end to Protest, Supporters have always had an open door and willingness to open up discussions. It is the belief of many supporters that the club is not being run in accordance with Premier league guidelines and off the field activity could have a bigger bearing on the clubs future than that which is currently taking place on the pitch. We once again make an open plea to Venkys and the Board of Directors to have a meeting with the clubs supporters here in Blackburn and ease these concerns for the long term benefit of the supporter`s relationship with the club"
We should all remember that this protest is a peaceful one.
We all support Blackburn Rovers, and whether you are in favour of Steve Kean, or not, violence has absolutely no place at any professional football ground!
Mr Kean recently stated; 'The good fans have decided enough is enough and they won't tolerate any more negative singing or demonstrations'.
As a Rovers fan who has been heavily involved in the effort to have him removed as manager. I have witnessed that this statement is very misleading.
The portion of Blackburn Rovers fans who want Steve Kean removed as manager is a lot bigger then he would like anyone to believe.
A drop in the ocean in relative terms are the members of the 'Sack Steve Kean' group on Facebook. A group that at this second stands at 1750.
Season tickets are down by 1,500, and average match attendances are down by around 3,000 people.
Whilst it might be easy to reflect that fans are not against him, it is quite easy to reflect that fans are voting with their feet in terms of not renewing season tickets and not attending matches.
So whilst I encourage fans to show their unhappiness at the current situation at the club. I plead with people to do so in a professional, peaceful and considered manner!
Date:Tuesday November 29 2011
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