Writer: Mikey Delap
Date:Thursday April 12 2012
The Blackburn Rovers Action Group have outlined their continued stance against the owners of the football club in a new statement designed to put pressure on their reign.
Rovers now sit in 19th in the table with a three point gap separating them from safety which added to the 18 month long shambles that Venky's have overseen has left the group with little option but to ask for an out pour of unhappiness from the fans against the owners and as a result manager Steve Kean.
Here is the statement in full...
For the majority of the season protests have become the norm at Ewood Park as supporters of Blackburn Rovers have voiced their concerns over the direction of the football club that they have supported unconditionally throughout their lives. Throughout this time the club have manipulated the media by strategically implementing a smear campaign against its own supporters by painting Steve Kean as the victim.
Steve Kean has been portrayed the victim in the world`s media and it is time to ask where the sympathy is for the supporters who live and breath this club? For seven long and painful months the supporters have voiced their fears and during this time managers of other clubs and sections of the media have criticised these supporters without understanding their concerns and reasons for protests.
Steve Kean has made some outrageous statements and pledges throughout the current season. In June 2011 following the sale of Phil Jones he claimed "Phil wanted to play Champions League football now. We`re not there yet but I`m sure we will be in the next three or four seasons." On the 16th November 2011 he said "I don`t look at this season in terms of trying to salvage something from it and I think we have a good enough squad to be in the top 10." Ahead of our trip to Wigan in the same month he stated "We won`t get relegated, absolutely no chance."
It was obvious to most people at the time of these quotes that they where outrageous statements to make, however it is now a clear indication that Steve Kean has fallen short of what is expected by both the supporters of the club and himself.
Despite making these claims, the reality of the situation is the complete opposite. Steve Kean`s Premier League record consists of a paltry 12 wins from 54 games. Blackburn Rovers have been hurtling towards relegation since the day he took charge 16 months ago and if this club goes down the reason will be Steve Kean coupled with the owner`s ignorance to the situation, yet the supporters who foresaw this conclusion were ridiculed.
Tuesday saw the first visit of Venkatesh and Balaji Rao since the 19th November 2011. A whole 144 days and 21 league games have passed us by during this period of time in which we have sold our team captain and given away our club captain, we have broken the record for the most consecutive games without a clean sheet in the Premier League since the start of the season, the supporters have been blamed live on television for the club`s form by the managers agent, the manager admitted he "forfeited" a cup quarter final, the club posted record annual losses up almost 1000% on the previous year and the manager was rewarded with a new contract as a bonus for his record of 6 wins in 33 league matches.
During Venkys 5 month absence and continued silence, the board of Blackburn Rovers have made no attempt to open constructive dialogue with the protest group.
Despite numerous attempts by the supporters to discuss their concerns around a table, the Board of Directors have reneged on all agreements put in place and have refused to hold open meetings with the group, despite the Deputy Chief Executive Paul Hunt claiming live on local radio that he would hold a full minuted meeting with the protest group, something he later contradicted via a publication on the clubs official website.
The supporters feel helpless whilst the manager is failing in his job, the owners are missing and the board of directors are refusing to communicate openly with the clubs concerned supporters. The biggest form of protest will take place over the summer when large sections of supporters refuse to renew their season tickets, with the latest estimation on the early bird renewals standing at less than 2,000 to date.
Prior to the forthcoming home match against Norwich City on Saturday 21st March 2012 sections of Blackburn Rovers supporters will hold a 'community march` from Blackburn town centre to Ewood Park and this march will call for the removal of manager Steve Kean, the board of directors and for Venkys to sell the club.
This season has seen a reduction in attendances, as between 2500-3000 supporters have opted to protest with their feet and stop attending home games and these supporters are urged to join in the community march to show their feelings towards the utter disregard the club has treat them with.
"It is with no alternative that we must yet again step up our protests against the owners, the manager and the board of directors of Blackburn Rovers football club. These protests will now run indefinitely until these 3 elements are removed from Blackburn Rovers football club.
Since the takeover from the Walker Trust in November 2010 we have been failing at an alarming rate both on and off the pitch. We feel that we have a duty to the badge which we have supported unconditionally throughout our lives as Blackburn Rovers supporters and our concerns run a lot deeper than fear of relegation. This is about the very future of our football club and what it means to the town of Blackburn.
Venkys have dismantled an experienced network of football administration and replaced it with an inexperienced board which still lacks the presence of both a chairman and a chief executive. They have dismantled an experienced premiership playing squad, selling or giving away players whom have amassed 600 Premier League games between them, in January alone. Upon their takeover they very quickly replaced a vastly experienced manager with a total novice and have retained him despite his abysmal record.
During this time the club has posted record financial losses and plummeted down the Premier League table without showing any signs of improvement. The manager has portrayed the people of Blackburn out to be thugs who have put his personal safety at danger whilst the board of directors have strategically divided supporters and the owners have shown neglect to both the supporters and the towns community.
Both Blackburn Rovers and the town of Blackburn deserves better, therefore it is intended that a Blackburn Rovers community march will take place prior to the next home game which will carry the message 'Blackburn wants it`s Rovers back`
We urge all supporters and the public of Blackburn to come together as a community to show our disgust at the utter contempt these people have shown to our town`s traditions and heritage, together with the recklessness shown to our town`s football club."
Date:Thursday April 12 2012
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