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Leaked Letter Shows Rovers Destruction

Leaked Letter Shows Rovers Destruction

A Leaked letter, published by Nick Harris of Sporting Intelligence shows a letter from Deputy CEO Paul Hunt to Venkys only hours after Blackburn had lost to Bolton 2-1.

Here is the letter in its entirety.

An extraordinary letter written in late December by Blackburn Rovers` deputy CEO Paul Hunt to the club`s owner, Anuradha Desai, has laid bare the crisis that has been gripping the club all season.

The 2,500-word document, dated 21 December 2011 and written just hours after Rovers had lost 2-1 at home to Bolton on 20 December, details financial problems then afflicting the club, hints at a massive rift between the owners and other executives over the future of manager Steve Kean, and implores Mrs Desai to allow people she had appointed - Hunt included - to run the club.

Blackburn have never appointed a CEO to replace John Williams and so Hunt has been in de facto control at Blackburn since his own appointment last year. What the letter clearly shows, however, is that ultimately control has always rested in India.

Sportingintelligence, which has authenticated the letter as genuine, has had sight of the letter and understands it is in circulation and is likely to published in full imminently.

Hunt begins by writing: "I have been your senior officer at the club for six months now and I feel that I must now write to you to ask you to make some significant changes to save the club, perhaps from relegation but also perhaps from administration.

"In 20 years of the Premier League there has been only one side that was bottom of the league at Christmas that has survived relegation at the end of the season.

"With the bank closing in, I fear that they will look to foreclose and have the potential to implement financial restrictions upon the club that could (as a worst-case scenario) enforce administration.

"I have kept quiet for a time now out of utmost respect and I trust that you realise that I am only emailing you now as I want what is only the best for Blackburn Rovers and the owners.

"I am very much of the opinion that we can save the club and I have always been very supportive and positive towards the owners. Therefore I hope you know that what I am saying is considered, honest, constructive and from the heart.

"I ask that we instigate all the changes below in this 10 point plan."

Regular readers of Sportingintelligence will know many of the key development`s in Blackburn`s story under Venky`s.

Paul Hunt`s 10 point plan to save Blackburn appears to be the last throw of the dice by an executive deeply concerned about turning around a troubled ship.

Unfortunately for fans - who saw their club`s relegation confirmed last night - he was ignored.

The 10-point plan seeks clarity on Hunt`s own position, and then moves on "Owners to invest in the club".

That section says: "As you are aware Barclays have asked for the owners to put £10m into the business. This needs to happen and I am confident that this could only be a loan as we would increase the value of the club significantly. With all the speculation in the press the playing staff value and overall club value is depreciating on a daily basis.

"By putting an end to this the owners would be protecting their investment, putting their trust in the executive team and the club. The position with the finances is a cause for grave concern.

"Auditors KPMG have put as many obstacles as they can in the way of signing off the accounts due to their concerns. We continue to try and work with Barclays but they are very quickly losing patience as we cannot give answers. We have been forced to agree to additional spending against our wishes (Christmas hampers, sponsoring the Princes Trust event etc) and I am fearful that the situation will only get worse.

"During January we need additional funding to pay wages etc."

Point 3 of the 10-point plan is extraordinary and says Kean had not only lost the crowd but also the dressing room.

It says: "Publicly I have been asked to support the manager and I always have as I personally like Steve. I have supported him from the start and have been desperate for him to do well. However, I am now of the opinion that it isn`t working and he is ready to go.

"He has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening`s game has lost the dressing room as well - the players no longer want to play for him. It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club. The board should be asked their opinion in who should be the new manager."

Point four asks Mrs Desai to allow her executives at Ewood to run the club, point five calls for a more cohesive PR strategy, point six calls for more trips by Ewood executives to meet the stayaway owners, point seven asks the owners to visit the club more and point eight asks for the Ewood executives to hire and fire - rather than Mrs Desai making these decisions.

Point nine says: "We are losing fans/customers at an alarming rate. I am very concerned that fans are voting with their feet and not attending, not purchasing and not engaging with the club.

"Research shows that only 5% of ex season ticket holders will ever return. We are losing sponsors and suppliers. I am concerned we will lose Umbro if we continue to manufacture Rovers shirts in India for the RoverStar programme. Their contract specifically disallows this and we are putting at risk £800k of annual revenue.

"The Blackburn Rovers and Venky`s brands are both suffering terribly. Whilst there are negative goings on such as protests, complaints, media stories, unhappy fans etc, then both brands are losing brand equity and consequently, losing value.

"I am also concerned that the Premier League will intervene soon as they may take the view that their brand is being tarnished by association too. It is all reparable of course but we must start to act now by building bridges with fans and the media as above."

The letter finishes with point 10, essentially a drawn out message of regret that the owners have not allowed the club to be run properly from Blackburn. It ends: "I look forward to hearing your thoughts. With very best wishes for a bright future, Paul."

The article can be viewed here

The link to the article can be found here

Shocking to say the least and not that we are the type to say we told you so but.......



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:BomBom
Date:Tuesday May 8 2012
Time: 2:02PM

Comments

0
That's pretty damning to say the least...
Mikey Delap
08/05/2012 14:11:00
0
He writes very well. Who knew anyone at Ewood had such sense at this stage?
theirishrover
08/05/2012 14:25:00
0
Words fail me.
fransavarese
08/05/2012 14:48:00
0
This, together with the excellent 'Blackburn Rovers - Ennui and Catharsis' article sets out plainly and calmly what is wrong. The fact that neither Venky's nor Kean will respond with equal measure and intelligence says it all. They take the fans' money but show them no respect. Kean likes to come across as 'Mr Nice Guy': in reality, he is a grasping, over-promoted puppet. And does he tell the truth? A court of law didn't think so when his drink-driving case was heard!
hmibennett
08/05/2012 14:48:00
0
Get this out there now!
Marcus:)
08/05/2012 15:15:00
0
I just wanted to say I'm a Spurs supporter and want you to know how sick I am for you that this has been done to your club, it is beyond a disgrace. Rampant free market greed has been allowed to poison all that was good in our country. First our utilities(Coal Water Gas) sold off, now our culture and heritage. I pray you get your club back and hope a few Man city fans sober up long enough to spare you a thought, not all that glitters is gold.
spurdon
08/05/2012 15:32:00
0
i'm glad at least someone in the clubs spoke sense and as we all know already, the blame is lies squarely on the owner
DommyWalker
08/05/2012 16:38:00
0
Could have done with this letter being 'leaked' in January..
Waggy Waggy Wagstaff
08/05/2012 16:44:00
0
Could have done with this letter being 'leaked' in January..
Waggy Waggy Wagstaff
08/05/2012 16:44:00
0
ESPN have just broken a story saying Hunt has been sacked...
rossp2112
09/05/2012 11:22:00
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