Vital Football

Latest Blackburn Rovers News

Agents, Rovers and Cricket Loving Owners

Agents, Rovers and Cricket Loving Owners

Some of you may have already delved in ahead of time to purchase a copy of the book Agents, Rovers and Cricket Loving Owners from the Rovertaken website but ahead of it's full commercial release I spoke with the author of the book, Michael Blackburn, about the ins and outs of why, when and how the book came to be.

Sit back with a brew and take this one in boys and girls, well worth a read...

- First up, what influenced you to write Agents, Rovers and Crickets Loving Owners?

I am a proper Rovers fan, football fan and proud local man. Football used to be a laugh but in recent years I have become disillusioned with the game. After the Venky`s takeover I became frustrated with the way the club was heading and angry about how the story was being reported by career journalists who have little real passion for Rovers.

- How long have you been going to Rovers games for?

My first game was the Full Members Cup Final in 1987. Difficult to support anyone else after watching your team win a Wembley cup final at the age of 6. I started going to games regularly from the end of the 1980s and have been going ever since.

- What changes have you seen in the atmosphere since the Venkys took over?

A massive drop in attendances and a general mixture of disillusionment, helplessness and anger. It was grim at times under Allardyce but this is something totally different. I am glad that Rovers fans haven`t just sat back and let it happen though. I think one day it will be recognised how impressive Rovers fans have actually been in our efforts to ensure our club is run as it should be.

- What difficulties did you come up against whilst writing the book?

It is a story that is evolving all the time but I am happy that I have been able to end the book at a point that rounds off everything I have tried to say. I did plan to end the book with relegation but in a very short space of time shortly in to the close season there were a series of appointments and promotions, BRFC Action Group met with members of the Houses of Parliament, BRSIT packed out King George`s Hall for their open meeting and Richard Scudamore announced that the television deal for 2013 - 2016 would be worth in excess of a billion pounds a season.

- Who is your main target audience?

All proper football fans. The problems that we have seen at Rovers could have quite easily happened at any one of countless other clubs - some probably will in the future. The enemy in football is no longer the nearest club on the map it is the people who are helping themselves to the Premier League billions every year with little obvious regard for the game. Proper football fans shouldn`t just let it happen.

- In your book, you look a lot into different journalist's articles on Rovers since the Venkys takeover. Who do you feel has given the most inaccurate write up of the on-goings at Blackburn?

If I am naming names Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror is probably the most frustrating. He gets a lot of things spot on and then he spoils it by being the first to reveal that we are interested in signing Luis Fabiano. You could argue don`t shoot the messenger but personally if this was the message I just wouldn`t print it. It was embarrassing being linked with players like Ronaldinho, Luis Fabiano and Raul when we actually went on to sign David Goodwillie. It makes you wonder who was feeding Nixon some of this stuff.

- Following on from the previous question, which journalists do you feel give the most honest account of the on-goings at Blackburn?

I like David Conn in The Guardian. Nick Harris of the Mail on Sunday has uncovered some good stuff. There are plenty of journalists out there who were sympathetic towards Rovers fans` plight (Martin Lipton of the Daily Mirror, Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph) - it is just a shame they were often drownedout by the "experts" on television who make a living talking you through highlights of games they didn`t go to.

- Did you have any luck in contacting any past players or staff when researching for your book? And what have you made of their willingness to come forward with information?

It is difficult to engage people in the football world in meaningful two-way conversation. I didn`t just want to repeat the questions that have already been answered. I had my sources that helped point me in the right direction in terms of what information I should be focusing on. All the questions have been asked and they will continue to be asked until the fans are satisfied with the answers. I have no intention of writing a sequel (this book nearly finished me off!) but I am still keen to know more. Details of any follow-up stuff I do will be going straight on to the website. There are a couple of interesting Q&A`s going on there this week.

- Do you think the owners will benefit from reading the book?

Yes. If they go onto the website I am happy to ship them a copy to India or they can come round to my house and pick one up next time they are in Blackburn. Rovers` fans` anger and hunger to know more is totally justified and rational. Anyone who is still struggling to understand this would really benefit from reading the book and taking a good look at the facts that have come out over the last 2 years.

- Do you feel that the Venkys still have time to rebuild their relationship with the fans?

I can only speak for myself but I would rather just see them go. Ideally I would like to see them sell the club to a buyer who understands what BRFC means to the club`s supporters and the town. Realistically, I would be happy to see them sell the club to anyone who can do a better job than they have.

Why do you think Steve Kean still remains as manager today?

I can`t think of any football reasons. People seem impressed by his thick skin. Maybe it is that.

- What do you make of Agnew's appointment at the club, and how do you think he is able to fill such a position as Operations Director?

Paul Agnew told protesters during 2011/12 that they should be targeting the owners if anything - not Steve Kean. How aware Venky`s were of this when they promoted him to Operations Director I don`t know.

- What do you make of the appointment of Shebby Singh and his relationship with Kean?

I remain undecided about Shebby Singh. He was happy to talk about Ronnie Clayton but he won`t talk about the period between November 2010 and May 2012. At times I still see him as "Sideshow Shebby." It`s easy to talk big but will he be sat in the Riverside getting rained on if it doesn`t work out?

- Do you sense future problems for the club should Venkys continue to run the club in the manner that they have been?

Whether we are promoted, relegated or we stay in The Championship I don`t really see problems at the club ending.

- Finally, could you give me your season prediction....

Final League Position: No idea. We have got the best car in the race but still major question marks about the guy who is driving it and the team of staff around him.

Key Player: Paul Robinson - surprised he didn`t go in the summer but glad he stayed. He dropped a clanger at Leeds the other week but I think his experience and quality can only increase our promotion chances.

The book is available to buy now at at the discounted price of £7.99 and will also be available later in the month on Amazon and most high street book shops at the higher price of £12.99

Join The Vital Debate

Win FREE pizza with Vital Football!
Select your team and get 50% off if they score twice.

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

Writer:Mikey Delap
Date:Thursday September 27 2012
Time: 10:51AM


Thanks to Michael for taking the time to talk with us about his new book, you can grab a copy by hitting -
Mikey Delap
27/09/2012 10:53:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Blackburn Rovers Articles

How Much Have Blackburn Earned Since 1992?

With the £100million television ceiling being broken this season and handed to one club, where do Blackburn Rovers fall in all time Premier League payments table?

Slade, McLeish Or Coyle For Blackburn?

Former Cardiff boss Slade has been 'interviewed' whereas former Rangers & Birmingham boss McLeish and ex Burnley & Bolton boss Coyle have both been 'odds on favourite' in the past days.

Who Will Blackburn Face In 2016/17 (30/5/16)

All promotions and relegations for the season of 2015/16 have been confirmed, so the full make up of the Championship for 2016/17 is now known.

Graham Could Still Make Blackburn Move

Wigan, Birmingham & Preston are all being linked with Graham; Celtic could also make a move for the Sunderland striker who will leave the Stadium of Light on a free transfer.

Archived Vital Blackburn Articles

Vital Blackburn articles from

Site Journalists

Editor email
no email
Mikey Delap
no email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Reading MotM
Suggested By: Site Staff
Jordi Gomez1%
Sub - Evans2%
Sub - Jackson2%
Sub - Conway2%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Blackburn Rovers Results (view all)

Blackburn Rovers Fixtures (view all)