Shebby Singh: We need to make our club great again
Blackburn Rovers Global Advisor Shebby Singh says it is time to make the club great again in the wake of Steve Kean`s departure.
It is no secret that the fans have had a rough time of it over the last two years, something which Shebby is well aware of, and he says it is time to move forward, and learn from past mistakes.
I caught up with the man himself earlier today to get his thoughts on a number of things, including how he plans to win back the fans.
I am aware of many fans who have had season tickets for 10, 20, 30 years and this year have not renewed. What do you say to bring them back, and to what extent do you think the change of manager will affect their decision?
Since I have been here in the thick of things, it was pretty obvious that the fans were staying away, but now that we are moving on, we are going in a new direction. I would appeal to the fans, come back. There was a decision which needed to be made, that decision was made, and now we need to walk hand in hand once again, so to the fans I would say; you have been great with me in the few months I have been here, and now we need to make our club great again.
When you say a decision was made, are you saying the club have actually got rid of Steve Kean as manager?
It is fair to say that there were circumstances surrounding the reasons why the fans were staying away, despite us signing a host of good players, despite us starting the season well.
At the end of the day, I can only say what has happened since I arrived here in June. The fans have been through difficult times, extremely difficult times, but it is behind us now, and I think that is more important, the present and the future. You take lessons from the past and you move on.
The people of Blackburn have been left in the dark for nearly two years. Why the sudden change? To what extent is it to do with the owners losing money and how much do they really care about the fans` feelings?
I have always maintained that I can only speak for my time here, since I have come here in June. I have had tremendous support from my colleagues here at Ewood Park, the senior training centre and the academy.
The fans have been brilliant with me, they have been honest with me, I have been honest with them, but at the end of the day the running of a football club is not cheap. The owners need the fans, the fans need the owners and a club without strong ownership can struggle. Now it is time to leave the dark days behind us and look forward to working together again.
Is it important that we get a manager in who has a relationship with the fans or is it a case of someone being purely the right man for the job for footballing reasons?
I think what is most important is football and football results. That is at the top of our criteria. A manager, whether we have him amongst us or whether we will need to look outside, because I have to be fair to Eric Black, he has two big games against Nottingham Forest and Wolves.
You could go down the popularity list, but does that guarantee you what you want? The fans want results, the fans want to see a competitive team out there fighting for them and giving their all.
The fans have got to go home happy. Games will be won and games will be lost, but fans must always go home with that feel good factor.
In many fans eyes, the decision of who to appoint as the next manager is the most important managerial appointment at the club since Kenny Dalglish in 1991. How can you assure the fans that the people making this decision are qualified to do so?
Trust me. You have got to trust me. I will be involved, heavily involved in making the decision, like I said, whether it is from within or from outside. I think experience is very, very important, having been on the outside watching from thousands of miles away, now being on the inside, we will get it right.
What are your views on the way the team has been performing at the moment?
Well we take the results. The results have been positive, but you can always think the team can be better, and you get the feeling that they will play better. It`s not all negative, it is a new team we have put together and now we have to give them an environment to perform in. I am looking forward to the team stepping up a notch or two.
So an honest assessment from Shebby I think of where we are at. One thing is for sure, the decision on the next manager is not one which will be taken lightly.