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Blackburn Rovers fans pelt club owners Venky's with snowballs
THE husband of Blackburn Rovers' owner was hit in the face by a snowball thrown by a fan during a protest outside Ewood Park.
A crowd gathered outside the ground on Saturday to give the Venky’s a frosty reception ahead of Rovers' clash with Charlton Athletic.
As the owners emerged from their fleet of Rolls Royces, they were met with a chorus of boos and chants of 'Venky's Out'.
The protest culminated when snowballs were thrown, one hitting chairwoman Anuradha Desai’s husband Jitendra in the face.
Police were involved in the incident and were said to have spoken with a fan.
The incident was caught on mobile phones and has attracted several thousand hits on video sharing website YouTube.
It shows the Rao brothers stepping out of their car and a snowball narrowly misses them as they walk away.
A second vehicle pulls up behind from which Mrs Desai and her husband follow her brothers into the club, however before they reach the entrance a snowball hits Mr Desai on the forehead.
Mr Desai, a chartered accountant, keeps walking as a driver hands him a hankerchief and he mops his brow. As the party disappear within, a third snowball hits the club’s entrance.
Mrs Desai was reported to be ‘shocked and upset’ at the snowball incident.
The family were also booed and jeered inside the ground. At half-time they watched children from Lower Darwen Primary School sing their charity single created to raise funds for Maddie’s Butterflies.
When they stood to leave after 65 minutes, boos and cheers erupted in the crowd as crowds sang ‘Cheerio’ to the family.
Rovers' managing director Derek Shaw said: “There were some scenes we could all do without when the owners have come to visit. It’s very disappointing this has happened.”
Mark Fish, secretary of the Rovers Action Group, said the incident was a spontaneous reaction from an isolated group of fans.
He said: “After what has happened over the past two years, the fans are hurting. The Venky’s are not around very often, it was something that was always going to happen.”
Rovers fan Dave Smith, from Darwen, said he did not see the snowball incident but that fans were unimpressed with the early exit.
He said: “The Venky Circus decided to exit Ewood Park after just 65 minutes. This is not only disrepctful but rude and arrogant.
“And they wonder why fans dislike them.”