1:58pm Thursday 16th August 2012
By Jack Straw
I was on holiday last week and so missed the big Rovers meeting at King George’s Hall on Saturday addressed by Shebby Singh, the new “supremo” of the club. But plenty of my friends were, and I’ve read the Lancashire Telegraph’s reports too.
My first reaction is one of relief – that after an excruciating 18 months of drift, there is someone – a single, named individual – who is in charge, and appears to have the authority of the club’s owners.
It was this vacuum at the top of the club, above all, which so corroded the relationship between the club, and its loyal (and long suffering) fans – and placed Steve Kean in the impossible position of appearing to run the club as well as the team.
For sure, we all knew who the owners were – but they were and are in India. For the 10 years after Jack Walker died, Rovers’ owners were an offshore trust, the executors of his estate. No one demanded their presence at the games, because in John Williams there was someone who could answer for them.
Full marks then to Mr Singh for being willing to subject himself to a grilling before a large, and potentially hostile audience.
I know what that feels like. But whenever I’ve stood up before a crowd outside M & S, to speak on something unpopular, I’ve taken comfort from the incredibly strong sense of fair play people have in this area.
Answer questions straight, and you’ll gain respect. That’s what seems to have happened last Saturday – where, according to my pals present, the fans warmed to Mr Singh, and ended up by chanting his name.
That should give the lie to the grossly unfair national press which Rovers fans received last season. Their only crime has been to care too much about their club.
Let’s hope that last Saturday’s meeting becomes a regular occurrence. If Rovers’ fans are shown the same respect they showed to Mr Singh, there are likely to be fewer bad days.
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