Former Rovers chief scout Mike Rigg told Venky’s to stick with Gary Bowyer (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Former Rovers chief scout Mike Rigg told Venky’s to stick with Gary Bowyer
NEW Football Association talent chief Mike Rigg has revealed he advised Blackburn Rovers owners Venky’s to stick with boss Gary Bowyer.
Rigg, who was linked with a return to Rovers in a senior football executive role, was flown out to India in the summer for talks with Venky’s matriarch Mrs Desai.
Rigg was never offered or asked for a job at the Pune meeting.
Instead he used it to give advice to Venky’s on how to run Rovers.
The 44-year-old, who used to be the club’s chief scout under Mark Hughes, recommended that they keep faith with Bowyer after sacking three managers last season.
And Rigg, who will take over as the FA’s new head of talent identification in January, urged Venky’s to put a structure in place that will allow Rovers to compete for a place back in the Premier League.
He said: “I met one of the brothers down in London and then a couple of days later I found myself on a plane flying out to Mumbai and then driving over to Pune, where I spent a couple of hours with Madame Desai.
“I’d done my research before and I’d read all the criticism they’d got as a family and I was expecting something very different.
“But she was a very engaging, very bright woman who I thought had the best interests of the club at heart.
“I just shared some of my experiences and opinions with her.
“I said it doesn’t help when you change managers so often. If you’re changing the significant people in the club every six months then you shouldn’t be surprised that upheaval has ramifications right across the club.
“You’ve appointed a manager – now support him and allow that manager to develop a strategy and develop a structure.
“That was the basis of the conversation. It wasn’t a case of do you want to come and work for Blackburn? And it wasn’t me saying I would like to come and work there.”
While Rigg was impressed by Madame Desai he believes her encouraging words must be backed up by actions.
He said: “They’ve gone through a lot of turmoil on and off the pitch over the last year – Shebby Singh, Henning Berg and the other managers, players in and players out – but now there’s a real need for structure and stability for Blackburn if they’re going to have any chance of getting back to where they belong.”
Rigg spent two years as Rovers’ chief scout before following Hughes to Manchester City in 2008.
Days after his arrival at City – where he was technical director – they were taken over by the Abu Dhabi United Group.
Rigg credits his time at Ewood Park as giving him the experience to cope with a period of ‘mind-blowing change’ as City – bankrolled by their Middle East billions – were transformed into Premier League champions.
He said: “Rovers were like my first proper girlfriend.
“It was my first Premier League club so I look back really fondly at Blackburn. It is such a brilliant club.”
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