ALL organised protests at Ewood Park for the crucial next two Premier League home games have been postponed after organisers claimed to have made progress in their bid for improved communications with the club.
A section of supporters have protested against manager Steve Kean and owners Venky’s since early September but organiser Glen Mullan has now reiterated yesterday’s calls in the Lancashire Telegraph for calm ahead of a crunch Ewood Park double header.
With Rovers languishing in the Premier League drop zone, organised protests over the past few months have included pre-match marches, post match sit ins and even a plane fly-over.
Supporters have even been in conflict with each other, as frustration at the club’s situation mounts, while co-owners Venkatesh and Balaji Rao left the Premier League visit to Wigan at half time after coming under heavy criticism before the match.
Mullan has been in talks with club officials in a bid to bring an end to the Ewood hostilities and, ahead of Saturday’s visit of West Brom, has told the Lancashire Telegraph it is time to call them to a halt.
This comes on the back of yesterday’s plea from two East Lancashire businessmen and lifelong Rovers fans, Ian Battersby and Wayne Wild, in the Lancashire Telegraph to stop the protests in a bid to make Venky’s feel able to come to the club to sort the current problems out.
Mullan said: “We are in advanced discussions with the club and we are very, very pleased with the progress that has been made. John Newsham and Paul Hunt’s attention to detail over the last couple of weeks has been exemplary.
“There will be no organised protests this weekend before, after or during the game. We are not cancelling the protests we are postponing them for the next two games, after discussions with the club and with Wayne Wild as well.
“We ask everyone to get behind the team for these two very winnable football matches. Six points is the most important thing, while we remain committed to trying to open up lines of communication with the club for the fans that can stay there for a long time.
“We want a line of communication that will be permanently open.”
Concerns remain over Rovers’ Premier League future with question marks hanging over whether Venky’s are ready to invest in the January transfer window.
Fans are also frustrated at the lack of communication from Venky’s over the past few months but all hope this proposed period of calm will provide a suitable atmosphere to start putting things right “We want fans to be the club’s 12th man for the next two games,” said Mullan. “I need to assure supporters we are not selling them out. This is a postponement as we remain fully committed to seeing out what we started. We are still committed to the cause.
“The supporters who have been protesting, the councillors, Wayne Wild, Ian Battersby, everyone who has raised their concerns in recent weeks have been working for the same goal, and we fully appreciate everything everyone has been doing.
“The protest organisers would also like to make a personal apology to Jason Roberts for the chants heard during the last protest, it was not in the spirit of why we were protesting.”