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COMMENT: History helps Rovers with current problems
SO Shebby Singh was surprised so many top managerial names were interested in taking the reigns at Blackburn Rovers. He wasn’t the only one.
Inexcusable dithering, a complete lack of understanding of English football, and a bizarre transfer policy. All traits most managers would dread in prospective owners and just a few of the characteristics Venky’s have shown in abundance.
So what is it that has attracted more than 20 managers to put their name forward to succeed Steve Kean? After all, unless they change their ways, you can’t help but feel this looks every inch the impossible job.
Blackburn Rovers is what has saved them.
When Venky’s bought this club almost two years ago they purchased one of the proudest institutions in English football. They had fantastic history, worldwide respect and a loyal and passionate fan base.
The respect may long since have disappeared among many – with too many good ‘footballing people’ treated poorly by the club – but the other two ingredients remain to give the club a chance of waking from a very real nightmare.
Whether they do awaken or not is now down to Venky’s. You can't help but note the irony that it is Rovers’ reputation – something the poultry giants have so nearly destroyed – that is giving them this second (or maybe even third) chance.
It is the club’s past that sees Rovers still in demand, not the present.
They can’t guarantee the next manager they appoint will be a success, no owner can do that, but what they can do is give him the best possible chance of succeeding.
That means no signing players that the manager hasn’t even seen, no appointing random people in positions of power, and no listening to people who don’t have the best interests of the club at heart.
Whether it is Tim Sherwood, Ian Holloway, Keith Hill or anyone else who has thrown their hat in the ring, Venky’s have to give the manager their support.
And by support, I don’t just mean the illogical and mindless backing they gave to Kean. I mean providing the manager with a solid platform of being a well run, respected and business–like football club.
Throwing millions at whoever comes in in January isn’t what I mean either. That is the last thing the club needs, with many ready to cover their eyes when the latest accounts are published. All anyone wants is a return to normality. If Venky’s have not got the knowledge or ability to run a football club the way it should be run, they need to leave it in the hands of someone who does.
The new manager needs to be his own man. He can’t just pander to wishes of the owners or global advisor and he can’t just exist as a puppet for those in the background.
Bring in a manager to manage the squad his way and Rovers have a chance of a Premier League return. Keep doing things the Venky’s way and we may all know what ‘doing a Pompey’ really means.