When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Keeley: Don't have a pop at Rovers fans
GLENN Keeley has hit out at criticism of Blackburn Rovers supporters after insisting their love for the club has left them ‘torn’ over how to deal with unhappiness at the Venky’s regime.
Keeley represented Rovers for 11 years between 1976 and 1987 and has joined many fans by expressing his deep concern about the current direction the club is heading in under Venky’s following relegation from the Premier League.
Supporters were often chastised by pundits during the 2011/12 campaign because of their protests against boss Steve Kean and the club’s owners, while many fans are now reluctant to renew their season tickets for next season because of a lack of change at Ewood Park.
But Keeley believes Rovers supporters have been left in a no win position and that their protests have simply been because of their deep affection for the club.
“I’ve been really concerned about the bad press that the people of Blackburn have got because of their protests but what do you do?” said the 57-year-old former centre half.
“I really don’t understand why the national media have been so hard on the people of Blackburn.
“This is an awful situation for Blackburn Rovers as a club. But more than that this club is about the supporters and it’s a terrible situation that the community, through no fault of their own, find themselves in.
“How do you get people’s attentions? When you see things that are clearly wrong going on in front of your eyes week in week out, no-one wants to advise the supporters not to turn up or not to buy a season ticket. No-one wants that.
“But at the same time they are torn with a love, it’s like having your child as a drug addict or something, you’re torn between that love and yet on the other side of it you think, ‘This is wrong’.
“I do feel that a lot of the fans are in an awful position.
“How do you make your feelings known? What do you do, protest or stay away? I don’t know.”
Keeley offered his support to the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust at a recent open meeting and, even if the group’s hopes of raising £10m and then launching a takeover cannot be realised, he believes highlighting the fans’ current predicament remains important.
“I don’t know if the trust can raise enough money or bring Venky’s to the table, for them this is peanuts,” he said.
“However will it raise the profile of the issue and keep it in the public eye? Yes. Do we need to do that? Yes.
“I know this has got the support of a lot more people than you would realise.
“I know because I talk to friends who are ex-players. It is difficult for some people because of the positions they are in to put their head above the parapet, I do understand that.
“But it’s difficult to see the sense in a lot of things that have happened in the last year and a half.”