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Blackburn Rovers column: Ewood faithful unite in need for change
IF anyone was still of the opinion that only the ‘minority’ of Blackburn Rovers fans were deeply concerned about the future of their football club, the past week has been further evidence that they are wrong.
No-one could argue that the ‘Venky’s out’ chant reverberating all around Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon was just a few.
It was from all stands and from fans from all walks of life.
It wasn’t vitriolic or full of hate either. It was just a heartfelt message from long-suffering supporters who have quite clearly, and understandably, had enough.
This was not just a reaction to another dismal showing on the field, with Rovers leading 2-0 to give new hope of top flight survival.
It was a spontaneous outburst of emotion from people desperate for change.
Just hours earlier a group of fans had met to discuss plans for a community buy-out of the club.
Represented by politicians, business leaders, Rovers supporters groups and ordinary fans, it was another sign of the strength of feeling around the place.
Whether the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Investment Trust will ever be able to raise the sort of money it would take to buy a football club is unknown, but to receive over £1million of pledges in a month is no mean feat.
I am not one of those who believe there is absolutely no way back for Venky’s, and I know there are many out there who feel there isn’t.
It was encouraging to hear the fans at the Trust meeting on Saturday talking about their willingness to work with Venky’s.
All they want is for the club to be able to look forward to a bright future – that is all anyone wants.
In an ideal world Venky’s would be able to provide that but, for every day that passes, that looks increasingly unlikely.
That is why Rovers fans are uniting in their call for change.
I am not talking about the small group of fans who have arranged organised protests over the past few months or those who chanted ‘Kean out’ during most of Saturday’s match. They are fully entitled to be doing what they believe is right though and undoubtedly have the club’s best interests at heart.
I am talking about the majority.
Those people, some who have probably never protested before about anything in their lives, are watching their beloved football club crumble before their eyes.
These aren’t ‘idiots’ like the outside world wants to portray them. They are hard working, honest people simply devastated at the direction Rovers are heading.
The task Venky’s face to ever win the Blackburn public around will become even more difficult if Premier League status is lost, after all they can have no-one else to blame but themselves.
But this isn’t about what league Rovers are in, it is about having a football club the fans can be proud of again. If Venky’s aren’t prepared to give us that, then they need to ask themselves what on earth they are in this for?
The chaos behind the scenes at Rovers over the last 18 months has divided supporters, with the small section or protesters criticised in some quarters and backed from others.
Everyone is united in the call for change though, either in the owners’ approach to running the club or to the owners themselves.
It has to be one of the two.
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