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Blackburn Rovers blog: Venky’s must spend to justify not selling
AMID the denials of possible takeovers this week came some telling comments.
We should find out within three months just how telling they were.
Interest from Middle East oil giants Qatar Petroleum – a company with links to crown prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, said to be worth around $2bn – has understandably seemed intriguing to supporters.
Tomorrow marks a year since Venky’s took over Blackburn Rovers, and not even the most committed optimist could suggest it is has gone exactly how they would have wanted.
If no shortage of fans hoped Qatari interest could lead to Venky’s admitting defeat and selling up, it seems unlikely for now.
We may never know exactly how much money QP would have ploughed into Rovers had they gained control, but the fact that it even seemed a possibility appears to now put the onus on Venky’s.
Perhaps the most significant comments from co-owner Venkatesh Rao were these.
“We don’t want to let the fans down,” he said. “We have not come here to fool around. We are here with serious motivation.”
That, in the eyes of the supporters, can only mean one thing. Venky’s must back the club with more money in the months to come.
That the owners want the best for Blackburn Rovers is not in itself a bad thing. But if they believe that staying in charge rather than selling is the right thing for the club, then now they must prove beyond any doubt that that is the case.
The first step, of course, is to make sure Rovers avoid relegation. On the face of it, that could require investment, and swift investment.
The January transfer window is now six weeks away, and Venky’s are now under pressure to provide the necessary funds to help the team move away from the drop zone.
Fans have already been left frustrated that talk about big name signings has not led to the sort of arrivals they might have hoped for.
They will be even more disappointed if, having slammed the door shut on any possibility of outside investment, Venky’s now do not spend big. If they don’t, supporters will recall the name Qatar Petroleum with frequency.
Rovers already have a squad that should be good enough to stay up, but it is clear that survival could not currently be described as certain.
Not investing would be a risk.
There have been indications that money will be available, but just how much could be the key point. A top class striker ready to make an impact would seem to be the priority, but the spending must not end there.
There have been examples of clubs in the past who have spent money in January and saved themselves from the drop.
If Venky’s are determined to remain in control of Rovers, that is now what they have to do.
n Andy Cryer is on holiday