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Rovers fans efforts deserve huge applause
AS the chaos and inactivity around Ewood Park continues, the buzz about the club potentially being up for sale inevitably grows and grows.
It is almost as though Rovers have been put in lockdown with board members in England in the dark about what is going on and Venky’s staff in India silenced by their bosses.
Whether this means the owners are considering a sale, I still have my doubts. But, whatever is going on, this is no way to run a club.
Venky’s have yet to state they are ‘up for sale’ but that hasn’t stopped at least two groups continuing their plans to try and rescue the flagging club.
Both have their merits in different ways and, while they have their critics, no one can argue that those behind these efforts don’t have Rovers’ best interests at heart.
The fans attempts, led by Wayne Wild, to bring the club into community ownership has been transparent from the outset.
They have told everyone what they are planning to do, what their bid would involve and why they are going to such painstaking efforts to raise the funds necessary.
The efforts of corporate finance partners Seneca Partners, led by Rovers fans Ian Battersby and Ian Currie, is undoubtedly shrouded in more secrecy but that does not make it any less worthwhile.
Dealing with stinking rich investment bankers and businessmen, the nature of the business means they have to keep things confidential and on a need to know basis.
There is no way they could nail their colours to the fans trust’s mast due to their business model.
That is not to say if Seneca’s bid ever came to fruition that there would not be a part for the fans to play. Far from it.
They would want to re-engage the community and would want to restore a management structure to the club that has so sadly been lacking under Venky’s control – or lack of it.
The two Ians are not on a power trip here. They don’t want to be seen playing at being football owners and in the boardroom ‘larging’ it up on match days.
They would bring people back to the club capable of running the it – the likes of Tom Finn and John Williams would surely be high up on their agenda – and would just look to restore some of the pride that has been lost.
It is important to say neither may work. The trust may not raise the capital needed to buy the club while Seneca might never get past the first hurdle.
But at least they are trying. The football club may have become a laughing stock in recent times but the club’s supporters have done themselves proud by showing they are not going to just sit back and let the club collapse.
There are plenty of noises being made that other suitors are ready to take the club out of Venky’s hands. But BRSIT and Seneca are the only ones to so far make their interest known.
I applaud the vision behind both.
I am sure Anuradha Desai could find a suitor from abroad ready to buy from them if she wanted but surely staying local would be best for everyone concerned.
We have seen what happens when people who have no real affinity with Rovers look to buy it. I’m not sure any of us could go through a repeat of the last 18 months.
It has to be said Venky’s might not be going anywhere. If they decide they have had enough, though, at least there are people around who care.
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