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Rovers to tell wantaway players that they cannot leave this summer
BLACKBURN Rovers will tell their want away stars ‘you are not for sale’ this summer as Venky’s look to return the club to the Premier League at the first attempt.
A host of stars have already hinted they want to quit Ewood Park after last season’s relegation to the Championship – but Rovers have indicated they are ready to fight to keep most of their squad together.
The owners are resigned to losing the out of contract Junior Hoilett in the coming weeks, while a relegation clause in Yakubu’s contract will make it tough to keep the Nigerian in East Lancashire.
But, despite the likes of Mauro Formica, Martin Olsson and Steven Nzonzi wanting ‘out’, Venky’s are not planning on any ‘firesale’ this summer.
Rovers are also expected to announce a behind the scenes restructure imminently, with former Malaysian international Shebby Singh to be unveiled in a more influential role.
It is understood Singh, who has been combining his work as a pundit on Asian TV with developing football in the continent for Venky’s, will be appointed as an advisor for the Venky’s.
The role would see him acting as a ‘go-between’ between manager Steve Kean and his bosses in India, while also overseeing the club’s transfer policy.
The club’s PR man Paul Agnew has already been appointed as Rovers’ general manager and will start his duties in early July.
Steve Kean has returned to work after his holiday and will immediately set about looking to put his plans for next season into place.
The Rovers boss will be hoping he gets more freedom on who to bring into the club this summer, after a chaotic past transfer policy left Kean often relying on signings suggested by other quarters.
He is understood to still be waiting to be informed of his budget for the new campaign.
While confusion still reigns around Ewood Park, with staff members yet receive clear communication about the future, Kean will be hoping to convince his squad there is a bright future at the club.
Relegation clauses in most players’ contracts leave Venky’s confident they are‘financially’ ready for the new campaign, although they know they will face a battle in keeping players happy to stay at the club.
Their resolve to keep their ‘star names’ is likely to be severely tested and Kean’s first job will be to reassure the players there will be no repeat of last season’s chaotic regime.
A Venky’s source said: “We want to keep our players together. We don’t want to sell them this summer and won’t be looking to do that.
“We want to motivate them to stay at the club and to help us back into the Premier League. That is what we will be looking to do.”
Rovers fans will remain sceptical about Venky’s and Steve Kean’s plans for the future having seen so many unfulfilled promises over the past 18 months.
Their opinion won’t be helped by the uncertainty still hanging around the club, with some board members still yet to hear from India or Kean.
Venky’s have spoken of their desire to keep their top players previously, before selling the likes of Phil Jones and Chris Samba.
Season tickets are still not on sale for the new season, with Championship fixtures announced on Monday, while Rovers owners have yet to make an official statement since co owner Venkatesh Rao admitted everything was “confused”.
Kean is also due to hold talks with Colin Hendry this week about a possible coaching role at the club.