ORGANISERS of Saturday’s 1875 protest have hailed it as the largest demonstration against Venky’s - and insist it’s just the start of a prolonged campaign to try to oust Blackburn Rovers’ Indian owners.

Estimates put the numbers who waited until the 18th minute of the match against Wolves to take their seats, and then left the ground on 75 minutes at around 2,500.


And Mark Fish, chairman of the BRFC Action Group who helped plan the event, says that figure can be added to the 14,000 who he says now choose to stay away from Ewood Park.

“It went probably better than we expected,” he said. “It was statistically the largest protest against the owners so far.

“There were 26,000 in the ground the last time we protested, and about 800 took part.

“So with the estimated 2,500 involved this time, and 14,000 who are protesting by not turning up, it was the largest yet.”

Fish admitted it was difficult for fans to decide on the value of demonstrating, with the targets of their fury not being in attendance.

But he says supporters will continue to show their anger towards the Rao family and could take action during two games before the end of the year.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I don’t think Venky’s will sell the club as a result of it.

“It’s very difficult because with the owners being so far away and having absolutely no desire to come and watch the team, it can be a question of who are you protesting at.

“But the message was loud and clear from the fans, and it went across the country on the TV and in the news.

“They can’t not be aware of it. It’s the beginning of a sustained plan of action going forward.

“We are looking at the Brentford home game, which will be the six-year anniversary of when Venky’s took over, “We also have two matches on television - Preston away on December 10 and Newcastle at home on January 2.”

Rovers boss Owen Coyle admitted after Saturday’s game that the protest did alter the atmosphere inside the ground, but denied it was a factor in his side conceding an equaliser three minutes after those supporters taking part in the protest left.

Fish says there is sympathy for Coyle, who he feels is not getting any support from above, and says the lack of communication between the club and supporters has forced them into taking action.

“Six or seven months ago if there was an issue we could sit down and talk to the club,” he said.

“But the board of directors have taken the decision to shut that down and not talk to supporters, which means the only way we can get our voices heard is from the stands.

“We laid off the protests for a while but there has been no stability since Gary Bowyer was in charge.

“Since the club sacked him, we had Paul Lambert who walked away in frustration at the owners, and now Owen Coyle.

“Coyle has come in for a lot of stick, but we can’t keep blaming a ‘bad manager’ when you can see the support, or lack of it, he’s getting.

“Every year it gets worse and we have to wait until the end of the season to see if Venky’s will keep funding the club and what will happen if they don’t.”