'COMMUNICATE, invest or go' was the message from politicians and fans to Venkys as Blackburn Rovers were relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in 37 years.

Rovers yesterday became the first-ever Premier League champions to fall to League One as their 3-1 away victory at Brentford was cancelled out by victories for relegation rivals Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.

Venkys' seven-year ownership of the Ewood Park club has seen it suffer double relegation and turned from a mid-table Premier League club into a League One outfit in what has been described as a 'steady spiral of decline'.

Politicians and fans groups, who said the poor fortunes of the team has harmed the area's economy, have now called on the Indian Poultry giants to inject cash into a 'depleted' playing squad and outline their plans for the future or step aside.

Labour's Parliamentary candidate for Hyndburn Graham Jones said: "It matters that our local football teams do well.

"Blackburn Rovers brings pride to the area. It's well known that football clubs which do well bring business into the area.

"For the club to drop into League One will knock Blackburn and East Lancashire off the map.

"It is really important the owners recognise the damage that's been done not just to the football team but to the area.

"It's time the owners started to meet with the fan groups and civic leaders and have a conversation about their intentions.

"They promised to sign Ronaldinho and make Rovers a top four club in the Premier League.

"At the moment they'll be lucky to make Blackburn a top four club in League One."

Mr Jones' Labour colleague standing for re-election in Blackburn Kate Hollern said: "A successful Blackburn Rovers is important for the local economy and jobs.

"Venkys need to engage with the fans and share their plans for the future.

"If they're not interested they need to move on. There has already been far too much damage to what should be a community asset."

Blackburn-raised designer and Rovers fan Wayne Hemingway said: "In a business with more shareholders Venkys would have been ousted now and the business sold. Something needs to be done to halt the spiral of decline.

"They need to either understand what it takes to run a football club and what it means to the people of Blackburn or go."

Following the final whistle at yesterday's lunchtime fixture, a large pocket of the 1,600 travelling Rovers fans stayed behind to protest against Venkys ownership. It came as the chairman of two supporters groups called for urgent change.

John Murray, chairman of the Blackburn Rovers Supporters Trust, which met with sports minister Tracey Crouch to discuss ownership reform earlier this month, said: "We are in a spiral of decline with owners who seem to have lost interest with their toy. The whole thing is a shambles.

"We all wanted them to survive but even if they did stay up this miserable existence would have continued.

"There are good people who work at the club and I fear for their futures with further cost-cutting which is inevitable when a club gets relegated.

"The trust has lost faith in Venkys being able to run Rovers properly."

Mark Fish, chairman of Blackburn Rovers Action Group, said: “The club is in terminal decline. It has been in terminal decline since 2010.

"Until the owners realise they don’t want their unwanted baby anymore and seek new ownership for the club it won’t improve.

“Whatever division we’re in they’ll continue to downgrade the squad and not support the manager.

“We used to carry the message that the step forward is to talk to fans and we would move forward together.

"There is nothing coming from Venkys apart from statements that they’re determined to get us into the Premier League, despite continuously selling our assets and downgrading the playing squad.

“The only way the club can move forward now is for Venkys to sell up.”

Liberal Democrat leader and life-long Blackburn Rovers fan Tim Farron said: "It's desperately sad. This has been brought on by a sequence of poor managerial decisions from Venkys.

"I don't know what they're plans are but it seems the only way forward for everybody is for them to go.

"I would love them to sell the club to the fans or an owner who actually cares about Rovers.

"We are a club with heritage and still an attractive prospect."

Blackburn with Darwen Council's deputy leader Cllr Phil Riley said: "Effectively the club has been in decline since 2010 when we were a solid mid-table Premier League side which was well-managed on and off the pitch.

"One can only hope the owners recognise this downhill trajectory will lead to further relegation or worse and do something about it.

"The fact we no longer attract large number of home fans and travelling fans has had a detrimental impact on the local economy.

"The downturn in the club has come at a time when we are making huge steps in regenerating the town and it is a real shame."

Nobody from the club was available for comment.