ROVERS held a Supporters Consultation meeting on Thursday with boss Tony Mowbray, Finance Director Mike Cheston, Director of Football & Operations Paul Senior and non-executive director Robert Coar on the panel. Our Rovers reporter RICH SHARPE picks out the key areas of discussion.


THE owners weren’t in attendance but provided a statement which was read out by Rovers’ Finance Director Mike Cheston.

In it, they said the ‘views of the fanbase are very important to us’ and that they would ‘look forward to receiving feedback from the event’.

Venky’s admitted they were ‘well aware of the ‘alarming position’ the club finds itself in but in Tony Mowbray ‘believe we have found someone who is the best fit for the club’.

The statement said they were ‘encouraged’ by recent results and performances and that they believe Mowbray would ‘achieve our short-term aim of ensuring we remain in the Championship’.


HE was asked what he felt he had brought to the role since being appointed three years ago.

Cheston, who admitted his contact with the owners was infrequent, said: “I was appointed by the owners to do my job and there has been an improvement in the financial results during my tenure here.

“We were not Financial Fair Play compliant when I came in, I can’t take full credit for that because a lot of people were involved in that, but I was appointed by the owners and I have the support of the staff who know the issues we face.

“In many ways we have made progress. There are areas of disappointment and we’re working hard to resolve those.”


THE role of Suhail Pasha was a frequent topic of conversation, with Cheston confirming that Pasha was employed by the club, though he couldn’t remember his official title.

Cheston said Pasha, who wasn’t at the meeting despite Cheston’s best efforts, was a point of contact between the club’s directors and owners.

Cheston said: “Suhail is very useful and good for Blackburn Rovers that we have someone representing the owners that works at the club to get across the issues back to the owners. He has been very useful and very supportive of us in that regard.”


MANY questions surrounded a view that there is a lack of communication and transparency between the club and the owners.

Cheston said the owners were private people but remained fully committed to the club.

He said: “The owners delegate the running of the club to the appointed executives and we have that point of contact with Suhail so the communication lines are there.

“I appreciate the communication with the fans is relatively low and in-keeping with a lot of owners at other clubs.

“They are private individuals and we should respect that they continue to be supportive of the club financially.

“The fact that they do not engage with the fans very often, we should remember that they are 6,000 miles away so those factors need to be taken in to consideration.”

When asked where the buck stopped on certain decisions, Cheston added: “We all work within a budget that the owners set up and parameters to work within.

“Certain decisions we have to refer to the owners, decisions about a new manager, key appointments, and we have to make recommendations to the owners and then the owners make the key decisions.

“I have tried to engage with the owners on whether we can engage with the fans more than we do.

“They do closely follow the fortunes of the club. I will make them aware of the frustrations.”


THE panel were asked if there was a possibility that the club could go in to administration within the next two years.

Cheston said: “I can’t guarantee things like that. You can never say never. The likelihood is definitely not.”

Paul Senior said the owners remained committed to funding the club, adding: “At this moment in time there’s no chance of administration - this club is doing ok, there’s scope for improvement on and off the pitch, for where we are and the short-term future the club is on course to manage our bills.”

Senior also denied speculation that there would be stand closures next season, saying “all four stands will be open”.


SENIOR said Rovers boss Tony Mowbray will highlight areas he wants to strengthen in the summer and then it will be down to the recruitment and scouting team to draw up a shortlist of player targets

Senior will then look at the list from a financial perspective and he said the key areas would be cost, quality and personality.

On fans’ concerns over the role of agents in club deals, he added: “We have no agency advising us. I take no counsel from any agents or agency. We have no reliance on agents. It’s incumbent on me to have a good network, but we’re player not agent driven.

“I can’t look back, I understand tensions of the past, but if a player is good enough and meets our criteria, and players have agents, then we will obviously have to meet with agents.”

Senior also revealed Rovers have the ninth highest wage bill in the Championship.

He also felt the management team that Rovers have in place was a good decision to make.


THE contract situation surrounding Mahoney was the first question asked to Mowbray, who proved to be the star of the show, capturing the imagination of the crowd with his enthusiasm and passion.

On Mahoney, the Rovers boss said: “He has sat in my office twice in the last 10 days - I like him as a boy and footballer.

“I’ve tried to find out his thou-ghts, I want him to love football and play for his hometown club.

“Every time he warms up, the fans love him, they have a song about him, I’ve appealed to him twice about doing the right thing for Connor Mahoney and that’s to play football.

“Do it for the right reasons, football reasons, not financial reasons. If we can’t meet his ambitions in a couple of years, and someone big comes along, you have to do what’s right for the boy’s career.

“If he outgrows us, we’ll shake his hand and thank him.

“I want him to stay and play for the Rovers fans, I want memories for him. I don’t know why he wouldn’t want to sign his contract, excite the fans and see where his career goes.

“I can’t put a gun to his head, or say to his agent, ‘what are you doing?’

“I sit here new to the club and I get emotional sat here listening to you. You will be here long after me and Connor Mahoney.”

Senior added: “Connor Mahoney is a conversation we have on a regular basis and has an important part to play in this club’s future. I meet fans and it is the first, sometimes second, thing they talk to me about.

“We are pushing and pushing to try and get to a place where we can make it happen.”