With one month having passed since the end of the 2020/21 season, and two more until the next campaign starts, here are the issues Rovers have to address in the coming weeks…



QPR have passed last season’s number of early bird sales, Nottingham Forest passed 10,000 renewals last month, Preston North placed theirs on sale last week including a loyalty bonus scheme, while Bolton Wanderers, promoted to League One last month, have already had over 7,300 renewals.

As for Rovers, there’s aren’t on sale.

Plans to finalise season tickets remain ongoing but the word is there are no imminent plans to publish the pricing structure.

There are more things to factor in this season, namely the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent restrictions, the 2,500 season ticket holders who signed up last season without seeing a game live, the pricing structure for ‘new’ season ticket holders and those who had a year off in 2020/21, the financial impact of Covid, the lack of live football at Ewood since February 2020 and whether matches will still be streamed live and the possible impact of that.

Yet, the form of the team, fans having spent a year away from Ewood and found other things to spend their time/money on, the heavy criticism levelled their way, means Rovers would have been better served by being proactive with their stance over season tickets.

There will always be sceptics, but having fallen well short of their 10,000 target in 2019, last summer being almost a write-off, it feels more important than ever that Rovers get their season ticket stance spot on.

As eagerly anticipated will be the matchday pricing, and prospect of categorised games.



A clear-out was expected, and the departure of five senior players, demonstrated that, as Charlie Mulgrew, Amari’i Bell, Corry Evans, Stewart Downing and Lewis Holtby were all notified their deals wouldn’t be renewed.

With five loan players returning to their parent clubs, at least 10 players won’t be part of next season’s squad that were in 2020/21.

There has been three extensions secured since the season finished, Bradley Johnson penning a 12-month extension as Rovers maintained some experience in the middle of the park, while there were deserved new deals for Scott Wharton and Joe Rankin-Costello, ending any speculation about their possible long-term futures.

Elliott Bennett could yet remain a Rovers player, Harry Chapman has a contract offer infront of him to do just that, but there is no certainty to him signing it, which could lead to something of a transfer saga.

That is already expected with top scorer Adam Armstrong, who without signing a new deal beyond 2022 looks set to leave the club, with a host of Premier League clubs waiting in the wings.

Rovers would also like to extend the deals of Ryan Nyambe and Joe Rothwell beyond the year options that were triggered last month, but there are yet to be any breakthroughs with them, nor any of the other senior players coming into the final 12 months of their respective deals.



Tony Mowbray stated after the final day win over Birmingham City that Rovers’ pre-season plans were as good as finalised, though so far, only two friendlies, against AFC Fylde and Bolton Wanderers, have been named.

Travel restrictions have put pay to any hopes of a European trip for the players for the second successive year, while the European Championships will hinder plans to face full-strength Premier League sides.

Fans will anticipate pre-season games more than ever, given the prospect of watching Rovers live for the first time since February 2020, what would be only a first Ewood friendly since 2018 would be particularly well received.

Rovers’ level of opposition in pre-season hasn’t always been up to scratch, a trip to Leicester City last year a real bonus, and another similar fixtures this time around would be just that.



There has been more news, and speculation, surrounding players possibly leaving, than arriving at, Ewood Park this summer, and with good reason.

Reports in April named Rovers as one of 10 Championship clubs to have been placed under a registration embargo amid the financial hit suffered by EFL sides in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lack of revenue.

The club announced they had met the EFL’s March 1 deadline to submit their accounts, along with the club’s Profit & Sustainability submissions to the EFL, and would meet the June 30 cut-off point to Companies House.

Should there be any late filing of the accounts, or indeed Rovers are found to have broken P&S rules, then they could be placed under a registration embargo, as per EFL regulations.

A relaxation of the rules has been mooted, but losses of close to £21m of Venky’s London Limited posted in April shows that Rovers will be running close to the spending limit.

Alleviating any prospect of an embargo has to be priority No.1.



Should there be no issues, then Rovers have plenty of work to do when it comes to assembling a squad for the new season, with the window opening tomorrow.

Mowbray says their recruitment will focus on all areas, but a central defender, a left back, at least one central midfielder and an attacker are the minimum requirements to strengthen the squad.

It is expected that Rovers will be working with fewer numbers next season, with the hopes for bigger involvements for Jacob Davenport and John Buckley, among others, to help boost Mowbray’s options.

Finances will be tight, and possibly dictated by any funds generated by sales, Armstrong being the most likely, and a positivity and productive conclusion to that scenario will be the key to Rovers’ transfer window.

Nothing builds positivity like a good transfer window, and for the disappointment of a 15th-placed finish, arguably the best parts of the season were the final days of the respective windows.

The October one in particular brought a positivity unrivalled during Rovers’ Championship campaign, only to fall flat on the pitch.