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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A New dawn

“If you’re feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning. The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”

There was so many things I could of written about today especially with the different issue’s circling around our club which fans wish would go away.


However I have chosen this post to be the first of many which will hopefully have a positive spin on the journey each and everyone of us take as a Blackburn Rovers fan.


A new potential star has come to fore this season in young Argentinian International Mauro Formica. Having been signed by Steve Kean in January Rovers fans have needed to wait patiently to see the player who was hailed as “A Young Batistuta” By the gaffer to grace the Ewood turf with his presence.


Upon signing I was keen as mustard to see this boy in action and travelled to the reserve game against Everton earlier in the year to see him wear he famous Blue and White halves for the first time. I came away from that game a tad disappointed after a lacklustre performance . He looked unfit, had the touch of a baby Rhino and was overshadowed by fellow January signing Ruben Rochina who had me purring on my return journey home.


That debut match stuck in my mind all the way through to this summer’s pre- season. Had we bought a duck egg? Had I seen the wrong Youtube video’s?


Luckily for me and Rovers I’m no scout, and he hit the ground running in our pre-season fixtures. Showing all the attributes of a player who could be a massive hit with Rovers and the adoring faithful.

A debut goal against Wolves could not prevent Rovers from suffering an opening day defeat, but his performance at least gave us all something positive to talk about over a pint with our friends in the pub that evening. Quickly forgetting the Aston Villa match Formica again was at his very best when coming on as an early substitute against Everton this past weekend. His sublime touches and vision at times were a joy to watch. His ability to penetrate defences is something Blackburn have been starved off for years and along with the other young talented players we have at the club, this is a time to be excited in terms of potential we now have on our books at Ewood.





It will more than likely be next season when we see Formica as a well oiled machine, however if he can turn in the type of performances he did on Saturday on a regular basis then I do believe we are in for a treat. Its things like this that can get “The SUN to break the CLOUDS” , And give fans renewed hope that although results have not gone our way for one reason or another, we still have tools within our box capable of producing the goods. A couple more additions in this window and I will sleep more easily, but for now i’m quite pleased to say Mauro Formica is one who has wetted my appetite

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Fans UNITED in campaign to preserve Jacks legacy

The last four days have been frantic since the publishing of "Puppet or Puppeteer" On Rover Revisited, At the writing of this follow up post the article has received 33478 views from a Worldwide audience covering the UK, Scandinavia, Asia, India, Australia, India and the rest of Europe. Journalist and media outlets from around the world have been in touch about doing a follow up article of their own, after Blackburn Rovers fans United as one to protect the long term future of the club. Blackburn Rovers, Venkys and media outlets have been swarmed with letters and emails asking for the removal of Manager Steve Kean, whilst asking questions about Venky's future plans for the club.


Henry winter of the Telegraph after receiving calls from a number of fans published an article which was inspired by the Puppet or Puppeteer Blog post, Whilst over in Norway where Blackburn Rovers have a fantastic following, leading TV journalist Kaspar Wikestad has also done a follow up article posing even more questions of the Rovers administration the link to these articles can be found here.

http://www.tv2.no/sport/fotball/england/premierleague/fra-smak-av-fugl-til-raatten-kylling-3566141.html#.TlWstT3Ik58.twitter


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/blackburn-rovers/8716982/Henry-Winter-Venkys-falling-short-at-Blackburn-Rovers-compared-to-high-standards-set-by-Jack-Walker.html

In addition to this I have personally received hundreds of emails and messages offering support and asking what individuals can do to help rid the club of unethical practices.


Facebook and leading Rovers supporter sites have been running polls and drumming up supporters to stand as one in an attempt to try and get Venkys to see the light and move the club forwards. Steve Kean despite having one of the worst records ever held by a Manager of the club remains at the helm.


On Tuesday co-owner Venkatesh Rao came out fighting as news of discontent amongst the supporters was growing to a whole new level, with polls showing that 96% of fans wanted Steve Kean removing with immediate effect.




He told the Lancashire Telegraph:


"There has been wrong information and it looks really bad but we are financially very strong. The only issue is we want to spend very carefully."
"If the right player becomes available and we can get a good deal then we are going to grab it.
"We need to improve in some places and I am sure we are bringing in some players and we are working hard on that.
"This is our baby and we owe it to the fans to get results.
"Please do not be disappointed. We are very positive we will improve results."


Venkys also read a copy of the article on this Blog site and Vineeth Rao's reaction was to remove me off his facebook, This is the same Vineeth Rao who has been conducting Blackburn Rovers transfer activities and famously earlier this month asked  a fan to draw up a list of transfer targets for Blackburn to have a look at. One of these players on this list was free agent Ciprian Marica, who Rovers subsequently made an approach to sign. This shows a complete lack of organisation that a fans view would be taken over the clubs scouting network.


There is still lots of rumours surrounding Blackburns relationship with Jerome Anderson, Rovers have in recent weeks tried to make people think that their relationship with the controversial agent was at a fractured level.


However on Wednesday Rovers played their second round League cup tie at Ewood Park against Sheffield Wednesday. In attendance was co-owner Balaij Rao who was clearly seen in the directors box with Jerome Anderson as his guest. Was this whole fallout rumour the club put out through Venkys PR company all a smokescreen? It certainly looked that way and with the Venkys/Kentaro relationship already under scrutiny with fans this public showing has only fueled rumours that Jerome Anderson is still pulling the strings at Ewood Park, Whilst his client Steve Kean remains the untouchable Manager.


Various sources alleges that Steve Kean was offered the Managers Job prior to the completion of the takeover of the club in December. If this is true, It would explain WHY, Steve Kean continues to be publicly backed by the owners in public.


With all the rumours going around and "In the Know" Individuals making others aware of the chain of events at Ewood during and after the takeover, Its become a worrying time to be a Blackburn Fan. However these frustration has been channeled by hard facts on the pitch. After narrowly escaping relegation last season Rovers have started this season with two successive defeats and sit 19th in the table. £25 Million has been raised in sales, whilst other players including longest serving player Brett Emerton are expected to leave before this window closes.


To date Blackburn have taken the stance to buy young players who have no experience of the Premier league, and all of these transfers have taken an age to complete. Blackburn are still in the market for another 3 or 4 players and their transfer dealings will go down to the last minute of this transfer window.


The club has promised to deliver on the transfer front and Steve Kean maintains that deals are close on a daily basis. I can confirm transfer activity behind the scenes is frantic as Rovers look to add faces capable of improving the squad. These will not be the marquee players that Venkys promised but cheap sensible buys with low risk factors in terms of sell on value 


Saturday in normal circumstances would be like a cup final to supporters as we crave our first league win of the season, But some fans have said they would gladly take another defeat if it meant justice was done and Steve Kean was sacked with immediate effect. He has no experience of running a top flight football club from the front and he is tactically naive,. Managers are judged on results and he has just not produced them. Therefore he should be shown the door purely on his Management record, if Venkys were to take this step they might just get a few fans back on side. By keeping Kean at the helm they are showing they don't have the clubs best interest at heart, by their continued association with Jerome Anderson they are showing that they think they are above the rules.

INEXPERIENCED OWNERS, ADMINISTRATION TEAM, MANAGER AND PLAYERS


A football club can't exist without its fans, and if Venky's continue to alienate us fans for their own personal gain then the backlash will be vast.


I call out to all Rovers fans to show your hand and to continue the good work you are already doing to try and save our club from ruin. It takes many voices to make an impact, but if you stick together and tell the right people then Venkys will have no choice but to listen.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Puppet or Puppeteer




This instalment of my blog could be the worst thing I ever write, and could alienate me from thousands, I'm known by many who follow me on various Blackburn Rovers sites, and twitter as a positive individual who has a glass half full attitude,

I have dedicated many many hours to Blackburn Rovers throughout the years, bringing news and inside information to fellow Blackburn fans. During this transfer window in particular I can't remember last time I went to bed with my wife, or the last time we sat down together and had a conversation. In fact at the time of writing this I have been going 118 hours non stop.

People who know me always ask "When was the last time you went to bed?" The answer to that is, I don't really remember last time I had a nights sleep like most sane human beings would have.

Fans crave to know everything or anything if it involves their club, its the world we live in that football fans worldwide are addicted to football. Its a sport which is more addictive than any drug and a subject which draws more opinions than anything else that I can think of.

People put so many things on hold to get their weekly fix of football, and it takes your emotions to new extremes. This is part of the reason I have found myself dedicating most of my spare time to Blackburn Rovers. Answering questions the best I can which people ask me, Sometimes I find myself answering the same question a couple of hundred times a day, as I have always been approachable and honest.

Of course some questions I can't answer because I genuinely don't know the answer, but other questions I have found myself being unable to answer due to repercussions that these answers may bring both to the future of the club and me personally.

When you find things out or are told things in confidence, it comes at a hefty price if its about something you love and care about. Blackburn Rovers has always run through my families blood, If I was cut up into little pieces I would resemble a piece of Blackpool Rock where every layer would have the words Blackburn Rovers etched to it.

On the 28th October 1998 my brother Lee died of an Asthma attack in his sleep, he was living in Preston at the time of his death and was only 24 years old, I had just turned 20 and part of me died that day with him. Lee was buried at Pleasington Cemetery Blackburn miles away from his six young children and wife because the town of Blackburn ran through his blood, He was also buried wearing the full Blackburn Rovers strip, because as children growing up we never had flash things like other families, but one thing we did have was a passion for our football team Blackburn Rovers. It does not matter how many pounds you have in the bank, or how large your TV is, or indeed how nice your cloths are, football as a supporter is a great leveller, a little like a school uniform, Everyone is part of the same club therefore equal.




On the 19th November 2010 Rovers was taken over by the Venky's group, this was supposed to be the dawn of a new era.

Jack Walker was remembered this week as on the 17th August it was his 11th anniversary since he sadly passed away. To my horror after spending a few hours writing my personal remembrance to him, I noticed that the club had failed to recognise this important day. I personally emailed Vineeth Rao, Ken Beamish and the clubs official Website. Only Ken Beamish had the courtesy to email me back and he said that "It must of been an oversight by the club" and he would pass it on to the relevant department. Around 12.30pm a small piece was finally put on the clubs website with last years photo of the Uncle Jacks statue, This is despite fans leaving flowers and messages for Jack at the statue throughout the day. I asked myself, How can anyone involved with Blackburn Rovers forget the biggest man ever associated with the club?

This is just a small example of how things have changed in the space of 9 months and that incident is unforgivable.

Since the takeover by Venkys as supporters we have been promised the world but each and everyone of these promises has either not been followed through or has been adjusted at a later date.

Lies after Lies have been spoken in public, The owners promised that Sam Allardyce's job was safe, John Williams and various other board members were an integral part in their vision for this club to remain a family club which is built on the very values Jack Walker installed.

What happened next?



Within 5 weeks Sam Allardyce was removed from his position as Manager of Rovers,

Was this because of the style of football we played?
Was this because of the hefty defeat at Old Trafford?
Was this because of a clash of personality?
Was this because of something Sam had said?

I can tell you for a fact it was for none of these reasons, The Rao's and Mrs Desai know very little about football and it was never their desire to own a football club out right. They needed people to make decisions for them, some will say they was advised badly, but this was not about being advised this was someone else making decisions on their behalf.



It is well documented that Jerome Andersen and Philippe Huber were the individuals who brought Venky's



When you try and sell anything to anyone you need to believe in what you are selling so much so that you would buy it yourself. If you have don't personally believe it, then the likelihood is the buying party will decline the offer.

However Venkys were not the only people who was approached, and was certainly not the first. To own a football club in England which competes under FA Rules you must pass a fit and proper test, after going through due diligence, some of the candidates which Kentaro brought to the table had no chance of passing such a test, and the only ever chance they would have of owning an English team is if someone else would front it for them.

It was reported in December 2010 that Mumbai-based businessman Saurin Shah had claimed that he has issued a legal notice to the firm over a proposed tie-up for the Blackburn Rovers bid between Venky’s and his investment firm Qubic Group. The notice alleged that Venky’s was liable for the equivalent of 24 per cent stake in the club. Shah’s lawyers had written to Venky’s parent company Venkateshwara Hatcheries on December 22 threatening legal action unless the payment was made within a week. Venky’s was also bound to pay Qubic’s costs and expenses for its advice, reference and recommendations, according to the legal notice. These claims were refuted by Mrs Desai Chairperson of the Venkys group at the time and she claimed that the Qubic Group had been offered the role as advisories on a commission base in Venkys purchase of the club, however this option had not been taken up and Venkys had used their own advisers during due diligence.




Kentaro and the SEM Group worked as the adviser's, this was an issue which was carefully monitored by the FA, League rules ban any third-party ownership of clubs or players, and prohibit third parties from exerting “undue influence” over a club’s activities. When Sam Allardyce was suddenly removed as Manager it sent ripples round the English game and came as a massive surprise to everyone.

The SEM Group and Jerome Andersen were hand picking all Sam Allardyces transfer targets and offering second rate players, Allardyce was not impressed and had his own targets in mind, however Venkys were convinced/persuaded to follow their advise and they had Allardyce removed as Manager. It was very much a case of SEM saying "Jump" and Venkys responding with "How High".

Whatever SEM advised ,Venkys did, Why do you think Venkys would take someone else's advice with the biggest investment their family has ever made? Yes they are successful in the Poultry Business but a Football team takes lots of investment and far more than their yearly record profits had recorded the previous year.

When Venkys purchased the club they agreed to take on the clubs £18 million debt, as part of this agreement, terms were put in place on how this debt would be serviced. They also took out an £18 Million pound short term overdraft with Barclay's Bank which was over a term of 6 months. If Venkys had a long term vision for the club why was this overdraft short term from the offset? Venkys has promised to invest money not borrow against its assets, was they expecting investment from some-one else? Was it always Venky's idea to be here for the short term, to market their Venkys brand with no care for the club?




It was recently reported on the Insider bulletin by Marple Leaf
http://twitter.com/#!/who_to_follow/search/marple%20leaf

The mortgage debenture filed at Companies House gives long established bankers Barclays a charge over all income from commercial activities for this season.
The certificate of the registration of a mortgage or charge has been filed at Companies House.
It is not unusual for a bank to make such a move when a business has undergone a change of ownership, but Barclays never sought such legal security over their debts when the club was owned by the Jersey-based Walker Trust.


In addition to this came the resignation of auditors PM&M chartered accountants of Blackburn, who have had a relationship with Rovers dating back since clubs were required to produce audited accounts, is just the latest in a series of changes to the management affairs of the club following the Venky’s takeover.

Following the departure of Sam Allardyce and even more surprising his assistant Neil McDonald, First team coach Steve Kean a SEM client was put in temporary charge of the team. The coach who had no previous Management experience also felt the need to board a plane and fly out to Pune, claiming he wanted to know what Venky's plans was in the short and long term so he could relay this back to the players, as there was a lot of unrest in the changing rooms following the sacking of Allardyce which felt like an assassination.

Kean returned bullish that he was in sole charge for now and the club would continue as normal, It later emerged that Sam Allardyce spoke to Kean on the day of his sacking and Kean did not at one point let on he knew that he would be taking over. Since Sam's departure Steve Kean has failed to contact Sam once. Steve Kean knew long before Sam's departure he would be the next Manager of Blackburn Rovers and what happened after Sam's departure was co-ordinated statements claiming the club was looking for a new Manager, when the truth is these searches never took place, Kean has already been promised the job, and sure enough a few weeks later despite poor results on the pitch he was confirmed as Manager.



Who could have such an influence to have a manager sacked and replaced by Rookie? Especially when it goes against the grain of tried and tested methods

How could Steve Kean stab in the back the very guy who brought him to Ewood Park in the first place?

What did Venkys have to gain by replacing a Manager with a proven track record, and if they had nothing to gain who did?

The fans response to the appointment was very mixed, Some sections of the crowd were pleased Allardyce had gone citing his style of football as a good reason, however if we had beaten Bolton the day before he was removed Rovers would have been sat 6th in the league. However the appointment of Kean was not the man many imagined would be his replacement. Was it just a coincidence that he was Jerome Andersens client, and as the reported Chief adviser Venkys were trusting his word? What surprised me was Venkys speaking highly of Keans approach to Management coaching etc even though they lived in Pune and had not witnessed these events first hand. Had someone asked them to make this statement? It seemed a very precise statement to make about an individual they should not have had a lot of dealings with prior to Sam's removal.

On the pitch Results were beginning to cause concerns for the supporters as Rover started to spiral down the league. Communication from the club was beginning to be non-existent whilst John Williams seemed to have disappeared of the face of the planet, as the once open Chairman was not making any statements and was not available to do so.

January brought hope for the fans when star player Phil Jones and Chris Samba signed new long term contracts along with some other key players, whilst £5.5 Million was invested in new players. Rovers form was still poor on the pitch as they went through there worst run for nearly 40 years, Supporters were calling for Steve Kean's head however communication was still slow and when a statement was finally made it was to support the manager with claims his job is safe for at least the duration of his contract.

Off the pitch a mass culling was taking place as John Williams and Tom Finn both left the club on their own accord. To be fair to both individuals they have not spoken about their departure, however their departures is believed to have been because their positions had become untenable and their roles in decision making had been taken away from them. Why would Venky's who have no knowledge of running a football club give experienced individuals who are regarded as some of the best in the game no option but to leave the club? Was they advised to disregard Williams opinions and if so by who?






What did Venky's have to gain by having no recognised infrastructure within the club, especially as they was not taking a hand's on approach themselves? If they had nothing to gain who did?

New directors where added to the board but surprisingly not one of those directors are Mrs Desai or the two Rao brothers, So Venky's own a football club but are not members of the board, Why is this? Are their reasons behind the scenes why they would choose not to be a director?

The two new directors appointed to the board of the Premier League club are Mahesh Kumar Gupta and Reddy Gandhi Babu. Both are Indian nationals and hold directorships of no other UK companies. Who are these individuals? What track records do they have?

Its very interesting that earlier in the year whilst Watford FC where looking for someone to buy them out the name Jerome Andersen once again came to the forefront. Laurence Bassini was a front runner to invest in Watford and he claimed his good friend Jerome Andersen had offered him the opportunity to buy Blackburn Rovers, Nothing strange here yet, however Bassini is known to seek investment from deed poll specialist.

The Watford Observer ran a lengthy “exclusive” interview with Bassini on February 18th. But by then, Bassini had already been exposed as former bankrupt LaWrence BaZini, whose dodgy business past was far more in keeping with modern football times than all this “highly-respected” surgeon nonsense. To add to the confusion, it appeared that “there’s only one Lawrence Bazini” was a song that could be sung with neither confidence nor truth. An observant Observer reader noted that Bassini was “not a wealthy businessman..(but)… a bit of a Del Boy character,” who had “made applications to run strip clubs in the past” – which would at least give Davids Sullivan and Gold someone to talk to before West Ham’s games with Watford in next year’s Championship.




More detailed evidence unearthed by another reader, Roy Stockdill, revealed that Bazini/Bassini Had been made bankrupt as recently as October 2007, and that the family made regular appearances in the London Gazette’s insolvency section. But Stockdill concluded that the putative “strip club owner” was “perhaps not the same man.” And the WFC forum printed ‘information’ from a regular source that a six-man consortium would complete its takeover by February 18th and DID include the customary property guy – one who owned a lot of land in nearby Elstree “and has plans to move the club there within a few years.”

No takeover emerged by then. But Bassini had, ready to explain everything – the name change, the money problems, the Elstree move…and his friendship with Jerome Anderson, particularly that he turned down Rovers because “I have lived near Watford all my life…I am a Watford fan. This was one of the few bits of the interview that could be safely filed under ‘information.’ Bassini’s name change suggested he was no master of disguise, but he tried to disguise his business past, and succeeded in disguising the source of the money for the “on or around 1p-per-ordinary share” offer which the Stock Exchange statement said he and Thomas were considering.

These are alarming things to read as Jerome Andersen was entrusted in finding a reputable buyer for Blackburn Rovers but everyone he appears to have been involved with seems to have a dirty past.

One of the biggest bullets Rovers missed was when they went into due diligence with serial fraudster Ali Syed, after talks broke down with him he ended up buying Racing Santandar, but had left them high and dry as he defrauded millions of pounds out of thousands of individuals world wide offering false loans for up front set up fee's. This man was highlighted by Andersen as a potential buyer for Rovers, whilst the club was also offered to Bassini, these are serial fraudsters and good friends with Jerome Andersen, why would he try and get someone to buy Rovers who he knows to be unethical? What would he gain from this? Is it a case of "You turn and blind eye, and I will do likewise?"




I further investigated the Ali Syed and something alarming appeared

On investigating his serious fraud activities his partner in crime was revealed as Ashish Gupta, Could this individual possibly be related to the Gupta currently on the board of Blackburn's Directors?

After narrowly avoiding relegation on the final day of last season, More reassurances were offered to the fans. None of our top players would be sold and we would have a very healthy transfer budget to ensure the club does not find themselves in a relegation battle. These claims came from both the owners and Steve Kean. What followed was the sale of our most promising player Phil Jones to Manchester United, There was then reports that the bank was calling back its promise to us, and Rovers would have to pay this money back. There are claims that the bank has taken the Phil Jones money to service these debts. These could be very plausible as Everton has also found themselves a victim on the bank, However as the owners promised mass investment why are we suddenly at the mercy of the bank? What has changed? Where is the money they promised us? Or is this just a big smoke screen because they fully expected someone else to be running the club full-time now and there initial purchase was just a short term plan, were they would be the face of Rovers with no input on the football side, but they could use the club to Market their main business venture of Poultry farming.

There has been a major fall out behind closed doors with Kentaro, some say its because of the agent fee bill Venky's received from SEM, This is what they would want you to believe, the problem lies much deeper than that. Andersen groomed Venkys into purchasing the club for a short term investment with great returns quickly, He made promises along with Huber that Venkys would not have to get their hands dirty but they could still get the celebrity status by having the association with the club.

Football agents/Agencies can't own football clubs, and in the UK 99.9% of players are owned by the club. However in recent years a new bread of agent has come along. These agents own the players and as the Tevez saga over the last few seasons has proved, this type of ownership can make agents very rich very quickly.

Very few in comings and stories of failed transfers has been the story of our summer, whilst the communication coming out of the club through official channels has been none existent. Most information has been passed to individuals like me as off the record with strict instructions to keep quiet and not breathe a word.  The Manager was given an 18 Month driving ban this week, but it was just brushed under the carpet, No comment from Steve Kean, and No Comment from the club. Some may say its a personal matter, but with his profile of being the face of the club, its a little more than just trivial.

The Managers position from Venkys has not changed, he is still the Iron man despite now being the worst Manager in the clubs history in terms of results to game ratio. WHY? If Venkys has really broke all links with Kentaro surely they would want to replace the Manager even more now?

There appears to be a lot of questions in this Blog, But if you read it properly word for word it will also answer those questions in your own mind as it paints the picture of where our club currently stands.

What are Venkys options? Are they someones puppet? Or are they the Puppeteers?

Once you can answer this question, you will be able to decide for yourself what options are available to the club long term, if indeed there is a future for the club long term!

I urge you to post comments on this article, it gets lots of coverage in India and will be read by Venkys.


Feel free to contact me

glenmullan@btinternet.com

Friday, 19 August 2011

Rovers summer wait set to be rewarded



After a summer of frustration for Blackburn Rovers fans, it looks like the clouds are finally breaking.


All summer we have been linked with in comings at Ewood Park only for our hopes to be dashed with transfers not being completed. The National press have gone to town with their negative bombardment towards Rovers with rumours of behind the scene's unrest, financial issue's, whilst pundits and critics have also got in on the act by backing Rovers for relegation.



Blackburn's Manager Steve Kean went on record of saying that this summer we had a very competitive transfer budget available, Going on to claim it was one of the best the club had ever had. These claims brought renewed optimism from all supporters that a more equipped squad would be assembled over the close season to ensure last season's struggle against relegation would not continue into the new season.


However what followed was the sale of Phil Jones to Manchester United in a deal which could potentially rise to around £20 Million, Although to Rovers credit they fought tooth and nail to keep the player and their determination even brought a bigger fee, than the players release clause had set..


Obviously Rovers fans were disappointed but the promise that the funds would be added to the transfer kitty softened the blow. Weeks went by and in comings were thin on the ground and after initially being linked with some of Europe's elite, Suddenly Rovers appeared to be chasing free transfers and trials.


The un-rest amongst supporters has grown all summer as promises appeared to not being kept, despite the club maintaining that its a long transfer window, fans wanted to see action.


So far this summer Rovers have parted company with 14 players with a couple more still expected to leave, whilst only Myles Anderson (Free), Bruno Riberio (Free). Radoslav Petrovic £3 Million and David Goodwillie £2.8 Million. Rovers squad being thin on the ground was very evident in their opening day home loss to Wolves as Rovers found themselves with a defensive head ache as Samba, Nelsen and Givet were rules out the game which meant Steven N'Zonzi had to be drafted to play as an emergency centre back.


Just under a week on and suddenly Rovers appear to have got their act together.


Firstly it emerged on Monday that Rovers had made a move for Spanish Legend Raul from Schalke, The iconic Spanish player who is very friendly with Rovers star Salgado had indicated he would welcome a move to East Lancashire. This news got the Rovers faithful buzzing, only for it to be dashed just hours later when Schalke refused to sanction the move. However Rovers still remain hopeful that Raul of the Rovers may still yet occur, if not in this window possibly in January.


Then the news broke that talented Montenegro star Simon Vukčević was flying in for a medical ahead of a reported £2 Million move from Sporting Lisbon. The talented attacking midfielder has long been on Rovers radar with interest going back nearly three years but the player is now finally expected to complete a move and for a bargain price as earlier in the year the asking price was believed to three times that.

Who is Simon Vukčević?



Vukčević started his career at Partizan Belgrade and Blessed with boundless confidence, he spent two years in the youth ranks in Belgrade before bursting into the first team, scoring and creating goals from midfield. He was awarded the number 1 shirt, in recognition of his popularity among Partizan supporters. He was nominated for the Best Young Serbia/Montenegrin Player Award in early 2006.His talent landing him a £7 Million transfer to Russian side Saturn in January 2006 however the move never really worked out and a fall out with their head coach saw the player move on again just 18 months later to Sporting Lisbon. His time with Sporting has seen his brilliance excel on the pitch over the last four seasons, although his career in Portugal has once again been Topsy turvy off the pitch with reported fall outs with the coaching staff. This has culminated in Sporting finally deciding to cut their losses and sanction the transfer of Simon Vukčević to Blackburn. His talent has never been in question and if Rovers can channel his temperament then this could be one of the all time bargains.

Following this news it was revealed that Bosnian International Vedad Ibišević was also in talks with Rovers ahead of a potential £6 Million move from German club 1899 Hoffenheim.

Who is Vedad Ibišević



Vedad Ibišević has played in Switzerland, USA, France and Germany. The 27 year old is widely regarded as one of the top strikers in Europe and his style of play is expected to be well suited to the rigours of the English game. After going through 5 clubs in four years where his scoring record was quite impressive, Vedad Ibišević finally found a home at Hoffenheim in 2007 where his career finally took off. His first season saw him play in 31 games scoring just 5 goals in Hoffenheim's promotion season to the top flight, However his clubs first season in the top flight would see the player put himself on the map, as he bagged 19 goals in 19 games before his season was cut short with a career threatening cruciate ligament injury. His partnership with Demba Ba saw the newly promoted side top of the league at the half way stage of the season, but following his injury Hoffenheim dropped out of contention. He returned to fitness the following season and after 7 games was back amongst the goals as he bagged the second fastest hat-trick in Bundesliga history which included the quickest goal of the season timed at just 47 seconds. His scoring record over the last 3 seasons is impressive with 42 goals from just 88 appearances whilst he has 34 caps for Bosnia with 8 goals. Over the last couple of seasons some of Europe's Elite clubs have been credited with interest in the player and if Rovers can complete this deal it will be regarded as a fantastic capture from the watching world. Vedad Ibišević currently has a thigh injury which is expected to keep him out of action until the end of September and Blackburn are hopeful that this won't effect his medical which is scheduled for today.


Blackburn have also agreed a deal for George John who has duel Citizenship which would allow him to play for either the USA or Greece. He is a defender currently playing in the MLS for FC Dallas.

Who is George John?



Aged 24 the 6ft3 Central Defender has been a full time Pro for two seasons after being drafted by FC Dallas in 2009. His displays in the MLS have not gone un-noticed with both the USA and Greece keen to tie the player down to their National teams. He has managed 65 appearances over the last two seasons and is described as big powerful defender who is comfortable on the ball. He can also be used as a defensive midfielder and in the latest MSL player rankings he is ranked as the third best player in the league with only Thierry Henry and Landon Donavon ahead of him. Although the fee at this stage is unknown its believed to be a bargain capture for Rovers and the player is expected at Ewood today to undergo a medical.

As supporters we have suddenly gone from a slow summer to three players arriving at once, but Blackburn are not done just yet.




Henri Lansbury is also hot on Rovers radar, The England under 21 International has enjoyed a couple of successful loan spells away from his parent club Arsenal and Blackburn are keen to bring the talented wide player on a permanent transfer. Arsenal earlier in the summer rejected a £1.5 Million bid from Norwich City where he spent last season on loan, however Rovers are expected to go back in with a larger bid of around £3 Million pounds are confident this deal can also be concluded this window.




In addition to Lansbury Rovers also have a bid on the table for Nedum Onuoha. The Manchester City defender has found his opportunities limited since the arrival of City's billionaire owners and spend last season on loan at Sunderland. At just 24 and comfortable playing anywhere across the back four, he fits the bill for a utility defender which the club wishes to have on their squad list for this season/ Onuoha who has also been capped for the England under 21 team and despite interest from other Premiership clubs, Steve Kean remains hopeful that a permanent transfer can be agreed for the player.

Loans?








Rovers have been heavily linked with Liverpool defender Danny Wilson, Manchester City defender Anga Dedryck Boyata and Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson, Rovers are keen to bring a couple of loan players in later in this window and two from these three is the most likely outcome.



So suddenly have weeks of doom and gloom Rovers could now end this window with as many as 11 new players, and with January signings Ruben Rochina and Mauro Formica now deemed ready for first team action the future looks bright.


Blackburn's new owners always maintained judge us after 12 months, well if after 9 months all this players are wearing Blue and White halves then I can't see how there can be too many complaints.


In other news:




Ronnie Clayton Stand

 Blackburn Rovers last weekend confirmed the Blackburn End would now be renamed the Ronnie Clayton stand after the Rovers legend who sadly passed away last year. Its a fitting tribute to the man who played 581 times for Rovers over a 19 year period. whilst winning 35 caps for England. As captain of club and Country Ronnie was regarded as one of the finest players of his generation.



Steve Kean gets 18 Month Driving ban




Steve Kean pleaded guilty this week at Macclesfield Magistrates court for drinking under the influence of alcohol following Rovers home draw with Manchester United in May. After initially pleading not guilty at an earlier hearing, Kean changed his plea and asked for exceptional circumstances to be heard by the court. The Rovers boss claimed he drink had been spiked after admitting only having two and half glasses of wine and a bottle of budweiser, However the court dismisses these claims and handed him an 18 month Driving ban, an £1800 fine plus court cost of around £700.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Jack Walker the ultimate football fan (19 May 1929 – 17 August 2000)




Once in a lifetime someone comes along who touches the hearts of thousands, Someone who as every day goes by continues to touch generations with his Legendary status.


As children growing up we here about Legends and tales like King Arthur and Robin Hood, and sometimes these are used as goodnight stories for our children.


I was born on the 1st May 1978 in a town called Blackburn which runs through my blood. Being one of four children money was very tight in our house, and flash clothes, toys and holidays where just pipe dreams. However when I was around 6 I fell in love with a piece of leather which I would take everywhere with me, I was probably the only child in my street who wore wellies to play football, I would sneak down to Nuttall Street to take a look at what was my Holy Grail which was Ewood Park hoping that someone had left a turnstile open so I could peer inside.






During match days I would stand outside with my ball kicking it against the wall, listening to the atmosphere and praying that a ball would fly over the stand so I could have a memento from hero's who were playing in those beautiful Blue and White halves. All I ever wanted was to be close to the pitch and feel what the lucky fans who were in the ground were feeling.


Rovers never had any money and the crowds were low, but this did not bother me, as they were the only team in the world in my eyes.


Here begins the Legend behind the Man we like to call UNCLE JACK WALKER






 Jack was a successful local business man who owned Walkers Steel a Business which he and his brother Fred took over following his fathers death in 1951. Together, they transformed Walkersteel from a back-street scrap metal business started by their father after the war into a steel stockholders concern. By 1990 they had built up the business so successfully that it had become the largest steel stockholder in Britain, employing 3,400 people at 50 sites. In 1956 the turnover was £46,000. In 1988 the business was making an annual profit of £48m. The Walker brothers bought GKN and then sold it to British Steel for a reported £360m, the highest price ever paid for a private company at the time.






In 1986 Jack donated the money to build the Walkers Steel Stand at Ewood Park which is now known as the Riverside stand, I remember at the time thinking wow look at our shiny new stand, unbeknown to me that this great man had paid for this out of his own back pocket. Around this time too, as I was managing to get on a few games by doing a few odd jobs here and there to raise the money to buy a ticket.


In 1987 Ossie Ardiles and Steve Archibald joined the club for short spells, this was also financed by Jack


In 1990 Jack sold Walkers Steel for a £360 Million to British Steel which was a record for a private company. In January 1991 in a move which would see Blackburn Rovers change forever Jack took full control of the club. He had in the previous five years always given Rovers donations which were not public knowledge at the time to help keep the club afloat but now he wanted to make Blackburn Rovers the best team in the land.


He had many motto's but the one that is always quoted is "THINK BIG"


The press went to town with Rovers in the early months ridiculing us as unsuccessful bids for some of England's best players including Gary Lineker were lodged by the club. Rovers were struggling in the second tier of English football and had cruelly in previous seasons on a shoe string budget narrowly missed out on promotion to the top flight via the play-offs. Don Mackay was Rovers Manager back then, But Jack felt if people were going to take us seriously we would have to bring in a Manager who could sell his vision to the rest of the world.


In October 1991, Jack pulled off the master stroke, a move which would see the whole world stand up and take notice, Don Mackay was replaced as Manager by Liverpool Legend Kenny Dalglish, In no-one wildest dreams would they have ever thought that Kenny would of entertained a club of Blackburn's stature, but Jack made it happen, Jack could make anything happen he was the man of very few words but the man with the Golden touch.






Jack immediately started making any funds Dalglish wanted to get Rovers promoted available, and new players started to arrive on a weekly basis, this also saw the team move up the table rapidly, by the end of the season Rovers had once again made the play-offs. Was this finally going to be our year? The re branded top division for the following season was the promised land, Could Rovers who are founder members of the football league be one of those lucky 20 clubs to be a founder member of the very first Premier league?


You bet they could, I remember going Wembley that day against Leicester City with my Uncle just pinching myself all the way there that me Glen Mullan was going to see my hero's at Wembley, Jack was there just like me and 32000 screaming Rovers fans, He did not care about the fame or gratitude, he was a fan and the biggest fan any team could have.






There's only one Jack Walker rang out around the stadium drowning out the sound of the City fans screaming Rooster Rooster, in acknowledgement to their talisman Kevin Russell.


The game kicked off, I was shaking with nerves, SpeedieNewell smashed the ball home.


The noise was not like anything I had experienced before, There's only one Jack Walker rang out again amongst the fans. It was a nervous game but when that whistle went it was one of the best feelings I have ever had or will probably ever have again, My dreams had come true, Blackburn Rovers was next season going to be in the Premier League and the man that had made that happen was Jack Walker.


From that day on Blackburn Rovers grew from all recognition, Jack continued to put his own wealth into the club, but this time he wanted us to be the best team in England. Again everyone tried to write us off but Jack's response would always be


"THINK BIG"


Rovers assault on the Premiership was fairytale stuff as Kenny Dalglish backed by the greatest fan on the Planet started to assemble "The Team that Jack Built" ,Rover broke the British Transfer record in the summer of 1992 by bringing young England International Alan Shearer from Southampton for a record £3.3 Million, what was even more shocking than the record fee, was Rovers beat the Mighty Manchester United to his signature.  The press would flock to Ewood Park on a weekly basis as more and more players arrived for big fee's, People were beginning to realise that Jack Walker and Blackburn Rovers were deadly serious and we was not going to go away or be halted in our journey to the top.






Off the pitch things were rapidly changing too, Jack financed a new Training centre/Academy whilst Ewood Park was transformed beyond all recognition as the old terraces were pulled down and the NEW EWOOD PARK was born, a 30000 all seater stadium which was one of the finest stadiums in the country when finished.






On the pitch Rover finished 4th in their first season in the top flight, just two years later after even more investment from Uncle Jack on a glorious day at Anfield in May 1995 Blackburn where crowned Champions of England. In just four years Jack had taken a struggling second division team on the verge of financial ruin and made them the best team in England this was a feat which had never been done before and will never ever be matched again.






Blackburn as a Town was put firmly on the map due to one Man's passion and love for it. He loved Blackburn the Town, He loved the people of Blackburn, but most of all he loved Blackburn Rovers.


Over the next 5 years Jack continued to back the team, Players and Managers changed a few times but Jacks commitment to Rovers never, Rovers went through a decline on the pitch and were relegated at the end of the 1998-1999, season, following a home draw with Manchester United. As fans we all shed tears that day, but its the pictures of Jack's tear's which will forever live in my memory. We was all heartbroken but none so than this great Man.


On the 17th August 2000 exactly eleven years today it was announced that "Uncle Jack" had lost his battle against cancer, he was 71. Tributes poured in from the world of football and beyond. One of the most fitting coming from Jack Straw the Home Secretary and Blackburn's Labour MP. He said:
"Jack Walker did more than any other individual in the last century to enhance the self-confidence and the prosperity of his home town. He was completely committed to the town and its people. Blackburn Rovers was in many ways the love of his life. His contribution to the club was enormous but that was based in turn on the prosperity he created through his astonishing development of Walker Steel and of many other investments in the area. I salute a great local hero and shall miss him very badly."
On hearing the news my heart sunk, as did every Rovers fan Worldwide, This was not just any man, he was one of us, he had spent the last 10 years making all our dreams come true. Everyone felt like they knew him, like he was family.


I could'nt accept it, I could not and would not believe it, I raced down to Ewood Park, and it was just a sea of flowers and people everywhere, Crying and hugging each other, even people they had never met before. Why?, was all I kept thinking, Why has he been taken away from us all?,


Jack touched so many people with his kindness and generosity, and even in death he ensured that Rovers would live in as he set up the Rovers Trust to ensure we would be Okay.


Jack has left us all many memories, and I share these with my children, Real life fairy tales that no-one can ever take away from me.


Around Blackburn his legacy lives on in each and everyone of us, His spirit will always be at Ewood Park, as he kicks every ball with each fan and player alike.


Jack was my hero, but he is such a big hero that there is enough to go round for us all to share him and cherish his memory.










We miss you, Forever remembered never forgotten

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Actions speak louder than words

Blackburn's season could not have got off to a worse start with an opening defeat to Wolves. Rovers went into the game with no recognised experienced centre backs with Samba, Nelsen and Givet all missing for one reason or another. The job of keeping Doyle and Fletcher quiet was given to youngster Hanley and surprisingly central midfielder N'Zonzi. Both tried their best throughout the game, but after seeing the starting 11 the writing did appear on the wall before a ball was kicked.

Why have we gone into the season with no defensive cover but more alarmingly a bench which only had Rochina on it with some first team experience?

Steve Kean pointed out that injuries had given him little choice, but is this a plausible excuse?

Blackburn have had all summer to replace the departed Phil Jones, whilst 11 players have left on total and Kean in his own words has admitted that after only 3 arrivals the maths don't add up and we are in serious need of bodies to bolster our squad.

Why has it took an opening day defeat for the Manager to state the obvious and Why have Rovers not addressed this over the summer?

We have had our well documented issue's with the bank but can Rovers use this as an excuse to why on paper our squad looks one of the weakest in the Premiership in terms of experience?

Blackburn's summer has been one of frustration, The owners have chose to use their own people to highlight transfer targets due to not wanting to pay agent fee's. The problem is in football every club encounters these fee's but what they get for paying such a fee, is a players signature on the dotted line, and not a summer of wild goose changes like Rovers have encountered.

Blackburn have been linked with over 100 players this summer and have made tentative enquiries for a number of these plus players who had not made it into the public domain, but despite this all that has walked through the doors is players who can only be considered as gambles.

David Goodwillie has come in from Dundee United, and despite being young Scottish player of the year for the last two seasons, never had a big list of established clubs looking to win his signature. Obviously Rangers made a few bids for him, but as they play in a two team league they can't honestly be looked upon as a better option than a club from England. Before signing for Rovers Goodwillie was highly expected to sign for a Championship team as both Blackpool and Middlesbrough appeared to be leading the chase, Then Rovers made their move and got their man, But this is not the signing the fans were expecting and unless Rovers back this up by bringing in two established strikers we WILL be in serious trouble. I see the Goodwillie signing as one of those which is a gamble, but is a gamble worth taking providing Rovers supplement it with some established experienced Centre forwards, Then if that occurs the Goodwillie signing suddenly becomes a good move, but I'm still cautious that no other Premier league team was interested in him.

Radoslav Petrovic has also joined the club and is an established young International. I'm quite lucky that I have seen lots of him over the last four years and was thrilled that we had made a move for him, as I fully expected to see him at a big club this season. However being just 22 and coming from a weak league he is going to take many months to come to terms with the speed and physical demand of the Premier league. A little like Goodwillie he is very much one for the future, however the Premier league is an unforgiving one and all teams need players that are ready to roll right now, Its okay buying for the future, but that's when you have a squad capable of competing now, Sadly for Blackburn we do not!!!

Bruno Riberio has also joined and is an unknown quantity, He is now 28 and is relatively unknown in his own native Brazil which is a worry. He has not played for any of the bigger clubs in Brazil and last season was part of a side which was relegated. He may turn out to be one of the finds of the season, or he may just flop and end up another player Rovers are trying to get off the wage bill in 12 months time.

All in all none of these signings are inspiring, and when you have a summer of being linked with players like, Witsel, Cisse, Raul, Barrios, Rondon, Soldado, Dann, Johnson, Piatti only to find your first 3 signings have come out of the bargain bin, as a fan you feel very short changed.

The infrastructure behind the scenes is inexperienced, and the ignorance of moving away from tried and tested methods to rewrite the book is not comical but scandalous.

Rovers have had many list of targets, and after speaking with my sources I do have to ask myself did they really have any serious ambitions to grab the players they went for or are still going for?

Especially when Vineeth Rao who is now overseeing transfer proceedings got one of his latest list from a fan!! Yes you read that RIGHT, a fan compiled a list of targets for Vineeth with the Marketing Directors blessing, (You really could not make this stuff up) Which included players for all budgets including free transfers, and some of those players including Ciprian Marica was approached by Vineeth. Can you imagine what the papers would think of they knew our trusted owners were taking transfer tips of fans?



This week there have been reports that the loan market and in particular loans from Manchester United is one option we are looking at. Blackburn made a move for Darron Gibson around 6 weeks ago around the time he was in talks with Sunderland, at the time Rovers agreed to match Sunderlands fee, and Gibsons wage demands but only after the player had joined initially on loan. However after getting the green light Rovers just didn't follow up their initial enquires and let that move go cold. There is still a possibility that this deal could happen, but surely they should of pushed it through weeks ago after the initial enquiry and given the player the opportunity to get a good pre-season integrated with the squad under his belt before our assault on this years Premiership.

Steve Kean after this weeks match finally broke his silence on transfers and after listening to him, it appeared to be a plea to the owners to give him the tools to do his job, and to back him in the transfer market. Kean will get all the flak if our season is destined to be one of struggle, but is this entirely fair if the owners won't give him what they promised?

I call out to Venkys to steady this ship and follow through with your promises, The blame lies entirely at your door, The inexperience card that you keep playing is wearing very thin, back the Manager and the team with the finance you promised and if you can't give the money then at least give him the money from sales. It is in your best interest to have a Rovers playing Premier league football, and unless you take your head out of the sand this will be the final season that you witness such a feat.

The fans deserve answers why you have not stood by your promises, and the TRUTH

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Smell Of Football

The Smell of Football




On Thursday a big thud came through my letter box, I rushed to the door and found sat on my doormat a package which at this stage I did not realise would give me only 2 night’s sleep for the next week. After opening up the package I found inside Mick ‘BAZ’ Rathbones new autobiography “The Smell of Football. Over the years I have read many books and autobiographies but no book has ever had the effect on me than this one.

Initially on Thursday night around 21.30 I picked it up with the plan of reading one chapter, My wife asked me “What time are you coming bed” My answer was in about 20 Minutes. I started reading the book and my wife went off to bed.

The next voice I heard was my Wife’s asking “Why have you not been to bed its 7.30 am”

This is a book I did not want to put down, I could picture the events which where unravelling with each turn of a page and I just wanted to know what happened next.

Mick Rathbone is unique as he has been a Player, Manager and Physio; He started life out as a player at the very club he supported, which is any supporters dream. However those dreams can become a harsh reality if they don’t match up to how you dreamt it. This book is real lives story how football can be a lonely game, and how the boy next door had to struggle with self-confidence whilst he was submitted to the school ground bully treatment.

Baz would go on to make nearly 300 appearances for Blackburn Rovers in a career which would go full circle from Home town club Birmingham to Blackburn, Preston North End and Halifax. After a spell in Management, Mick has gone on to be one of the most respected Physio’s in our National game and became a valuable part of David Moyes back room staff both at Preston and Everton. Mick’s work has also seen him be involved with the next generation of budding International players as he is currently on the England under 17 back room staff.

After reading the book, I could not wait to meet the man; His self-criticism through confidence made him a reluctant hero to any young footballer wanting to make their way in today’s professional game. After meeting Mick to discuss this book, He said “That this was a book he felt he needed to write, many footballers would have thrown the towel in if they had been subjected to the treatment and in house bullying that Mick was subjected to as a young player. However it shows the strength of the man to brush himself down and get back on the horse. In life many people will get asked what their weaknesses are, which is a question many struggle to answer. People always like to talk about their strengths in self-promotion. Mick is the opposite, he is humble both in person and in his book, He is too self-critical, When people always put you down and tell you things you start to believe them, By writing this book Mick has let go of those demons, and has shown no hurdle is too big, He is the type of guy you can go for a quick drink with then realise you have had ten pints because he is so open you don’t want the conversation to end.

This book is a must have to anyone who has a genuine interest in football, It’s not about the flash cars or the money, or the rewards of what football can bring you, it’s about a simple guy who could easily be you or me whose dedication to work hard with no real interest in reward has made him one of the most respected individuals in a modern game which is full of people who are the opposite to him.

Its now available from all good bookstores, feel free to tweet Mick Via Twitter, with you thoughts on his new book,






Thank you Mick for your warmth and openness during our meeting, it was a real honour to have spent time in your presence and a moment I will always cherish

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Good the Bad and the Ugly

THE GOOD

As Rovers return from their pre-season tour of Hong Kong there is a lot of positives to take. Maura Formica who was the big signing made by the club in January has been given some game time with the first team squad and did not disappoint. When Rovers purchased the Argentinian in January's transfer window Rover boss Steve Kean likened to the player to Argentina legend Batistuta, This was a big tag to stick on the player, however he failed to make a single appearance for the first team for the remainder of last season despite Blackburn paying nearly £4 Million for player.

During the tour Formica was outstanding during the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa and looked Blackburn's biggest threat to the Villa goal. Showing good touches and movement. Rovers ended their tour by avoiding the wooden spoon by beating the host Kitchee 3-0 and once again the name left on every one's lips at the end of the game was Mauro Formica. He capped off a great tour by scoring the first goal of the game with a great diving header, whilst his creativity was evident throughout the game.

With Rochina also getting on the pitch against Kitchee we now have two players available to us who are like new signings due to their limited game time last season. Suddenly things look a little brighter especially as Rovers confirmed during the tour that Serbian International Radoslav Petrovic is set to join the club in a £3 Million deal subject to a work permit. Whilst David Goodwillie is expected at Ewood today for a medical as he rubber stamps a £2.8 Million pound move from Dundee United.

Steve Kean went over to India for clear the air talks and took Ryan Nelsen with him, to show a United front that the players are fully committed to the Manager. It also gave the owners the opportunity to give the players an insight into their future plans for the club. This resulted in the owners giving an interview re-iterating their support for the Manager and plans for the future of Blackburn. This was refreshing as communication to the fans is slowly improving especially as the clubs website is being update more often.


THE BAD

During the tour many newspapers quoted that Chris Samba wanted to play Champions league and he would welcome a move to Arsenal. Now Arsenal and Spurs interest in the player has been well documented since January and Rovers have been bracing themselves for a bid fro the player, however to date no bid has hit Rovers door mat. Samba said on Twitter that he had been mis-quoted and he never said the things which were written in the paper. Saturday's game against Kitchee fueled rumours Samba's exit is imminent as he was not involved in the game and watched on from the stands. Blackburn desperately need to hold onto Samba especially after the exit of Phil Jones earlier in the summer, and although Rovers appear to be active in the transfer market the only deal which has been COMPLETED Was the free transfer of Myles Anderson and this deal had already been agreed prior to the season ending.

David Hoilett has now been offered a new contract but to date this has still not been signed, although its widely reported its just a matter of time before the ink hits the paper. This will be a big relief when its finally done but until then its keep your fingers crossed time.



THE UGLY

Throughout this summer the National press have took every opportunity possible to have a dig at Blackburn and in particular our Indian owners. The Daily Mirror has been one of the parties guilty of continuous digs at the new regime down at Ewood Park.
Constant references to the owners industry back ground , with every article using the term "Chicken Farmers" Is now getting beyond the joke, this puts a stereo type into readers minds and its being done purely to be malicious and disrespectful. I never ever read other clubs owners being  mocked for their industry backgrounds so why single Blackburn Rovers out?
In addition to this references to Blackburn's current financial position has caused widespread panic, and the longer it takes for Rovers to secure new players, the longer this rumour will carry on.

El Hadj Diouf did not report back for Pre-season after he was told he never had a future at the club. His whereabouts where unknown by Steve Kean and the player has been hit in the pocket with a club fine. Rovers are trying to off-load the player as his time at Rovers has run its cause.

Blackburn's transfer dealings have not gone down well with the supporters. On off transfers, Last minute withdrawals, not following through with enquires and not communicating with the fans has fuelled the rumour that their is in-house turmoil. An example of this was the abrupt end to their interest in Mariano Pavone. The player came over with his family, passed a medical and agreed terms only for Rovers to pull the plug on the deal at the eleventh hour. Other live targets like Mongongu have also faltered as Rovers don't appear to be able to finalise deals for reasons which are still unknown. The season is now less than two weeks away and much work has still to be done to make the squad competitive for the up-coming season