Sunday, March 07, 2010

Blackburn Rovers takeover - the Abu Dhabi connection

According to the Sunday People this morning, here, the Blackburn Rovers takeover is back on. Advisers Rothschild are in talks with investors from the Middle East. There was a bit of chatter about this at Soccerex in Manchester last week.

OK, cards on the table time. Here's what I've heard.
  • The asking price has dropped to £25m.
  • The Trustees are utterly disinterested and are now eager sellers.
  • There have been a number of expressions of interest, but the management team carry on regardless.
  • The management team all believe new external investment is essential.
  • The most interested party was not from Dubai, but Abu Dhabi. They have a long term philosophy of developing a club based on a core of experienced players, but also nurturing young players who could be sold on at a good profit.
  • These potential buyers came to meet the players in Dubai when they went for warm weather training in February.
I'm very anxious about all of this. It would be just dreadful if Rovers went from being a well run club to one that gambled it all on "living the dream" or became the pawn of some egotist or chancer. Look at Southampton, Leeds, Portsmouth and Crystal Palace. It can never be confirmed but the late Jack Walker wished for everything to be done to ensure the long term future of the Rovers. I think the way the board operate suggests that they live by that philosophy. But he also hoped his investment would propel Rovers to a position where they would be self funding.

There is a bizarre thread on the Lancashire Telegraph messageboard referring to a plan to get 100 people to stump up £500K each. I'm sorry, I think I'm reasonably well connected amongst well-heeled Rovers fans and I can say with some certainty that is an absolute non-starter.


Vinjay said...

The 150 investors suggestion was posted by one person on the LET board and I immediately questioned where on earth he would hear something like that. I certainly haven't seen that suggested anywhere else.

I said weeks back on 606 (and possibly on here too) that the trip to Dubai should also be used for business relating to takeovers as well as the playing side benefits. I'm glad that it appears the club were thinking along the same lines after all.

As for them "now being completely disinterested" that's hardly new. Its been the case for the last 10 years. The sooner they are out of this club the better and pass the club on to someone deserving of building upon Jack's legacy. Not crushing it like they are doing. I don't think describing them as poisonous is too strong a term. Probably not strong enough.

Just the fact that there are talks at some level is a positive.

Scott said...

What a great bit of news to start my morning! These comments sound very positive to me.
Any new ownership group would bring with it a sense of positivity and cautiousness. It's important we stay in the top flight and a bit more money could virtually guarantee that year in and year out. Let's start making a push for consistent participation in European competitions!!!

Michael Taylor said...

Fingers crossed, eh?