Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chicken feed

David Conn writes on the Blackburn Rovers takeover in the Guardian today, link is here.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been typically hard headed and realistic about it. He thinks it feels wrong. I agree. And I wonder if for football this isn't a deal too far.

What are the alternatives? Well, the trust have explored these and there aren't any, it would appear. But should the deal go through to sell Blackburn Rovers to Venkys, then I must confess to feeling a little empty about it all. They are making all the right noises about Asian support and the values of the club, but at the end of the day it’s a profile raiser for them. And they ain’t in the same league as Abramovich or the Abu Dhabi mob who bought Manchester City, so not much will change on the financial front, except the trustees in Jersey will be a shut of an asset their benefactor created all of £25m of value.

Maybe I'm looking at it too emotionally. I chose to support Blackburn Rovers as a cosy homespun and traditional Lancashire club. And never in my wildest 11-year old dreams in 1977 did I think I’d be taking my kids to see Rovers play in the top division, to cup finals, semi-finals let alone in Europe. It’s been an amazing 20 years and we all enjoyed the Walker years.

But it saddens me to think that Blackburn Rovers will become some kind of marketing arm of a chicken manufacturer from India.

There was surely the opportunity to convert the interest of the Walker Trust into a community mutual. And if this deal doesn’t go through, then I for one would support that as the next step, rather than this slightly humiliating public auction we’ve endured for the last 6 months and the uncertainty in the 10 years since Jack died.

Anyway, we're beating the barcodes. And that's always a good feeling.


Savio Mathias said...

Michael great article but several things you need to remember you quote what Dave Whelan & David conn wrote one thing you failed to mention are either of these men involved with negotiations are they the ones doing due diligence on this group so they are in no position to make any comments because the Trust have been fairly thorough in assessing all of the parties and seeing as though they have passed the EPL test & the Trust have done all they can to check these people out we should have a bit of trust in them & Mr Whelan should really be more worried about selling his own club and who is likely to buy that bunch of overpaid useless footballers than worrying about our impending sale it would not surprise me if he was trying to derail this deal so he could get them on board to buy his own team. As you rightly state what are the alternatives we die a slow painful death with the trust at least this lot have a sensible plan to market the club in a very profitable country which could lead to other opportunities. You say if the deal goes through you would feel empty if life was in some way fair I would be living in a penthouse in Chelsea with loads of kids with the sex drive of a rhino with my full eye sight able to watch 3D Tv from both angles earning so much money I would have my own helicopter,season ticket & have a stake in Rovers but life is not fair. Sometimes in life you need to take risks & yes this is a risk but a necessary one. Also you mention they are no Abramovich or Sheikh Mansoor look at it this way would you want some bloke throwing money at it like water and have a revolving door for managers like at city,Barcodes of old remember Rome was not built in a day what city are doing is obscene and eventually that model will come crashing down around their necks when the owners have enough & want to sell on as many have said it is better to build slowly then you get sustained sucess over a longer period of time unlike chasing the dream yesterday. You state:But it saddens me to think that Blackburn Rovers will become some kind of marketing arm of a chicken manufacturer from India.

yes but if that is the way forward and we do ok with marketing in India where the market is huge they already have a Man Utd bar over there it will be a win win situation

then you state:There was surely the opportunity to convert the interest of the Walker Trust into a community mutual. And if this deal doesn’t go through, then I for one would support that as the next step, rather than this slightly humiliating public auction we’ve endured for the last 6 months and the uncertainty in the 10 years since Jack died.

it is hardly humiliating as it shows we are a popular club to have as much interest you say you would support the trust if they fell this is the way forward I suppose you would still think it great when we are playing in the blue square premier not even averaging 10,000 crowds or perhaps with this model it would be ok to go like middlesborough dwindling attendances riverside 3 quarters empty fans booing players off the pitch for going one down to someone like QPR I suppose that scenario is good I'm sure Steve Gibson would not agree with you at the end of the day I am not having a go but stating the facts the prem lge is getting more money orientated to stand still in this league to stay in tenth like last year money has to be spent it's a shame but unfortunately this is what it has come to even now with free transfers now with Sam's comments on how obscene their wages are now and these are free transfers other teams cast offs.

Vinjay said...

The only thing Whelan has been is xenophobic as usual. Typical local trying to downplay any chance of Rovers succeeding internationally as relates to overseas marketing.

It hasn't got anything to do with him he should mind his own business. Certainly he's been respectful to Ronnie Clayton recently (and rightly so) but he has no right to interfere in this clubs internal affairs.

You talk about this small town in Europe mentality in previous posts. That is exactly the antithesis of what Venky's are trying to achieve. It is also the antithesis of the personal motto Jack Walker followed. "Think big" as far as I'm concerned is marketing gold as a slogan. Its time it was used but the current marketing geniuses haven't seen the value in it.

I'm not interested in the club being "cosy" probably one of the worst descriptions of a football club I've ever seen. I want to see a ruthless, cutting edge marketing approach both regionally and internationally. The Blackburn Rovers I started supporting 13 years ago had ambition and purpose.

I do not anticipate a title challenge under the new owners but I do not expect the club to be on a slow, painful road to relegation either. That's the only eventual direction this club would be going in under the walkers.

This club should be looking at Lancashire as a catchment area (and that would mean an end to obsessing over inferior local clubs) and in India as far as I'm concerned there are no limits to potential despite what people like Whelan think.

Sad and empty? That's exactly how I've felt with the Walkers over the last few years. They have caused me nothing but stress and irritation. As far as I'm concerned it will be paradise compared to them being in charge. If Venky's benefit from publicity in the process no problem if it is mutually beneficial.

I don't know why you think Rovers fans owning the club would be anything short of a disaster. Jack Walker is different because his mentality couldn't have been more different to most Rovers fans.

I also detect you aren't exactly happy with the "donottrustees" for selling to Venky's. Rather the opposite of one of your earliest responses to me when you stated that in all fairness they couldn't really be faulted.

It would be hypocritical of me to criticise Venky's having been so pro takeover for so long. I'll live with the consequences (we have no choice anyway) and take any criticism that comes my way if they turn out to be a failure. I doubt people will admit I was right if they prove to be excellent owners.

I'm not saying they are a guaranteed success either but they deserve to be treated fairly. People on BRFCS have been making ridiculous comments about MK Dons scenarios and doomsday stuff like that. They had the nerve to call me paranoid. At the moment Venky's are very highly thought of by me simply for getting rid of the Walkers. They should get an international humanitarian award just for that. I would go so far as to call them liberators.

As for the Newcastle game the result did not come as a surprise to me. I said on Rovers Mad that Newcastle were probably due a fall after their last couple of results. That's really how it is for midtable clubs.

Vinjay said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

It could be worse fellas. The club I support was put up for sale on ebay...

Savio Mathias said...

Vinjay you misunderstood my point I was not critcising you it was what Michael wrote in the original article about Dave whelan having doubts as I do agree Dave Whelan has nothing to do with this club and should stay out of our internal club affairs & concentrate on his own clubs affairs I also agree with you this club needs a massive shake-up with regards to branding the club abroad as there is undoubted potential there. I have always maintained any change is a risk but we have to trust the company buying us as they seem very well trusted & the fact he has passed the EPL test says they are good enough for me. I have also never tried to portray this club as a small town in Europe as in my eyes we could be a big town in Europe with the right financial backing and I would love nothing more than succed in Europe. I do agree with you t6his great club needs a ruthless cutting edge to marketing. I also do not expect to be title challengers but Vinjay if you read my post correctly under Venkys I expect our club to be in a much healthier position possibly challenging for a Europa cup place which would be amazing I was stating to Michael that if we stay as we are with the Trust we will eventually slip into oblivion and that is the main reason why the Walker Trust MUST sell the club to venkys as without external funding as John Williams stated we will be in trouble.I also agree with you Vinjay about Blackburn rovers & Venkys mutually benefitting. I also agree with you on the position of the Trustees they are at massive fault for allowing the club to stagnate and have often said they should still fund the club even if they never wanted to own the club the fact they withdrew the 3M funding which to them is pocket change is a clear dereliction of duty. I agree with you there should be some involvement of fans being members of the board I am not putting my name forward but having fans who want to invest in the club would be a good thing. I agree with you people on BRFCS do need to give this new group a chance to succeed and not write them off before they have even taken over but I for one am prepared to give them a chance at the end of the day we are fans and all we want is the best for the club and we are all in agreement I know I share this vision of wanting to travel to Ewood park for European football as some of my best nights have come from travelling to Uefa cup games especially seeing some of our great players scoring great goals against great European opposition.

Michael Taylor said...

Thanks for the debate guys. Appreciate you all taking the time to contribute such long and passionate comments.

Maybe I'm just a dreamer about this mutual thing. But I can see and feel bad things for the future of football.

And this feels like a deal too far.

Dave Whelan was asked his opinion by David Conn on Saturday at the game. I think he's entitled to a view. His own situation is similar to Jack Walker's and he states he would prefer NOT to run a drawn out sales process.

I think the trustees have trawled around looking for a buyer for 10 years. Until recently there have been none, then 3 come at once. India interest is new and different. There is no precedent for this kind of involvement.

Ultimately, none of us know with any certainty what will happen.