Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tide of opinion turning for Venky's

I base this on a gut feeling, nothing more, and a fair few comments and sentiments expressed by Blackburn Rovers fans on the web and on social media settings. But I think the tide is turning in Venky's favour.

The manager is doing OK. Dan Clough's excellent blog Rovers Return reflects this theme with a good analytical post following the defeat at Chelsea yesterday. Link is here. Dan praises the attacking style and the positivity of 4-4-2. He's spot on about Nicola Kalinic being better attacking than being a lone striker. The only player at Rovers who can do that is Jason Roberts, which rather limits the options if that is the sole style of play.

There's this piece in the Mail on Sunday about Venky's. It's a positive feature that puts their point of view. It claims they are hugely wealthy and ambitious.

But the issue that gives me the most concern is the link with SEM/Kentaro. It's clear they are in control. They are in on two sides of transfer deals. It may suit them to have a club dominated by their clients, and it may suit them that this is a roaring success. But what if it doesn't turn out that way? Then what? And what if Venky's fall out with SEM?

I'm still convinced that Venky's don't really know what they're doing. It may be re-assuring to some fans that they have massive wealth, and their bling somehow validates this, but beyond the sincere pleas that they are eager to make Rovers a success, this deal is about what Rovers can do for Venky's, not the other way round. Longer term, this deal is about opening fast food chicken outlets. We're pretty helpless and stuck in the middle, we just have to hang on to the hope that they consider doing well in the Premier League to be within their gift and a price worth paying to market sell some more chicken.


Anonymous said...

Are you completely sure that the Mail piece is accurate? The Venky's own web sites puts the worth of all of VH at $650m and that includes their investment vehicle which has gone into a massively dodgy new city deal that seems to be going bad.

Even if they are worth the £2bn, nobody sees them as being particularly liquid. Venky's India itself has a share capital to debt ratio of 1:6.

I agree the Kentaro involvement at the expense of the existing Board is the really unleasant part especially considering the pledges made prior to the sale of Rovers by the Trust.

Michael Taylor said...

No, I'm not sure it's accurate at all. The point wasn't that I took at face value, more that it was a piece of positive coverage of the Rao family and their businesses which goes against the grain of negativity.

In fact, I meant to add a further concern that's never been satisfactorily answered: how did they fund this deal? Did they borrow heavily? What is the structure of Venky's London?

Anyway, thanks for your post - but why so shy? Who are you?