Sunday, August 28, 2016

Blackburn Rovers are a League One team - accept that and it all makes sense

It all makes sense to me now. Blackburn Rovers are a League One club, or the Third Division if you prefer. League One crowds, third rate manager, a hotch potch of lower league players. 

Brushed aside by almost Premiership quality Norwich, humiliated by the League One champions Wigan and ultimately beaten by Championship strugglers Fulham who had that little bit of quality in the shape of Tom Cairney.

In the cup, they've made heavy work of beating two League Two sides, but that's because the gap in quality wasn't sufficient to justify a weakened side.

Off the pitch our home fans dipped below 10,000 yesterday, carry on like that and it takes us out of the top 44 best supported clubs in the country, firmly in the third tier.

I said after the Norwich game that we should probably have been relegated last season in order to give us a chance to regroup and rebuild. As it is, we've a manager fighting fires and dropping his own recent signings to the bench, in order to make way for his new new signings. Sounding for all the world like his old mate Steve Kean, Owen Coyle ducked a question about his clear lack of contact with the owners in India by saying he's trying to bring in new faces to give the "group" a boost.

At the end of the match I joined in the applause of the players we put out to face Fulham yesterday. I was pleased that most of the fans did too. It was a better performance than we'd been used to, but it was a sign that we now approach each game as the plucky underdog, not the entitled former champions.  


Matt said...

As a Sheffield Wednesday fan, my sympathies go out to you - we've been there. We've had the fall from grace upon fall from grace, the chopping and changing of managers, the aloof owners (and alternatively, the outright aggressive)... We had it for 15 years and now we have a new owner, who has admittedly made much needed investment, but also tinkers with our badge, our kit and so on.

We've been presented with a choice so many clubs now face - permanent decline or foreign tycoon's plaything, and so have almost thankfully taken the second option. It is sad to think Sheffield Wednesday are never again likely to be owned by Sheffield people - the same goes for Blackburn Rovers.

All you can do as a football fan is either persist or distance yourself, maybe find some outlet with a 'second side' outside of the football league.

There is something wrong with English upper tier football. Something going wrong that spreads much wider than Blackburn Rovers, than Wednesday, than Stockport County for that matter. But until a really big club, a media-darling of a club - such as a Liverpool, Arsenal or Manchester United - faces the same kind of crisis that so many other clubs has suffered then things won't change.

Michael Taylor said...

Thanks for your comment Matt.

Rover will forever exist as a warning, I think. Beware of what you wish for. So often I hear fans on phone ins and social media demanding investment. It actually just means "become the plaything of an oligarch". I genuinely hoped we get a good one, but the signs were never positive. I kick myself that I didn't do more to follow up interest in a managed exit from the Walker Family to it becoming a locally controlled mutual. I think we'd possibly be in the same league position, but without the horrible toxic legacy of Kean, Venky's, Anderson and everything that came with them.

I tried the non-league thing for a season, but couldn't stay away, it actually made me realise how much a part of me Rovers is.