Blackburn Rovers are on the precipice of being taken over by an Indian billionaire with a family fortune of £5bn. The club’s financial records are currently being reviewed by Ahsan Ali Syed’s team of accountants and negotiators. And, if everything goes smoothly, Rovers should receive a takeover bid of approximately £300m. If the deal goes through, Syed has promised to hand manager Sam Allardyce £80m and £100m to spend on new players. Money would also be made available for the youth academy and to upgrade the training facilities and Ewood Park.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Syed said that “I’m a big fan of Big Sam. He’s worked miracles and with the right backing he can take the team even further.” However if the takeover happens, which will be tremendous news for Blackburn Rovers and its supporters, success will not come overnight for Rovers. Even with a transfer kitty of £80m to £100m, it would take time for Rovers to bed in new players and get them used to playing their particular brand of football. After all, they’re not nicknamed Blackeye Rovers for nothing.
Syed obviously sees an opportunity with Rovers. “We invest in undervalued or distressed assets,” Syed said. “What’s more interesting, taking over an established team or a team like Blackburn Rovers back to the top?”
Blackburn supporters will be wondering whether Syed can work his magic as well as previous owner Jack Walker did. Within five years of buying Blackburn, Walker took Rovers from the old Second Division to Premier League champions in the 1994-95 season. However, times have changed a lot since Walker’s time. The sums of £80m to £100m sound like a lot of money, but it doesn’t buy you as many world-class players as it did in 1992 when Walker paid a English record transfer fee in 1992 of £3.5million for Alan Shearer. Or when Blackburn broke the record transfer fee in 1994 when they signed Chris Sutton from Norwich City for £5million.
However, it is reasonable to assume that Syed will be able to help finance the club to turn them from a mid-table Premier League side into a team that can qualify for the Champions League. And with Champions League prestige comes Champions League money which would definitely inflate the value of this Lancashire club.
In the meantime, Syed’s team of accountants and negotiators have a few weeks to review the financial books at Rovers. But Syed is adamant about expediting the process in hopes that a deal can be finalized before the August transfer window ends, which would allow Allardyce to bring in a few players at the last minute. However, it’s more likely that if the deal goes through that Allardyce will have a greater opportunity in the January transfer window to get the players he’s looking for to improve his Rovers squad. Replenishments are needed throughout the team who are in desperate need of revitalization.