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Venky’s Are Turning Blackburn Rovers Into a Laughing Stock

Have you ever been to Blackburn? I have. It’s like many old Lancashire mill towns, a little bit grim, a little bit run-down and definitely not like either Milan or the Brazilian resort of Florianopolis and it’s certainly not a regular haunt for wealthy Brazilians.

And yet the football club has been insisting this week that they have been ‘in talks’ with Ronaldinho as though a deal to bring him to Ewood Park is ever going to happen. The board and the manager talk of him being on their ‘list.’ Well we can all have a list. Judy Jetson is on my list of women to have sex with before I die but unless I can become a cartoon and climb inside my TV it is never going to happen. But she’s still on my list.

The club is in danger of making itself look foolish in trying to court a player like Ronaldinho, not because they shouldn’t have ambition to bring good payers to the club but because it is a ridiculous waste of time. It also makes them look desperate just sign a famous name, which even if they were able to pull off a deal for, would be a monumental waste of money, money better spent on players with a future, not flabby over the hill men who are only there for a pay day.

It looks like the sort of decision someone who knew little about football would try to make. Steve Kean cuts a slightly uneasy figure as manager. He looks wide-eyed and a bit scared in front of the TV cameras and it can’t help having owners who seem to like discussing transfer targets on Twitter rather than with him. He also refers to the Chairwoman of the club as ‘Chairlady’ which sounds awkward and gauche as though the idea of having a woman as a boss is an alien concept to him. Would he refer to a male in that post as a Chairgentleman?

And now the deal for the Brazilian is clearly going nowhere, he’s talking of trying to convince Beckham to join Blackburn! It’s embarrassing. Only someone who had lost their mind would even for one second think Beckham would pitch up at Blackburn, not even if they paid him the GDP of Switzerland and made him a pair of gold trousers.

It’s one thing to try and paint yourself as a player in the market but this ‘look at us, we’re trying to sign big names’ approach is laughable and is clearly a strategy that the owners think will show them in a good light. They’re so wrong and had they known anything about football culture they’d know how it is making them look comical

They have made themselves a laughing stock and it will affect the reputation of the club for realistic transfer targets. Who next is on their list? Iniesta? Messi, or perhaps they’ll get Pele out of retirement! Getting rid of Allardyce wasn’t necessarily a bad move if you want to bring free-flowing football to your club, but doing so without a replacement in mind and with no coherent transfer strategy other than to make a list of famous players most of whom couldn’t find Blackburn on a map let alone want to play for them, is frankly amateurish silliness.

Editor’s Note: Johnny’s new book: “We Ate All The Pies: How Foot­ball Swal­lowed Britain Whole” is avail­able via Ama­zon US or Ama­zon UK.

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  1. Uncle Herbert

    February 15, 2012 at 8:18 am

    That went well then.

  2. manveen

    January 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    I actually enjoy the way blackburn are attempting to play decent footie under Kean. Allardyce style was so boring. It was same for big sam under Bolton and Newcastle. It was always play the long ball. Venky’s have bought belief to the club. They have broken this negative parameter that blackburn have been carrying for a number of years. If you think your a mid table team, you will always stay a mid table team. Look at owen coyle and bolton. They dont want to be a side making up numbers anymore. Good on venkys to have some ambition and football style played at Ewood Park.

  3. marcus aurelius

    January 21, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Carlos, may I suggest you refer to Wikipedia for the following:
    2. RACIST
    3. CRETIN
    Much will be revealed, hopefully?

  4. Ashok

    January 7, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    The baseic thing is this: how come this stupid Indian chicken take over this club and dare to do what only nglish can do???

    England and English people can never get over the fact that England is just a small island economy and doesn’t rule the world anymore.

    And, that those brown Indian slaves can defeat them in any sphere, be it cricket, IT or education.

    • marcus aurelius

      January 8, 2011 at 8:46 am

      I think you’re going a bit over the top now, Ashok? ‘England and English people’ may have much to be ashamed of with regard to our Colonial past? I don’t feel this has much to do with the current debate though?
      Whether the ‘brown Indian slaves’ can defeat our current ashes Heroes remains to be seen, however!
      I, for one, look forward to the challenge!

  5. David D

    January 7, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Totally missed the point!
    Motives and ambition aside, Venky’s are not a rich owner and not able to splash the cash, their value has been widely misquoted. Would they really be able to afford 30million?

  6. valve

    January 7, 2011 at 1:36 am

    1 Indian Company causes headache to Britons.
    Imagine what Indians have gone through in hundreds of years when British companies were everywhere in India and looted 250 trillion pounds worth of resources from India.

    Shame on u brit,Even in 21st century u have not changed.

    • Craig

      January 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

      Blackburn may be a shit hole but who says to play for The Rovers you have to live there? Its within commuting distance from Manchester, Liverpool etc…. We’ve gone from a steady mid table side under Allardyce to a rocky boat that could either sink or swim right to the top. Who cares if its not all plain sailing? Its better than being a mid table side thats not going up or down……. In Venky’s defence the possible siginings of Santa Cruz, Bentley, Warnock and Duff make good sense to me, so to say they are clueless and careless by trying to bring in a big name player is ridiculous, its pretty evident they are also trying to bring in solid players that will help drive the club forwards

    • Dave C

      January 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

      What are you talking about? What does British/Indian colonial history have to do with Blackburn Rovers trying to sign Ronaldinho?

      I suppose you think Abramovich is out to get revenge for the Cold War, and Glazer is just rubbing our noses in the whole 1776 thing?

  7. Osvaldo

    January 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I agree with you Lyle. The Eurosnobs here think anything British or American (sometimes) is better than all else. No one says Gold and Sullivan are turning West Ham into a laughing stock despite the fact that they have more problems than Blackburn. Or that Roy Hodgson is turning Liverpool into a laughing stock with his poor management. Some here actually think Hodgson is a decent manager despite his mediocre 35 year record and dismal record at Liverpool.

    • Dave C

      January 7, 2011 at 9:47 am

      The Eurosnobs here think anything British or American (sometimes) is better than all else

      Eh? Wouldn’t a eurosnob think the opposite (i.e. that everything European is best)??

      And also, a LOT of people think Roy Hodgson is turning Liverpool into a laughing stock. Seriously, have you not noticed that??

  8. Lyle

    January 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Venky’s isn’t turning Blackburn into a laughingstock anymore than the New England Sports group is turning Liverpool to one… they’re not. America or India, what’s the difference?

    This is just Anglo centric snobbery at its best. The clubs are too valuable for their English owners to manage. They need ownership with deeper pockets to just try and stay up in the Premier League. The value ain’t the clubs, but the League… with the exception of probably two teams, Man U and Arsenal (possibly LIverpool as well). Chelsea and Man City will go to manure once their wealth benefactors bail out.

    I actually like the Venky’s guys. They’re earnest and they’re being honest and upfront with people about who they are. Can’t ask for anything else really, especially if you’re Blackburn and your club no longer has the financial backing of a dead owner… you’ll take whatever serious money people you can find. Sheffield Wednesday I’m telling you wishes they were owned by some cricket loving Indian chicken dudes.

    Good luck to Venkys and Blackburn, I’m pulling for the lot of you.

  9. Trickybrkn

    January 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    Sullivan and Gold did the same this past summer… talked about the 100k a week signing… threw names out… difference was they had no money to spend…

    Blackburn is a sh**hole… but if you offer the right player the right paycheck, they will play there. But I think they may be more wagging the dog here, then going after glory.

  10. Bobby Ramires

    January 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    I have to agree that Venky’s seem like clowns, although it must be said that they have performed phenomenally in business since forming just 40 years ago.

    For more information on Venky’s, check out this article:

    Blackburn seem to be doing surprisingly well though despite this. Maybe Steve Kean is just that good.

  11. Jamie

    January 6, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I think Blackburn deserve Ronaldinho. He’s headed down just like them. Blackburn will be gone from the Premiership in 2 1/2 seasons. Unless you are a Blackburn fan you know this is a ludicrous proposition.

    BTW I am kidding about the relegation bit. Anyway, it’s not that Blackburn don’t deserve “names” or shouldn’t have ambition. But tell me Fans, if you step back, deep down don’t you think the Venksters are talking out of their backsides on this one?

    • marcus aurelius

      January 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      Jamie, ditto my previous message to yourself, you muppet!

  12. marcus aurelius

    January 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Well John, consider yourself severely reprimanded for your blinkered and one-dimensional outlook on the Ronaldinho ‘fiasco’!
    If you (and your ilk) couldn’t see through the Venkys’ ploy then there really is no hope for any of you? If I were you, I’d start putting my brain in gear before opening my mouth and/or putting my thoughts out into the ether in future? Also, stop believing everything you read in the media, therein lies madness!

  13. Tombo1984

    January 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    John is either a:

    A) Clueless gloryhunting Manchester United fan
    B) A bigheaded gloryhunting Man City fan
    C) A clueless bitter Liverpool fan…

    At a guess, i would go for option C.

    One thing that is worth adding. Arsene Wenger seemed to think the Ronaldinho transfer was a possibility and he was in favour of it…

    But hey what’s the point in taking the word of a seasoned veteran like him when we have John Nicholson talking trash about our beloved club!

    He wouldn’t know a true football supporter if he/she came up and gave him a autobiography on the subject?!

    • marcus aurelius

      January 6, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Apparently, he hails from Middlesborough, therefore he is entitled to have a chip on all three shoulders!
      By the way, he is the ‘star writer’ for ‘football365’ and you should read some of the responses he gets on his webpages. I think he needs professional help?

  14. Dave C

    January 6, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I agree with most of the above posters – this article is patronizing garbage. If glamorous footballers were not prepared to play for teams from “grim” towns and cities, then we would never have seen Juninho at Boro, Anelka at Bolton, Geovanni at Hull, etc etc.

    • marcus aurelius

      January 6, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      Funny you should mention that other celebrated Brazilian, the mercurial Juninho, it seems the author of this crock of shite emanates from the Jewel of the NorthEast…..Middlesborough???? No wonder he’s got a chip on both shoulders!

  15. Ben

    January 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Andy Hunter are you John Nicolson responding to back up your stupid article??? haha

  16. Ben

    January 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    where are you from then john?… monaco? paris? san tropez? are you a manchester united fan? arsenal? have you ever been to salford? anfield? or the grim streets of north london? why would anyone play in this country the simple answer is money, the same kind of money rovers used to propel themselves to premier league success in 1995, the same money that turned alan shearer away from manchester utd and the same money that brought king kenny out of retirement. this article is definatley the work of a southerner and to go totally of the plot i have a feeling he has never slept with a good looking woman dont ask me why i just have a feeling!!!

  17. Ryan

    January 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    First of all, every one was laughing at Man City when their first bid was for Kaka, well Blackburns was Ronaldinho. Look at City now they are second and two points behind top spot. Think about it Blackburn could be the exact same this time next season. I think it is brilliant that we have been bidding for the big players, we have to start somewhere!

  18. Brett

    January 6, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Michel Salgado kind of makes the author’s invalid.

    • Brett

      January 6, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Edit: meant “author’s argument”

  19. Andy Hunter

    January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    Completely agree, there appears to be no obvious plan from the Venky group at the moment. The win against Liverpool last night will certainly keep the critics at bay but we are not safe by any stretch of the imagination. At least with City they came in and openly declared their intentions to take them to the top by spending serious money. My main concern remains that when we were taken over their plan was to consolidate after 10th last year and now it is to get into the top4-5. Madness!

  20. Chris, Bury, Lancashire

    January 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I sincerely hope you weren’t paid to write this utter tripe! it reads like something a Spurs fan would write from his armchair in Chelmsford.


    January 6, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Another moronic article from someone who has no idea what he’s talking about.Because it’s little Blackburn we can’t try to get big names, leave that to the big clubs like Liverpool, Everton and Aston Villa who by the way are below us.

  22. Russ

    January 6, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    John Nicholson this pile of tripe you have wrote has to be the biggest load of Cr*p I have read all week. Obviously you have no idea of the great history Blackburn Rovers have, we are the best supported town club (not city) in the land second to none as well as one of the most decorated clubs in the premiership. I think you should jack your job in as obviously you have not got a clue what the hell you are talking about. The only person that is a laughing stock is you pal.

  23. Eivind

    January 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Now thats 3 minutes i never get back. Worst rubbish i ever read. Thanks!

  24. Thomas

    January 6, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    God, what a waste of time reading this article!

    You got any own opinions, or just writing what you’ve read on other sites?

  25. Workhouse Mark

    January 6, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    All publicity is good publicity! Six months ago you’d probably never heard of Venkys….nor me. Now, not only are you blogging about them, you’ve even put their logo in!

    Of course Ronaldinho and Beckham aren’t coming to Ewood Park…but it’s free and easy publicity, the same as every shirt sponsor, stand sponsor, matchday sponsor, and every other business who uses football to get their name known.

    And their decision to put hardworking football man Steve Kean in charge shows they might not be as stupid as we all think as Rovers played their best football last night since Sparky’s time.

  26. Mike

    January 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    So basically what we are saying is that no-one is allowed to think above their station?

    How dare Rovers be ambitious?

    Venkys are far from perfect but this is just ignorant rubbish from someone who has no idea – maybe try watching a tape of last night’s demolition of Liverpool?

  27. Tim

    January 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    They are making the exact same moves that City made in their first transfer window. Get the world talking about Blackburn, someone to sell shirts. They should come around when they realize its not going to work, or if they get a manager/football director who shows them the CL first, World Class names second its not the other way around.

  28. Tombo1984

    January 6, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Possibly one of the most stupid articles i have ever read.

    Especially the day after we beat Liverpool!

  29. Nick

    January 6, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Yawn! I would love it IF they pulled it off. they are just trying to be ambitious what is wrong with that?

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