Blackburn Rovers supporters feel utterly betrayed by their board, and who can blame them?

Blackburn Rovers are not a franchise. They are a living, breathing football club, supported by mostly locals who, since 2001, have enjoyed Premier League football. Now the club will be plying its trade in the Championship, thanks to the unfathomable incompetence of the Venky’s Group, which purchased Blackburn in 2010 and promised all the glory and riches under the sun. Making a mockery of the FA’s “fit and proper persons” test, Venky’s have been like a slow poison at Ewood Park, gradually withdrawing the dignity of this once proud club, which, however you judge their means in doing so, won the Premier League in 1995.

Like, obviously not lambs, but chickens to the slaughter (as per the Venky’s’ PR arrangements) Rovers have been terrible all season. Steve Kean was the most misguided of appointments, and may as well have been hired by a drunk in a pub, for all the credentials he possesses for the job in question. However, and this is a vital point, Kean did not hire himself. Nor can he inflict a “self-sacking” on the grounds of incompetence. Plenty of managers have been hired to positions they neither deserve nor merit, indeed one only has to look at England for many an example, but whatever Kean did in charge, he was never cut out for a top flight management job. And yesterday, this was made clear, if we all didn’t know it before.

One can only sympathise with the Rovers fans who took to burning their season tickets after the final whistle, a gesture which appears to have been widely misinterpreted. Obviously, the symbolic importance of immolating a piece of paper, possibly laminated card, when it has lost all monetary value, is drastically reduced. However, one ought to see this as a sign for next season: these supporters will not be back. For their atrocious behaviour, and I don’t care, no fans should ever be defended when they choose to break the law, the actual law, not some footballing “myth”, by throwing missiles onto the playing surface, they have been through hell this season. As a supporter of a club which has similarly been the valueless plaything of billionaires, I know what it feels like to back a team with the most self-destructive owners imaginable.

Nowhere men: who will take the Venky’s to task after a relegation for which they are entirely to blame?

There is many a case to answer following Rovers’ relegation. First of all, where were the Venky’s? For all the cringe worthy adverts featuring David Dunn gorging on presumably appropriately slaughtered poultry in front of his team-mates, the people responsible for what happened last night have hidden away like cowards. They will not have to provide even one answer for the near-destruction of this once great club. And who will be made to face the cameras? Steve Kean. He is no saint, indeed this in itself is a myth promulgated in the many orifices of the national media, but no one man is to blame for everything. Had the Venky’s signed Ronaldinho, perhaps Kean could be subjected to a public hanging without an eyelid even being raised. However, Blackburn do not have the Brazilian Champions League winner. Instead, they possess the collective striking talents of Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Mauro Formica.

It is hard to imagine the club making an immediate return to the top flight, either. The Championship is now a very different prospect to Division One, where Rovers found themselves from 1999-2001. Yakubu will leave, Paul Robinson may depart, Junior Hoilett will almost certainly go, as could playmaker Morten Gamst Pedersen. When Middlesbrough slipped out of the top flight in 2009, they probably hoped for an immediate return. Three years later, and where are ‘Boro now? Still in the second tier.

The fact that yesterday’s defeat came courtesy of Wigan Athletic was also deeply unfortunate. There can be no greater contrast with the terrible situation at Ewood Park, than Roberto Martinez and plucky little Wigan. Written off year after year, around March every season the Latics suddenly spark into life, and, at least to date, inconceivably stay up. Now, Wigan are not a good football team. There will not be a clamour to disassemble the Latics’ starting eleven this summer, with the exception of the explosive Victor Moses. However, they are safe, and Blackburn aren’t.

The only way the club can survive is to rid itself of the Venky’s curse as soon as possible. Foreign ownership has brought the Premier League vast wealth, produced countless great teams, and heightened the standard of competition for all involved. Manchester City and Chelsea are a testament to this, and whatever you think of the morality of either side’s “transfer activity”, without this Sergio Aguero would not be playing in England, to take one example. The Venky’s, on the other hand, are the thin end of the wedge. They exemplify all that is wrong with modern football. Ignorance, a lack of care, disinterest and catastrophic mismanagement, for which none of them will ever be punished. Come back soon Blackburn, no clubs deserve what you’ve been subjected to.

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