Venky's feel heat from Blackburn fans

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Old 10-Oct-2011
Venky's feel heat from Blackburn fans

Since the Indian Poultry Group bought the club for 23 million (Dh131 million) in October 2010 they have made some terrible decisions to the detriment of football and those who love the club. Quite simply they should have entered the market with more cultural sensitivity.

Granted they also had 21 million of club debt to take on board, but sacking beloved Sam Allardyce while the club was 13th in the league in December 2010, to install an unknown entity like Steve Kean has brought the club to within sight of relegation from the Premier League, which could cost them 30 million.

However cheap Kean came, he's reduced them to second from bottom place in the English Premier League with four points from seven games. With no big name signings or investments the club is simply slipping backwards under Venky's and Kean, just staving off relegation at the end of last season despite finishing in the top half on four of the last five occasions.

Also, in a week when the League Managers Association (LMA) stated that managerial changes with all compensation, legal fees and double contracts amount to on average per club 99 million the decisions of Balaji and Venkatesh Rao are looking all the more laughable.

Now the club has travelled to Pune, India, for a shocking PR tour, which was meant to take place during pre-season but was unnecessarily called-off due to the most recent spate of Mumbai bombings. But why is a club under threat of relegation travelling 5,000 kilometres in an international window to try and expand their ever-weakening brand abroad?

Ex-Blackburn star Colin Hendry had it right in recent comments: "I don't think it'd be a toy to them if they were losing money because they'd need to be better at what they're doing in that club. They'd need to run it better." No one has ever bought a football club to make money it's largely done for love. Blindly coming in with a view to apparently asset-strip, save or make money will only get you so far in football, eventually those savings will cancel themselves out with lack of support or brand power.

Venky's should have come in splashing the cash to make more and correct the books long-term. Coming in to save has cost them many fans and they are fans that are no longer coming through the turnstiles and are instead outside calling for your head.

Sadly, Blackburn's case is just a wider example of foreign investment across the board that has led to the further decline of the country and its industries, already turning many against foreign businesses before they've even started. So far at Manchester City however it's all smiles as the approach has been entirely and so radically opposite to Blackburn's.

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