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Hard to see Rovers breaking vicious circle under Venkys, says Jeff

Jeff Stelling - Jeff Stelling Posted 22nd December 2011 view comments

It won't be a merry Christmas for Blackburn fans and the prospects for a happy New Year don't look much better.

We all know what it means to be bottom of the Premier League at this time of year - unless you are West Brom, of course!

Someone within football (who shall remain nameless) suggested recently that I've got it in for Steve Kean because of the amount of criticism the Rovers boss has received on Soccer Saturday.

Not adding up: fans vent their frustration at Rovers' inability to climb the table

Not adding up: fans vent their frustration at Rovers' inability to climb the table

Let me say categorically here and now that there is simply no truth in that charge. I have no personal agenda whatsoever against Steve.

The truth is I felt desperately sorry for him as Rovers went down to Bolton on Tuesday; I watched the game and you could feel his agony.

The last thing I want is to see anyone out of a job - whatever their profession - but it seems to me that the owners have put him in an impossible situation.

Who is going to be willing to go out to India for meeting after meeting after meeting? Steve says it's ok because the flights are overnight but could you see Mark Hughes, for example, putting up with that?

Jeff Stelling
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There are so many negative stories surrounding the Venkys that I fail to see how Steve can get the fans back on side unless Rovers win a ton of games in succession. Given the sort of injury problems they've had of late, that seems unlikely.


Every manager buys some turkeys and Kean - in his first manager's job - is no exception but it hasn't been all negative.

Steve has given Junior Hoilett a regular run in the first team and the striker is now a valuable commodity for them.

He's brought in Yakubu and while the Nigerian may not be the most mobile or hardest-working forward, he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net. I also like the look of Scott Dann, Mauro Formica and Ruben Rochina - all of whom are good quality players.

But Steve didn't help himself on Tuesday night. It was a game Rovers had to win but Hoilett began playing behind Yakubu (everybody knows he is a threat on the wing) and Rochina, probably the most skilful player at the club, didn't start.

Those decisions contributed to the side's downfall on the night.


It all seems a far cry from the early days of the Venkys ownership when all of the talk was about Ronaldinho and Beckham.

The owners built the expectation levels up so high that Steve's position was practically untenable from the start unless the club put together a run of brilliant results.

Now is not the time for any more unrealistic expectations. After all, which manager with a proven track record will work under the sort of regime imposed by the Venkys?

Who is going to be willing to go out to India for meeting after meeting after meeting? Steve says it's ok because the flights are overnight but could you see Mark Hughes, for example, putting up with that?

Throw in the scary stories currently doing the rounds about the state of the club's finances - stories that the owners deny - and things seem grim indeed. It is not as though they have plunged a fortune into the club so far.

Christopher Samba and Hoillet will almost certainly leave in the January transfer window because of the club's plight; the owners will probably be quite keen to see them go because it boosts the coffers.

I can only urge the fans to be patient; I don't see what alternative there is under the current owners.

If you know better, Tweet me @JeffStelling2

Twitter is not a form of communication I am particularly fond of but there are about half-a-dozen fake 'Jeff Stellings' out there, so I felt it was time to put the record straight!


One final word to the wise - don't miss our Soccer Saturday Christmas Special at 10am on Christmas Day.

The show features some of our favourite escapades from years gone by, including 'Seniorstars' - our take on Superstars and 'the Y-factor', our spoof X-factor. There was also the time the boys did their level best to impress Gino D'Acampo. 'Masterchef' it wasn't!

Plans are already afoot to stage a Soccer Saturday panto next year, with 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarves' currently the show of choice.

However, we still need to find six dwarves!

A merry Christmas to one and all,


Comments (15)

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Rob Robinson says...

re: Zoe Whittaker, How can you claim that your club is ignored and belittled by other managers, what do you expect? Blackburn are Rubbish and are not even a premier league team. What have you done since you won the prem all those years ago apart from flirt with relegation nearly every season? then you get Big Sam in and he does a good job then the Venky's come in and decide that they want a more ambitious younger manager to take them towards where was it....oh yeah that's right, the champions league 4th place. Please help me out and tell me what steve kean has actually done for blackburn except say that "I feel as though we are about to go on a long unbeaten run" Truth is Blackburn are at best a mid table championship club, I look forward to seeing West Ham replace them next season! bye bye boring blackburn looooool

Posted 12:13 29th December 2011

Jeff Shaw (Arsenal fan) says...

Everyone should have known when they new owners said they wanted to be in the champs league and would invest major cash. What they meant by that was £15 million! I know that's a load of money to most people but in PL terms it's nothing. If you want to be in the CL you need at least 100 mil from where they are at the moment. The fact that anyone took them seriously is what makes me laugh. Their fans on the other hand are a disgrace. Don't you think that if you got behind the manager you might have done better? He's got a poor squad and no money to spend, what do you want him to do? Try being real fans and supporting your team during the game no matter what. Booing your own players is shocking, you all really pay your money just to go out and boo your own team for 90 mins? Give your tickets to real fans and stay at home and be miserable. I bet if you had supported them properly by now you'd be a ew points better off and that would make all the difference.

Posted 13:29 28th December 2011

Dave Stallard (Wolverhampton Wanderers fan) says...

Who was responsible at Blackburn for selling out to Venkys?. With all due respect Isn't it obvious that they had no experience whatsoever of footbal never mind the English Premier League. Lay some blame at people at the top at the time. Am I right that there was a John Williams who left shortly after Venkys took over.Where is he now? Ask him a few questions. The memory of Jack Walker deserves better than this!

Posted 12:34 27th December 2011

Jim B (Manchester United fan) says...

Well Zoe probably a good thing fans like you don't go to the games, pitty a few more won't take the same stance as you as not really what Kean or the Team need right now. They need really support, not glory hunters. I also am officially putting my name in the hat should the job become available. Should I to have the awful backing of the Venkys and get sacked, it's a few million in the back compo -happy days.

Posted 19:06 25th December 2011

Leon Fuller (Leeds United fan) says...

You could view Kean as poor guy in wrong place at wrong time, I prefer multi millionaire who is poor at his job given the resources available to him. Football players have gotten too greedy, managers out of control. Greed pervades the English premier League like maggots on rotting flesh.

Posted 18:52 25th December 2011

Danny Kennedy (Sunderland fan) says...

Can someone explain what venky's have done wrong? im a sunderland fan and have honestly not paid too much attention to what is happening with Blackburn. All i know is steve kean has a better squad than swansea, norwich, wigan and bolton. I do think kean is a hopeless manager who doesnt know how to celebrate a goal and will not let go of the only job he will ever get in the football league but if this is the owners fault please tell me how.

Posted 01:41 25th December 2011

Jack Rogerson (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

Thank you Jeff Stelling!! At least one skysports pundit who can actually see things from the Blackburn fans' perspective! Yes I feel terrible for Steve Kean (the man) for all the abuse he gets, makes me think of Gordon Brown and all the hardships he had when he was PM. However, using the same analogy... Steve Kean (the manager) I feel no sorrow for whatsoever, clearly not up for the task and should have realised this long ago... I mean even Gordon Brown knew enough was enough! As far as i'm concerned we're already relegated. Great article Jeff and thank you for understanding... KEAN OUT!

Posted 23:47 24th December 2011

Paul Collins (Arsenal fan) says...

good shout jeff and merry xmas. this blackburn chaos proves to be yet another sad indictment of the shocking fit and proper persons test to see whether they are good enough to own a club...

Posted 23:07 24th December 2011

Chris Bourke (Hull City fan) says...

As long as Blackfurn fans don't get personal I think they are within rights to vocalise thier opinion or protest against what they believe is wrong within their club. Fans don't always know what's best for the club but at least they've earned the right to make that call afters years of support. The debate over whether Kean should go must be the most one sided argument I've ever seen in the Premier League. Under his record an unproven manager would normally have gone ages ago, which is why the "abuse" is unprecented. Venky's have compounded the situation due to either ignorance, niaiviety or stubborness. It's now got to the point where you wonder who will seriously want to pick up the pieces and work within these state of affairs, which means the problem will be far from resolved when Kean goes. It's reminiscent of the farcical situation surrounding the relegations of Leeds, Newcastle, Portsmouth, West Ham and the problems under the former owners at Liverpool. It seems to have become a strange trend to have Joke Club most seasons in the Premier League, which no supporter deserves to become the victim of.

Posted 12:20 24th December 2011

Paul Luca (Newcastle United fan) says...

I have to agree with the Blackburn fan above. I know if we had 7 wins from 37 at Newcastle the protests would be as loud and as 'vicious'. These fans pay their money and are entitled to protest. These managers and players get paid so well and part of that is to deal with the rough and tough as well as the smooth. Kean may be a nice guy but its obvious he's no manager. Venky's have obviously made mistakes and are in deep trouble. You may be right about other managers not wanting the job, but then again what is the alternative. Relegation is almost guaranteed at this rate and nobody sees them coming back. Kean should go but I fear its already too late.

Posted 07:17 24th December 2011

Geoff Eddleston (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

Nice one Jeff,you tell it as it is,even for Hartlepool.(Just a bit biased) Most pundits are coming out in support of Steve Keane,albeit ensuring 6 points for their clubs and only two relegation places up for grabs.We hear from Steve about his injury crisis yet he allowed Keith Andrews out on loan,bought Miles Anderson (Who) Franco Ribeiro(Who) .The latter two have not played a handfull of games between,but no doubt picking up hefty salaries.The knockers should really be asking for an investigation by the premier league as to why the club is being run down(Asset stripping?) I seem to remember they have a fit and proper persons agenda.What happened to it.When discussing with Steve in the future you should push him for honest answers to the above,as i feel their is more to the problems at Ewood that is being broadcast. Enjoy your show.

Posted 19:38 23rd December 2011

Peter Mclynn (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

Been I Rovers fan for 54yrs. I went to most of the games when in the old 3rd division. I have seen the highs and of course the lows, but nothing comes close to the situation mainly caused by our so called Indian owners who have made it so obvious they don't care one hoot about BRFC. Everyone on this planet knows that Steve Kean is not now and as not been a premiership manager. What other supporters Mr Ferguson, Mr Redknapp, Mr Moyes and others would put up with 12 months of purgatory and the nonsense talked by Mr Kean. When you watch us week after week then hear the managers after match comments making excuses, it is bound to get us frustrated and yes abusive. Sorry to Mr Kean but there is more to come. Just maybe the Venkey's who couldn't stay for the 2nd half at wigan because of the chants for them to get out, will because of the bad publicity get out our club and sell up. And one last point aimed at the FA, what checks after the Portsmouth debacle do you do on foreign owners. I say this as Venkey's have to pay Barclays £10 million by end of this month and there is nothing coming out to say they will pay it. THE END IS NIGH.

Posted 16:12 23rd December 2011

John Dutton (Manchester City fan) says...

Any manager who wants to develop and advance his career would not work for Venky's... from the start it was obvious they would be a disaster for Blackburn as they talked the talk but did not walk the walk.

Posted 09:30 23rd December 2011

Bill Hoxworth (Manchester United fan) says...

Good shout Jeff, I feel sorry for Kean too. The story we are seeing at Blackburn is one which is repeated in industry. People like this, buy a company, then try to run it on a shoestring, that only ends up one way, chaos. In the case of Blackburn, if rumours are true, then they are in serious trouble, short of cash, underperforming team, with a poor manager. Steve is a good guy, but a manager.............Never in a million years. As you rightly say, who on earth would want to work for this mob, easy.......................Only a fool. If Blackburn drop out of the EPL, then they are done, they will never get back in, as long as they have owners like this. My advice to the owners is, stick to what you know, you are experts in your own field, where you make good money, or you provide cash, and let the people who know football run the club the right way.

Posted 06:32 23rd December 2011

Zoe Whittaker (Blackburn Rovers fan) says...

As a Blackburn Rovers season ticket holder of many years well before we won the premier league I find it amazing that most of the time the club is ignored and belittled by others in football then of a sudden when the club is bottom of the league with a useless manager and owner that don't care what the fans think everyone has an opinion. Well to all the managers who get free tickets to most games and can well afford to buy their own ticket you are out of order go back under you rocks where you came from and mind your clubs business not ours. Ask yourselves if you would rather Kean was manager of your club NO you wouldn't. Should you get a pay rise for bad results NO you shouldn't. Ask yourselves if your fans would put up with 7 wins out of 37 games No they wouldn't. So should Rovers fans put up with this NO they shouldn't. Mr Moyes, Redknapp, the league managers association and all the rest of you jumping on the band wagon and criticising us fans who spend our HARD EARNED money on supporting our club we don't want Kean as manager and I never did in the first place. Now all of you go back to not being interested in us we pay to get in most of you don't. I am boycotting the Ewood park at the moment even though I have paid my hard earned money for a season ticket. Kean out

Posted 22:47 22nd December 2011

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