Monday 4 June 2012

8. An Open Letter to the Venkys

For the attention of: Mrs Anuradha Desai and Messrs Balaji and Venkatesh Rao.

It has taken me some weeks to crystallise my thoughts and so I must start this letter by apologising for its tardiness.  Of course this apology is largely symbolic, mainly because you are very unlikely to read this and secondly because if by chance you do, I do sincerely hope it will humble you into make an apology of your own.  Whether you are able to admit or not, YOU do owe an apology to the fans of Blackburn Rovers FC and to the town of Blackburn and all its inhabitants, football fans or not.

 It is difficult to imagine how you could have done a better job of mismanaging Rovers in the way that you have.  In fact there’s something quite impressive in just how bad a job you have done!  I’ve quietly suspected that you may even be closet Burnley fans (I suspect this reference is lost on you), but even a Dingle would have deemed your disastrous tenure a far-fetched fantasy when you took over 20 months ago.

When you bought my beloved club in November 2010, did you know of its proud history and tradition?  That we were a well-run football club, with the best chairmen in the Premier League who you forced out (John Williams, remember him?  He has since been appointed to a senior role at Manchester City, heard of them?) and a club battling against the tide and punching above our weight?  Did you even know that Rovers were a founding member of the football league, a founding member of the Premier League and the only team in the history of English football to win the FA Cup three years in a row?  I would suggest not, especially as has been largely reported that you didn’t even know about relegation!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  Rovers’ fans don’t believe that we have a God-given right to play in the Premier League, but what we do expect is people in charge of our club having the slightest notion that they know what they are doing and they have a plan, for better or worse… Just what have you brought to the table?  What value have you added to Rovers or English football in general?

I haven’t even mentioned Steve Kean yet!  You promoted Kean, the previous manager’s no. 3 in command and have never really explained why.  His record speaks for itself, 13 wins from 60 odd games is AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!  What hold does he have over you?  Does he have compromising pictures of you in an incestuous love sandwich?  What other reasons can there be for his continuing employment?

Below is a very brief summary of why Steve Kean should be sacked:
·         The unscrupulous way in which he got the job.  All Rovers fans are aware that Kean is a client of Kentaro.  Kentaro were your principal football advisors when you took charge of the club.  It is not a coincidence that after meeting with Kean (with Kentaro in tow), he was given the job a week later.  I’m sure you’re aware of this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if you weren’t, that Sam Allardyce won promotion with his new team, West Ham, and so will be in the Premier League next year, whilst Rovers will not be…  Seems like he’s had the last laugh!
·         His contempt of the fans.  Kean has time and time again shown utter contempt for the fans thought his ludicrous comments over the course of the season.  Why wasn’t he told to shut up?  He was talking up a top-10 finish as late as December this past season, at a point when we were really up to our necks in chicken shit!  He has a smugness to him that emanates after every post-match interview, blaming everything but his own utter incompetence.
·         He was convicted of drink-driving last year and lied in court to try and cover his tracks.
·         The fans hate him.  The mixture of poor results, smug statements and lies have meant that the fans have absolutely turned on him, to the point that it would be kinder to grind him up into feed and give him to your flock of battery-farmed chickens.
·         The YouTube video, which showed him to be the man he really his.  Hugely disrespectful to the man who gave him his job as coach in the first place and making empty smug promises to the fans.
The man is a snake and a fool.  Who else would admit to forfeiting a game?

Another fear for Rovers fans is the apparent financial mismanagement at the club.  There are real fears that you are going to asset-strip the club and hang us out to dry.  Paul Hunt’s letter after the Bolton game aired some real concerns and it is a shame you dismissed someone who seemed like he knew what he was doing, but kept on Steve Kean?  Your decisions make no sense!

There is real anger amongst Rovers fans and yet all is not lost.  You only have to look at the example of Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle, to see how he turned things around.  Newcastle were relegated two seasons ago (also after prematurely sacking Sam Allardyce!) and the whole of Newcastle turned on Mike Ashley, much in the same way that Blackburn has turned on you.  However, he has managed to turn it around and Newcastle are now doing very well.  There is a difference however, Ashley has always shown a passion for football, he always attends games and is on hand to make decisions himself.

YOU NEED A PRESENCE IN BLACKBURN.  Get off your fat asses and come to Blackburn and take control, if not from a footballing sense, then from a business sense at least!

There is a lot more I wanted to say here, but I didn’t want to burden you with more than you can take.  You’re obviously busy people and I’m hoping that you see fit to read this letter in the 5 minutes a month you spend on dealing with Rovers issues.

Just to summarise:
·         Sack Steve Kean and remove him from the club and also appoint a strong, sensible CEO, based in Blackburn who can make good footballing decisions in your absence.
·         Communicate with the fans.  Take responsibility for the disaster so far, show some humility, apologise and start again.  You say you are in this for the long-term, well please tell us what your plans are?!
·         Invest and do what is necessary to ensure we don’t slide further into obscurity.  If you are not able, then please sell us to someone who is willing to do so.

Blackburn Rovers means so much to me and thousands of others.   Please don’t take your responsibilities lightly.  Football is a means of escapism for so many, especially in these tough economic times, we find solace in our heroes, however, you are making this unnecessarily hard for us.  Thousands have not renewed their season tickets and thousands have refused to purchase the new replica shirts, and will continue to refuse until we have a clear indication of what the plan is for next season.

I am but a humble comedian, yet try as I might, I could never write a joke better than what you are turning my club into.


- Tez Ilyas
Stand-up comedian and Blackburn Rovers fan

1 comment:

  1. Nicely put Tez, keep up the pressure.


    Frank Butterworth