The mood is right up there among Football League fans – pre-season friendlies are played under the sun and teams across the country are eager to welcome their fans again. For Blackburn Rovers supporters, however, there isn’t much to say.
A 15th place finish in the championship last season capped a two-half season for the Blackburn Rovers. The first competent followed by a miserable second, in which Tony Mowbray’s side have won just seven games, including three in the last five games of the season.
Having yet to sign a summer contract either, the Rovers are entering the new season with the backbone of a team that may still be clearing up. The signs bode ill for Blackburn Rovers and the reasons are overwhelming.
The Venky Millions
More than ten years have passed since the VH Group acquired a controlling 99.9% stake in Blackburn Rovers through its holding company, Venky’s London Ltd.
The Blackburn Rovers have since abandoned the Premier League of which they were once the winners, up to the third level of English football and back in the league. They did so at a loss as well – the Rovers this summer released their accounts for the 2019/20 season showing a total loss of £ 21.9million before tax, which is an additional loss of £ 3.7million. pounds sterling compared to the 2018/19 season. (Lancs Live).
Perhaps the amount of losses recorded over the next few years can be mitigated due to the pandemic. Football has been postponed indefinitely to the middle of the 2019/20 campaign and the Venkys would subsequently inject an additional £ 14million of their own capital into the club, meaning Blackburn Rovers’ total debt to them rises. now at £ 140million.
At some point, the Venkys will obviously want to see that money. The much contested and debated current ownership of Blackburn Rovers has sparked controversy throughout his tenure, but that £ 140million will not be clawed back anytime soon.
Often with the owners of football clubs and the debt owed to them by the football club itself, this debt is often paid off when a new owner arrives and agrees to take on all the unpaid debts. But as the last 24 months or so have shown, takeovers are becoming increasingly difficult for Football League clubs to manage and the Rovers could eventually find themselves in a position similar to that of a certain county of Derby.
Buyers are put off by Derby’s apparent £ 60million debt that any potential buyer would have to shoulder. With Rovers indebted to the Venkys by at least £ 140million, any future buyouts or redemptions already seem to have their flaws. As uncertainty and discontent with the board persist, that mood will slowly spread throughout the club itself and with fans returning to stadiums next season, deafening sounds could come from the terraces of Ewood Park.
Where does the Rovers Championship experience come from?
According to Transfermarkt, Blackburn actually had one of the youngest middle age groups in the championship last season, under 25 in the campaign.
But last season’s young Rovers lenders reportedly cut that number down considerably and although they have younger members of the first team in Ryan Nyambe, Scott Wharton, Ben Brereton and left-back Harry Pickering to welcome on his loan spell Crewe, they really don’t have a lot of names with a lot of league experience.
The likes of Barry Douglas and Tom Trybull brought some degree of knowledge to the side last time around, while the more altered likes of Stewart Downing, Corry Evans, Amari’i Bell, Elliott Bennett, Charlie Mulgrew and Lewis Holtby are all gone. Names like Daniel Ayala and Darragh Lenihan will have to really measure up next time around, Thomas Kaminski in goal and Bradley Johnson in midfield can offer experience and advice if needed – four names not to be crushed, but they will be Blackburn’s leaders in the locker room next season.
Championship football can be a cruel mistress. The Rovers have been experiencing this for much of last season, and whether the club’s youngsters can weather what appears to be a storm approaching in the 2021/22 season is a question fans may not want. not yet arise.
Mowbray was the man who brought the Rovers out of League One and arguably the darkest days in their modern history. For that, he will always have a seat in Ewood Park. But over the past two seasons in particular, fans have become unstable with his management of the squad and although his hands are largely tied when it comes to recruiting, his insistence on possession football goes beyond stubbornness. .
Fans invented it ‘Mowbrayball’ and although it did allow spectacular viewings on occasion, Blackburn having been prolific under Mowbray’s watch, it is also designed for meticulous performances which subsequently prevented the Rovers to place in the top six since their return. in the championship three years ago.
With two promotions under his belt as a manager and as many as a player, Mowbray certainly knows what it takes to win him. The question remains whether he is able to do that with this current Blackburn Rovers squad – indeed, would a manager be able to?
As much as a needed change might be around the corner, Blackburn just doesn’t have a good enough squad to compete and eventually come out of the Championship. Changes can only start on the pitch and in the dugout, but fans know the real issues lie upstairs and with the club now heavily in debt to the Venkys, it begs the question of whether we’ll see any changes. before seeing relegations, a deteriorating financial problem and the collapse of the once great Blackburn Rovers.