Action Group Statement
Blackburn Rovers Action Group Statement – 19th August 2016.
Action Group Statement
As Blackburn Rovers supporters worldwide unite together with a resounding message to the owners of Blackburn Rovers, whilst documents detailing the questionable involvement of agents and the outrageous running of the club are released to the world, those entrusted to run and protect the club continue in their silence. Therefore the Blackburn Rovers Football Community Action Group once again calls upon the Football Authorities to intervene in the wanton destruction of Blackburn Rovers
A founder member of both the Football League and the Premier League, a once stable club that many in the football world held up as a shining example of how to run a club in the modern game. Yet the demise of this club is clear for all to see from a consistent mid-table Premier League club to one of the bookmakers favourite for relegation into the third tier, a club riddled with debt, lacking leadership and without direction or hope.
Blackburn Rovers now has a board of directors that appear to be simply incapable, powerless or completely absent from duty. The BRFC Action Group today calls for the immediate resignation of the clubs board of directors.
Finance Director Mike Cheston, who also covers the duties of the clubs recently departed Managing Director appears powerless to make serious decisions on football matters. Mr Cheston recently admitted openly in a meeting with the BRFC Action Group that Owen Coyle was not short listed during his search for a new manager. He, together with Rob Kelly and Alan Irvine had completed interviews and sent their recommendations to the clubs owners for consideration. Mike Cheston was unable to explain how or who had made the decision to appoint Owen Coyle, yet later he claimed that Coyle was the standout applicant in comparison to those other managers at the top of his own shortlist.
Gandhi Babu is a club director who is based in India and rarely visits Blackburn. In previous meetings it has been explained to the group that Mr Babu is from a financial background and oversees finances between Pune and Blackburn. Given that the club has published debts in excess of £100 million pounds, despite selling around £30 million worth of players over the last sixteen months with minimal investment into the playing squad, serious questions must be asked of Mr Babu’s ability to sit on the board of directors at Blackburn Rovers.
Robert Coar has been an ever present in the boardroom since the days of Jack Walker, Mr Coar who also has a role on the FA Council, has overseen the demise of Blackburn Rovers without once stating his concern at the destruction of Jack Walkers legacy to the town. Mr Coar has betrayed the club, the town, Jack Walker and the supporters of Blackburn Rovers.
The BRFC Action Group has spent the last five years tirelessly gathering information from a number of sources and it was well documented that these findings were presented to the Football League, the Football Association, the Premier League and the Minister of Sport. The football authorities constantly appear to be reluctant to fully investigate both the whole takeover and the resulting calamitous running of a professional football club. Blackburn Rovers are one of a number of clubs up and down the country who are being destroyed by incompetent owners. Football supporters must ask the authorities why are they content to sit by watching clubs being destroyed in such a reckless manner.
As recently as last month, when the BRFC Action Group presented further information to the Football Association, the football authorities once again championed the “Fit and Proper Test” currently in place for owners of football clubs. Sadly, the amount of clubs in decline would suggest that not only are the regulations not working but also that the people in power are not fit for purpose themselves.
We also call for an independent review of football authorities and their self governance. There has to be government consultation in place with supporters’ representatives, the Football Supporters Federation and Supporters Direct to question the integrity of those tasked with running the game and to intervene in the destruction of our national sport.
Football clubs such as Blackburn Rovers are historically at the centre of the local community, a passion that is passed on from one generation of families to another. Supporters are the lifeblood of any club and without those supporters, football is nothing. Yet we are now seeing supporters walking away, feeling powerless and disengaged from the very club that their family has supported for generations. This simply cannot be allowed to continue.
Never in the clubs 141 year history’ has the very existence of Blackburn Rovers looked so much in doubt. We repeat our call for the board of directors to stand down and for supporters of Blackburn Rovers to stand together and work together to help protect our club from further demise.
The Blackburn Rovers Football Community Action Group will be facilitating an Open Floor meeting for all Rovers supporters and supporter organisations, with the aim of uniting the whole supporter base to fight for the future of the football club.