Blackburn chaos puts Ipswich Town’s ownership situation into perspective

Venky's Managing Director Mr B.Balaji Rao (left) and Mr B.Venkatesh Rao (right) in the stands at Bla

Venky's Managing Director Mr B.Balaji Rao (left) and Mr B.Venkatesh Rao (right) in the stands at Blackburn Rovers - Credit: Archant

THE continued soap opera at Blackburn Rovers certainly provides some perspective to those unhappy with the ownership situation at Ipswich Town.

Many Blues fans have become disillusioned with their club’s lack of progress – arguably regression – during Marcus Evans’ five-year regime at Portman Road.

And with the private multi-millionaire remaining out of the limelight, supporters have inevitably raised several concerns about the identity and direction of their beloved club. Without regular word from the top, you can’t blame them.

Yet take a look around the Championship and ask yourself this – would you rather have Venky’s Ltd (Blackburn), Karl Oyston (Blackpool), Vincent Tan (Cardiff), the Al-Hasawi Family (Nottingham Forest) or Gine Pozzo (Watford) in charge? And that’s to name just a handful.

Michael Appleton was yesterday sacked by the Rovers hierarchy in the latest of many twists this crazy division has served up.


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Venky’s – an Indian company that specialises in chicken meat processing – have now seen three bosses depart this season.

Steve Kean walked away with the team third in the table last September following protracted fans’ protests, Henning Berg got the boot after just 57 days, while Appleton – who started the campaign at Portsmouth and was poached from Blackpool after 66 days in charge – lasted for just 67 days at Ewood Park. Utter chaos.

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Rovers’ ‘global advisor’ Shebby Singh is always available for interview. Is that what Blues fans would prefer?

Elsewhere, Ian Holloway and Appleton may not have left Blackpool had it not been for more financial backing. Evans may be planning carefully for Financial Fair Play rules, but you can’t accuse him of not backing his managers in the transfer market.

At Forest, Kuwaiti owners sacked Sean O’Driscoll when the side was just three points adrift of the play-off places. Replacement Alex McLeish walked away after 40 days, citing ‘a difference of understanding of the development strategy’.

At Cardiff, Malaysian owners have changed the home shirt colour from blue to red, they’ve changed the club badge too and have not ruled out further ‘rebranding’.

At Watford, Italians have forged foreign sister club links and filled the squad with loanees.

The aforementioned trio are all within a shout of promotion. Does that make it easier for their fans to stomach? Undoubtedly.

In a utopian world, Town would have an accessible and visible presence at the top who would calm fears during the tough times.

They don’t. But what they do have is an owner who is patient, hands-off and still investing.

It’s important to retain a healthy sense of cynicism when looking at our very own Ipswich Town – something this paper will continue to do. It’s also important to retain perspective too.

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