MAY 9 — The problem is, chickens can’t. And Blackburn Rovers are doomed.
When poultry giants Venky’s bought over the Lancashire side 18 months ago, the Indian multi-millionaires were akin to misguided gamblers making their maiden appearance on the high-rollers table, drawn to the thrill of the stakes and eager to be seen in the spotlight.
Yesterday, they lost all their chips, engulfing the immediate future of Blackburn in darkness.
Wigan’s 1-0 win at Ewood Park on Monday proved the final nail in the coffin.
The team that once won the English Premier League title in 1995 are now relegated.
Venky’s hardly got anything right to begin with. Their decision to fire the experienced Sam Allardyce was their first and worst mistake.
The hiring of Steve Kean was perhaps even more baffling than seeing Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Wigan’s Ali Al Habsi trying to catch a chicken that invaded the pitch during Monday’s match.
The embarrassing irony is that Allardyce could soon find himself back in the top flight, with his West Ham scheduled for a play-off meeting between either Blackpool or Birmingham.
What the owners considered marquee signings in David Beckham and Ronaldinho were a glaring demonstration of how misguided they were, and how much of a yes-man Kean was for selling it to the fans.
Instead, the over-hyped likes of Mauro Formica and David Goodwillie were bought. New faces such as Bradley Orr, Anthony Modeste and Marcus Olsson were more likely to be bench-warmers even at Championship clubs.
It is hard to see Blackburn gaining promotion back to the Premiership next season, certainly not with the team they have now. Truth be told, Blackburn look poised for an extended stay in the second tier.
David Hoilett and Yakubu aside, Blackburn’s lack of quality is appalling, and Venky’s reluctance to invest is even more so.
Blackburn’s reserves are in a similar plight. They are also second from the bottom in the reserves league, hardly a dependable source of internal reinforcements.
Their under-18s had a good season in the Premier Academy League, but raw talent may not be enough for the rough and tumble in the Championship.
Kean needs to be fired, now. He could consider a job in the S-League. Just look at Norwich’s Grant Holt, Sengkang Marine did him good.
Blackburn must look at bringing in managers of the calibre of Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers, who has illustrated that surviving amongst the big boys doesn’t require wads of cash.
Venky’s absence at Ewood Park on Monday simply proved how much they value the club. Don’t expect them to finance a climb back to the Premiership.
Fans hate to admit it, but they know there’s every chance Blackburn can be sucked into a black hole. Just look at the likes of Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday — they never quite made it out of the abyss.
As Blackburn prepare for their final whiff of Premiership air during Sunday’s match against Chelsea, it should not just be their fans calling for the exit of the clueless owners.
It should be the prerogative of every football lover. — Today
* Alywin Chew is assistant sports editor at Today.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.