Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Steve Kean

Steve Kean on Saturday endured a match day protest from the restless natives of Blackburn. Typical North Lancashire weather meant that the pre game march was reduced to a few hundred die hard fans, nevertheless it is troubling for the manager in the question. The issue however is whether the fans are directing their ire at the correct target.

Blackburn as everyone knows were taken over by the chicken loving Venkys' Group from Pune in India last year. The Premiership has grown used to its' burgeoning group of foreign owners, everyone from Russian Oligarchs to dodgy disposed ex Thai Prime Ministers, Saudi Oil Barons, highly leveraged Americans and slightly unhinged Egyptian shop owners, we will take anyone it appears.

There is however a world of difference in the effect that it has on a club. For Chelsea and Manchester City, they have been instantly propelled from years of looking upwards to the forefront of European football. Tony Fernandes it appears has made an instant and positive impact at QPR. Fans of these clubs are generally delighted with the result despite the grumblings of some who hark back to the 'good old days' of crap football, crap facilities and most importantly crap pies.

Other clubs such as Portsmouth in particular, Liverpool under the previous regime and even Manchester United who despite being consistently successful still rankle hugely at the American ownership have seen their fans revolt against the perceived selling down the river of their club and communitys' heritage. Foreign ownership is clearly a two edged sword and the direction of that blade is decided in most cases by how much money these new owners have.

In the case of Venkys, there is little to suggest that have any intention to invest in any material way in Blackburn Rovers. Blackburn in any case was a strange club to have purchased. It is a town with a population of around 100,000 and with huge competition for a fan base from the twin clubs in both Liverpool and Manchester. That being the case one must question Venkys' motivation for buying the club other than to try and flip a fast buck.

Since the purchase, little or nothing has been done in terms of investment in the team despite nonsensical talk of buying Ronaldinho at the outset. The biggest error by far however was to sack the proven Sam Allardyce and replace him with the inexperienced Steve Kean.

And here lies the rub, it is not Steve Kean's fault that the team is in the predicament that it is, it is the owners' fault pure and simple. Steve Kean was offered an opportunity that anyone with an ounce of ambition would have grabbed with both hands, he is simply trying to do the best job he can under the circumstances. It is Venkys' fault for hiring the wrong guy in the first place.

This blog is not attempting to say that Kean is the right man for the job or is of the calibre required to manage a relegation threatened team in the Premiership, he does however appear to be a decent and honest chap who is trying his hardest to do his job well. Regardless of the result he conducts himself in an honest and dignified manner.

The fans of Blackburn should realise that even a few halcyon years in the early Nineties cannot disguise the fact that they are in no way a big club and that the lower half of the Premiership is on a consistent basis probably the best they can hope for. If they wished for better then Venkys should have probably not sacked Sam Allardyce so randomly and for that reason they are whom the match day protesters should be aiming their anger at, not Mr Steve Kean - No Nonsense.