“Shebby, it’s Derek Shaw. I’ve not been able to sack Steve because his phone’s switched off. It won’t happen now, because Mrs Kean’s rung Mrs Desai in floods of tears and she’s changed her mind. Better luck next time.”
Under normal circumstances, you’d be hard-pressed to believe that could happen in professional football – but at Blackburn Rovers? Anything’s possible.
Just when everyone thought Kean was finally on his way out, the rug gets pulled yet again. So, where do we go from here? Protests, demonstrations, marches, banners, complaining to anyone who’ll listen – Rovers fans have tried them all, and it’s fair to say it’s not worked. That’s not to decry the sterling work put in by loads of people, but it’s true. Venky’s still own the club and Kean’s still the manager.
All of which leaves one thing left to try – a boycott. Crowds are already significantly down on last season, but it’s not enough. With 13,000 or so in the ground, it still allows Kean to say those who want him gone are in the minority. That’d be much harder to argue if the place was empty. Even Shebby Singh’s confirmed it’d force Venky’s to react by making the following statement:
“Financially now it is not a good situation because the fans are staying away,” he said. “The club needs revenue to survive. I guess with having played seven games now, I think it is a situation which is not a very pleasant one, and I suppose it is my bosses, the owners of the club, who have to make an assessment.”
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out Singh wants Kean out but he, like others before him, has come to realise where the balance of power lies. Staying away is the only thing that will have a chance of affecting things – Singh’s words tell you that.
There’ll be those who argue they’ve already bought their season tickets, so what’s the point? For starters, four empty stands would be a massive embarrassment for Venky’s. They’d lose revenue from the club shop, match programmes and the bars. It would give those within the club who want Kean out more leverage to make Mrs Desai see sense.
Of course, it would need a huge effort on behalf of the various Supporters’ groups to organise. No doubt there’d be resistance from those who refuse to stay away because “it’s Rovers, they’re my team and I’m not stopping away for anyone.” But desperate times need desperate measures.
Like it or not, those still going to games and those staying away are bound by a common thread – they’re all Rovers fans. If being a fan means wanting the best for your club, then it can’t be argued that having Kean removed is necessary. The time’s come for everyone to pull together and try the last option remaining. If that doesn’t work then we might as well accept nothing will.
Since the publication of this article, it’s now been announced Rovers fans are trying to organise a boycott. They plan to advertise this in the Lancashire Telegraph but need donations to make it happen. Anyone interested can send this to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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