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Blackburn Rovers

Same old, same old

So it seems Venky’s and Kean aren’t going anywhere, and everyone should just wipe the slate clean and start afresh? OK, in the spirit of fairness, let’s play along.

Danny Murphy is as good a place as any to begin. Having kept a low profile for much of the summer, Kean bounced back with a real gem of an announcement.

“It was important we got the first signing of the season right, and it’s a massive statement,” he said. “We want the clubs in our division to look at our squad list and think that it is full of quality. The signing of Danny Murphy has proved that.”

Sure, Murphy’s been a good player. But he’s 35, coming in on big wages and a two-year deal. Essentially Rovers have dumped Grella off the wage bill and handed his pay packet to Murphy. As massive statements go, it’s not exactly that massive.

Maybe the other players on Kean’s wishlist will prove we should all just start afresh? When the list reads Leon Best, Nuno Gomes, Fabio Nunes and Adrien Silva, you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

£3million for a centre-forward with a goalscoring record that makes Jason Roberts look prolific hardly sets the pulse racing, and while Gomes used to be quality, it’s hard to see him ripping up the Championship aged 36. Nunes and Silva may well be excellent prospects – particularly Silva – but surely what Rovers need is players who can hit the ground running?

With Yakubu off to China, Robinson, Hoilett and Olsson all looking set to leave, and with the prospect of others to follow, it’s difficult to start whipping up any enthusiasm for a fresh start right now.

It’s been suggested in certain quarters that Rovers’ budget for the new season is bigger than previously, but there’ll need to be significantly more investment in the squad before the season starts to show that to be true.

In fairness to the owners, they appear to have realised that removing any semblance of a board structure wasn’t the best idea they’ve ever had, though whether Shebby Singh, Paul Agnew and Derek Shaw are anything other than yes-men remains to be seen. If Rovers get off to a bad start and Kean remains in a job, we’ll have the answer to that one.

With Venky’s seemingly intent on simply sweeping the past under the carpet and pretending it never happened, the only other alternative is to judge the ‘clean slate and fresh start’ on its own merits. If Murphy, Best, a smattering of Portugeezers and the board appointments are anything to go by, the early signs aren’t too promising.

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