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Blackburn Rovers deny financial problems

Football News 24/7
Blackburn Rovers have denied reports they are on the verge of a financial crisis and insisted players' and staff wages will be paid on time. Boss Steve Kean denied any knowledge of such problems after the 2-1 defeat at Sunderland at the weekend.

The Premier League strugglers, who are owned by the Indian poultry firm Venky's, posted a statement on the club's website in response to claims that they had received a demand from Barclays Bank to pay £10m to help to pay off debts.

The statement, on behalf of the club's finance director, Karen Silk, read: "There is no financial crisis, and, there is absolutely no danger to the players' and staff wages. Amongst all professional football clubs, finances are regularly assessed and reassessed during the season based on performance, income and costs, and at Blackburn Rovers this is no different.

"Barclays Bank and Blackburn Rovers have enjoyed a long relationship over many years and are currently in constructive dialogue about how the bank, along with the owners, can support the club for many years to come."

In the meantime, two East Lancashire businessmen and lifelong Blackburn Rovers fans have called for an “olive branch” to be offered to under fire owners Venky’s to help them start rescuing the club from their current dire straits.

As reported in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Ian Battersby, who met co-owner Anurada Desai in Pune in October, and Wayne Wild, group director of Rovers’ main sponsor WEC Group, have appealed for a temporary peace around Ewood Park to encourage Venky’s to start engaging with their football club.

Both though have underlined the need for immediate action to stop Rovers sliding into the Championship and have warned the owners ‘this would be their last chance’ to put their wrongs right.

The duo believe their suggested truce would make Venky’s feel welcome to return to Blackburn to start a period of “consultation” with fans to ease growing fears about the club’s future.

They have also called for the power structure at the club to be improved and for cash to be invested in January to boost the club’s Premier League survival hopes.

Talks between the protesters and Rovers officials are ongoing in an attempt to ease the hostile atmosphere around Ewood Park, ahead of a crucial home double header against West Brom on Saturday and Bolton on Tuesday.

Battersby, of wealth management business Seneca Partners, and Wild believe this would produce a more conducive atmosphere for Venky’s to start sorting out the current crisis around the club.

Battersby, who enjoyed a three-hour meeting with Anuradha Desai in Pune in October, said: “We need to all take stock and give Venky’s this opportunity to come back in and re-engage on a peaceful basis.

“If we could for two or three weeks ease off, reign back and allow a period of consultation. When you reach the point when the owners don’t dare come back into town because of the vitriol it is a pretty hideous set of circumstances.

“It is a ridiculous set of circumstances for every stakeholder in the club. Whether a board member, owner, supporter, manager or player. No-one can at any level be happy with what is happening. It is torture going to a game.”

Wild, who we reported earlier this month has been seeking a meeting with their owners for some time now, said: “The owners have made a lot of errors, it has to be said so have some of the supporters, so there have been mistakes all the way but now is the time for people to ease off the booing and protests.

“They need to stop and the owners have to get here, stand in front of the people and show they are here to run the club. They need to be at the front.

“They have to show they are in for the long haul with a commitment, first with cash and then with a commitment to getting people in on the board of directors who have an affinity for the club.”

HS

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