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Fans right to protest - Blackburn owners don't get it

Football News 24/7
One things for sure - if you are going to buy a team in a foriegn country you have to understand the natives. From the evidence of the past two or three weeks, Blackburn Rovers' owners have a long way to go in achieving that aim.

If you asked most managers, they would tell you the last thing to do is restrict reasonable protest from supporters - however undeserved that might be. Mick McCarthy came out fighting when he was given the treament by Wolves home fans a couple of weeks ago - and a couple of decent results later and he is back in favour. That is what fans are like the length and breadth of the country.

If Rovers boss, Steve Keane went on the offensive he would be respected in many quarters - but his owners aren't helping by organised 'censorship' of supporters. Banning banners in the ground, ejecting the most voiciferous protetsters from the stadium, and riding rough-shod over fans demonstrations is a sure fire recipe to add to the clamour for Keane's departure not forstall it.

The issue here isn't whether Keane is a good or bad manager - the fans can't decide that - only the results and the players can dictate that. From what we understand the team are fully supportive of Keane and his side have been playing well and have been unfortunate in recent weeks not to pick up more points. They could easily win two or three matches in a run and the clamour for Keane's head would subside.

But the under-current at Rover is really about lack of trust between the supporters and the Board - not the manager as far as we can see. The onwers may have done right to support their man despite the predicament, but once you start to exclude fans who don't like what you do - then you are in danger of alienating the support you rely on.

Keane himself was quick to dismiss saturday's protests, which included a fly-past by a plane towing a protest banner saying 'Steve Kean out'.

The Rovers boss claimed he had not seen the plane as sections of supporters continued to call for his head. A small group of Rovers fans, about 100, also protested again against Kean after the match with their side rooted in the Premier League drop zone but Kean remains adamant it won't get to him or his players.

Kean said: “I didn't see it (the plane). I don't know what it said. The players will probably become disappointed with that, though.

“I would understand and look at it if we were not playing well, not working hard and not creating chances and if we looked terrible. It is the total opposite though.

“The players are not enjoying any negativity but we are solid as a group and we will win together and lose together.

“It does not affect the players, it doesn't affect the staff, it doesn't affect the owners.

"I think it will probable dwindle because we didn't feel any negativity from within the ground anyway.”

The protest’s organisers said fans had donated around £1,000 to fund the plane.

It's not the fans outside the ground protesting the club has to worry about - its tmply not turning up.hose who protest by simply not turning up.

KH

 

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