At a time when the Premier League in England has been trying to make inroads into India, one of the prominent Indian connects prevalent with English football has been an affair that has drastically hampered a former league champion. Championship side Blackburn Rovers’ alarming plight – due to a lack of investment by Pune-based owners Venky’s – has the team languishing in the relegation zone.
Indian Express has quoted Shearer in a report from Mumbai: “There’s been a lack of investment and understanding in the football club,” asserts former England international Alan Shearer, who was in the city speaking on the sidelines of a promotional event. The 46-year-old was a part of Blackburn’s title winning season in 1994-95, scoring a whopping 34 goals in the run. And he still remembers the club’s glory days, long before the troubled times of today.
“There doesn’t seem to be any rapport between the owners and fans, that should never be the case. There needs to be more communication between the owners and fans, but the fans don’t seem to be getting any answers,” he adds.
The Indian company purchased Blackburn back in 2010, two years before the team was relegated to the lower division. Currently placed 22nd in the 24-team league, the Rovers squad is marred by a long injury-list and the lack of funds to purchase new players. Subsequently, fans have been boycotting matches at the team’s home ground, Ewood Park.
A lack of investment, which comes at a time when football has heavily become a business-oriented prospect, prompts Shearer to suggest the poultry company sell the club. “If they want the club to progress, then you’d think that they would have to sell it to someone so that they can come in and try. If they don’t have the money to invest, then I don’t know why they wouldn’t sell it to someone else,” he asserts.