Venky's open dialogue with Blackburn supports' group - Football League - Football - The Independent

Venky's open dialogue with Blackburn supports' group

Rovers Trust want fan ownership of the club

Blackburn's controversial owners have opened dialogue with a supporters' group committed to fan ownership at Ewood Park.

Wayne Wild and Ozz Jones, co-chairs of the Rovers Trust, wrote a personal letter to Venky's supremo Anuradha Desai calling for engagement between the two parties.

The Rovers Trust released a statement on Tuesday morning confirming a response from Mrs Desai, requesting further information on the group's intentions - an apparently significant step given Venky's previous reticence to engage with such requests.

Venky's stewardship of Blackburn has largely lurched from catastrophe to farce and the club remain in danger of a second consecutive relegation despite the efforts of five different managers in the npower Championship this season.

"We will now make sure the owners are in full possession of all relevant facts about the Rovers Trust and our aims, plus how supporters trusts are the future for football ownership in this country," said Wild.

"Working with supporters in Lancashire will only benefit the owners and therefore Blackburn Rovers.

"We all want the best for the club, to stop the decline both on and off the pitch and get our club back on a stable and secure footing commercially and football-wise."

News of Venky's response to the Rovers Trust may give encouragement to Blackburn businessmen Ian Battersby and Ian Currie, who have contacted the Pune-based owners to confirm they have "significant investors" in place to mount a takeover through connections to their company, Seneca Partners, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph.

Regular attempts to work constructively with Venky's from the duo have largely fallen on deaf ears since a face-to-face meeting in October 2011.

"We are desperate to do something about it because there is a legacy of generations to protect here," Battersby told the newspaper.

"We have been trying for 18 months to get Venky's to engage with us and have offered them a sensible and credible plan to enable them to make a managed exit from the club.

"But apart from one meeting with the owners in Pune in October 2011 and discussions following relegation from the Premier League last May, we have had no response whatsoever.

"It has reached the stage where we are now emailing and texting them on a fortnightly basis in an effort to get them to sit down with us and discuss a way forward."

PA

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