Glenn Keeley: This would beggar belief – if the same thing didn't keep happening over and over at Blackburn
Michael Appleton was sacked yesterday, just 67 days after being given the job
Tuesday 19 March 2013
I played for Blackburn Rovers for long enough to see the club from both sides of the financial divide. I joined in 1976, from Newcastle United , when there wasn't all that much money around Ewood Park, and I left in 1987, by which time the Jack Walker cash was coming in.
People were a bit suspicious when Walker began investing like that. They thought he want to come in and dominate. But that's the way clubs move forward. We were on the threshold of the Premier League era and what you always knew about Walker was that his heart was in the place. He knew the club, loved it, knew the business, held it all in his heart. That's all gone now. You might say that what happened today, with yet another manager sacked, beggars belief – if it wasn't all part of a consistent pattern, with the same thing happening over and over again.
We have Mr Global Adviser, of course: Shebby Singh. That title suggests he thinks he is King of the Skies, the World and everything. But does he hold a mirror up to himself and ask himself about his own decisions? I'm sorry to sound personal but this individual is a TV pundit and I just wish he would go back to what he is good at and, dare I say, to a business environment where what you say and do doesn't matter all that much. Many of the things he says and does are embarrassing to us. We have pride in ourselves and our club around here.
You can say the same about our proud club's owners. They don't have a clue about what they are getting into and are very rarely in this country. It might help a bit if we could only have some engagement with them. I've joined the Rovers Trust, which is backed by Supporters Direct, and whose aim is to provide expertise and vision – not to be a group of people complaining in the background. Some members are professional people with expertise in the fields needed to run a good football club, who have given their time and knowledge. It's quite a group of people, I tell you, and I've come to understand more of football from the other side. (I retired in 1990, rarely leaving Lancashire after my Blackburn days.) But we've had no response whatsoever from the owners.
It's a huge waste of Venky's money that we're seeing here, which is doubly hard to come to terms with in a place like this where times in this recession are very hard and people struggle, day to day. It's also hugely disappointing for the local people.
So, yes – I've seen things from both sides here and I would say that we would be better offer under the ownership of a firm with modest means, rather than these wealthy people, who have it all and understand nothing.
Glenn Keeley, a central defender, played 370 times for Blackburn Rovers between 1976 and 1987. He is a member of the Rovers Trust
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