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Premier League

Blackburn fans plan three Saturday protest marches


A three-pronged protest against the Blackburn hierarchy is planned by fans ahead of the Premier League home match against Aston Villa.

A group of supporters, BRFC Action Group, intend to hold three marches that will set off simultaneously around an hour before Saturday's 3pm kick-off and join up at Ewood Park. They claim it will be "the largest and most attended demonstration in the history of our club".

Throughout a season in which the team has struggled, Blackburn's owners, the Indian-based poultry and pharmaceutical firm Venky's, have been the target of protests, while there have been prolonged calls for manager Steve Kean to be sacked.

Rovers fans have launched a share investment scheme in a bid to buy the club from the owners and yesterday's statement from the Action Group said Saturdays's marches would "symbolise a vote of 'no confidence' in Venky's... and will carry the message 'Venky's sell the club'."

Meanwhile, Venky's have dismissed reports that they are set to sell more key players following defender Christopher Samba's move last week to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala."There are no plans like that, that is ridiculous," said Venky's representative and Blackburn director Vineeth Rao. "There are no plans to sell any more key players, why would there be? Our immediate focus is on staying up in the Premier League.

"We hope Chris Samba will be the last key departure. There are no plans to sell any more key players because we want to improve the squad."

Samba, who joined Blackburn in 2007 and had become captain, made a transfer request last month. It was initially rejected but he eventually signed for Anzhi on Friday, having not played for Rovers since 2 January.

Kean has said the 27-year-old Congo international's desire to leave played a big part in the deal, and Rao insisted: "It was not even our intention to sell [him]. We did not want to sell him. We wanted him on the pitch because he has been a big player but in the end we had to respect his wishes."