So why do the Blackburn owners Venkys not seem to care?

Martin Hardy answers the questions we all wanted to ask about the Blackburn owners

Q. The Venkys... we've heard a lot about them this week... who are they, again?

A. The VH Group is a poultry conglomerate owned by the Rao family and based in Pune, 70 miles south-east of Mumbai. The conglomerate is headed by Anuradha Desai; she is also the chair of Venky's London Ltd, the subsidiary which owns Blackburn Rovers. She and her two brothers, Venkatesh and Balaji Rao, co-own the VH Group, which consists of 28 companies with a collective turnover in 2010 not far off £1bn and with profits of £100m. With no external partners and no debt, the company is reckoned to be worth around £1.5bn; the family are believed to be worth more than £2bn.

Q. How did they acquire their wealth?

A. The trio's father, Dr B V Rao, a vet and philanthropist, began his business in 1971. He turned one hatchery into an empire that now breeds chickens, sells vaccines, machinery, processed food, dietary supplements and fast food. The VH Group is expanding across Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East; it now employs 250,000 people directly and the same again in related business.

Q. When did they take over at Blackburn?

A. The Venkys paid £23m to the Jack Walker Trust in November 2010 to take control of the club. They are believed to have paid off £10m of club debt when they took over; in the year to 30 June 2011, a further £5m interest-free loan was paid in. Barclays were after a cash injection of £10m to cover their overdraft earlier this season, which it is assumed the new owners also paid. To put all this in perspective, in the same year they bought Rovers they paid £130m for a new vaccine plant in Switzerland.

Q. Why did an Indian family buy a football club in Lancashire?

A. Balaji, who is 40, has 51 vehicles, including a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley and a £100,000 Hummer. He is the football fan in the family and in 2009 he started to look at the possibility of buying a club. He initially looked at buying one in Pune, but then thought they would be a bit small; Kentaro, the sports agency, suggested they look to buy one in England instead. The family decided a Premier League club would be the best to buy. They were offered a stake in a Championship club but wanted complete control and in August 2010 Blackburn was proposed. They believe football will take off massively in India in the next five years, to rival cricket.

Q. What have been their most notable actions at Ewood Park?

A. Sacking the manager Sam Allardyce (who had led the club to a 10th-place finish in the 2009-2010 season) when the team were in 13th place in the Premier League in December 2010. Appointing a member of his back-room staff, Steve Kean, as manager. Selling Phil Jones for £16.5m to Manchester United in June 2011 and Chris Samba for £12.5m to the Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in February this year. Overseeing the relegation of Rovers to the Championship on 7 May 2012 following a 1-0 home defeat by Wigan Athletic.

Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
Sport
Steven Gerrard had to be talked into adopting a deeper role by his manager, Brendan Rodgers
sportThe city’s fight for justice after Hillsborough is embodied in Steven Gerrard, who's poised to lead his club to a remarkable triumph
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
Waitrose will be bringing in more manned tills
newsOverheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
The energy drink MosKa was banned for containing a heavy dose of the popular erectile dysfunction Levitra
news
Environment
People are buying increasing numbers of plants such as lavender to aid the insects
environmentGardeners rally round the endangered bumblebee
Sport
Australia's Dylan Tombides competes for the ball with Adal Matar of Kuwait during the AFC U-22 Championship Group C match in January
sportDylan Tombides was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011
Arts & Entertainment
Customers browse through Vinyl Junkies record shop in Berwick Street, Soho, London
musicBest exclusives coming to an independent record shop near you this Record Store Day
News
Ida Beate Loken has been living at the foot of a mountain since May
newsNorwegian gives up home comforts for a cave
Extras
indybest10 best gardening gloves
Arts & Entertainment
tvIt might all be getting a bit much, but this is still the some of the finest TV ever made, says Grace Dent
Arts & Entertainment
Comedian Lenny Henry is calling for more regulation to support ethnic actors on TV
tvActor and comedian leads campaign against 'lack of diversity' in British television
News
Posted at the end of March, this tweeted photo was a week off the end of their Broadway shows
people
News
peopleStar to remain in hospital for up to 27 days to get over allergic reaction
Arts & Entertainment
The Honesty Policy is a group of anonymous Muslims who believe that the community needs a space to express itself without shame or judgement
music
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit