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Blackburn Rovers - We will rebuild!

My story with Blackburn Rovers.
Started on 25 July 2015 by RobertH14
Latest Reply on 22 August 2015 by squirmy420
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Just as an Introduction to this story I am going to explain where I am. As you will know the football season that you start in on the game has now finished and we are all hugely anticipating the 2015/2016 season. This story will be starting from this Summer, I have downloaded the recent database which allows me to start the game with the current transfers and all the relegations/promotions of the football league. I will be trying my best to refer the dates in the game to the current years date but I understand that this will be difficult due to major tournaments being offset. I will be trying my best though to make it as realistic as possible for people to read and hopefully enjoy!


The Venky brothers after their takeover in November 2010


After another disappointing season down at Ewood Park, further calls for Venky’s to sell the club have been received from the fans of the Lancashire club. After a promising end to the 2013/2014 season, the majority of the Rovers fans were counting on last season to be the campaign which would see them return to the premier league where the fans believe the club belongs. However, that would not be the case. Rovers finished in 9th position in the table and although a respectable league finish, Rovers were 11 points off the Play-off positions and 22 points off the promotion places. This was deemed not good enough from the fans who were constantly voicing their frustration over the running of the club at games and on social media, concerns over the club’s future, with debts spiralling out of control and the team still under transfer embargo since January 2014. Fans also believe that the current Manager Gary Bowyer isn’t the man to take them up. Negative tactics and strange substitutions have left fans confused and often angry as it would more often than not cost them the game.

Blackburn Manager Gary Bowyer


Venky’s however have come out today and stated that they aren’t going anywhere. Speaking on behalf of the Venky’s team and Mrs Desai, Venkatesh Rao said, ‘this is not where we envisioned the club to be 5 years after the takeover. However we must deal with the reality of the situation and our main priority is to get Blackburn Rovers football club back into the premier league. We have invested a lot of our time and our own money into the club and to walk away now would be ridiculous.’

During times of financial trouble it is believed that Venky’s have pumped in huge amounts of money to keep the club afloat. The debt has come from the club gambling on spending a lot of money in the hope of a quick return to the premier league where the income is much greater than that of the championship due to TV rights and increased attendances. Venky’s have been ill-advised in the past, paying astronomical agent fee’s for Sunday morning standard players.

Rao added, ‘With the transfer embargo it will be difficult to achieve our goals but we believe that we have a squad capable of challenging for promotion. The important thing is now is that we keep hold of our key players as we won’t be able to replace them. Keeping hold of these players will be the difference between us challenging for promotion or staying where we are now.’

The poultry giants took over the club towards the end of 2010 and since then things haven’t gone the way that they imagined when they took over. Speaking in November of that year, the chairperson of the company Mrs Desai said, ‘We plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand, we will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remain one of the best-run clubs within the Premier League.’ The season after, their first full season owning the club, they were relegated down to the championship.

The players look dejected after being relegated in a 1-0 defeat to wigan


This was one of the worst periods of time for the football club. The manager at the time Steve Kean was despised by the fans of the club with constant protests before, during and after home matches. Rovers’ fans received a lot of negativity from the media and other people in football due to their treatment of their manager. But when you watch your club being torn down from being comfortable in the top league in the country to being relegated by Wigan at home you can certainly understand where the fans are coming from. Steve Kean was given the reigns by Venky’s who previously sacked accomplished manager Sam Allardyce, another poor decision that infuriated the fans.

Like they have said though, the Indian’s are pledging their future to the club and trying their upmost to put things behind them and push the club back to where it belongs. Hopefully Rovers will be back in the premier league sooner rather than later, otherwise this club could be in big trouble…
Fantastic start mate! Very detailed, looking forward to this! :D


News has come out of Brockhall today that Blackburn Rovers will today be manager-less as Gary Bowyer has decided to step down as the first team coach and go back to his former job of being reserve team manager.

In a shocking reveal this morning, Gary Bowyer told the sky sports news cameras that it was a mutual decision between him and the board. GB said, ‘I’ve just come back from Pune in India where the decision was made that I would no longer be carrying on the duties of first team coach. The owners described their feelings that the club hasn’t really progressed the way it should have in the 2 years that I have been in charge. I believe I have brought stability to the club and to the team but now it’s time for someone to come in and push the team forward to hopefully gain promotion in the next few years. I would like to thank all the fans, players and backroom staff for the brilliant support I’ve received. It’s a special club in a special town with special people, I feel honoured to have been a part of it all.’

This isn’t the end for Gary Bowyer and Blackburn Rovers though, before he was given the managerial job permanently he was the reserve team manager and he will resume his previous role once a new manager has been put in place. He also told us that he would be taking charge of any pre-season friendlies that will take place if Rovers are still without a manager.

Bowyer was first put in charge of the club in the 2012/13 season after Henning Berg was sacked 10 games after signing a 3 year deal. Bowyer was in charge for an unbeaten 4 game stint, 3 of which were wins. Then Rovers hired Blackpool manager Michael Appleton who started out pretty well winning 4 of his first 7 games including a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in the FA cup, but a run of 8 matches without a win and being knocked out of the FA cup quarter final at the hands of Millwall led to his dismissal. Bowyer was then reinstated for the remainder of the season were Rovers struggled and fell into the bottom three before taking 11 points from their last 6 games to guarantee safety and finish 17th in the league standings.

Henning Berg was just sacked 10 games after signing a 3 year deal


In his first full season in charge, Rovers finished 8th in the league, narrowly missing out on the play-offs by a single point. One of Bowyer’s biggest positives has been the signings that he has made during his time in charge. Astute signings such as Craig Conway, Ben Marshall, Thomas Cairney and Rudy Gestede for nominal fee’s has paid dividends in the return of outstanding performances and the players values going up tenfold to what the club paid for them.

Some of Bowyer's signings celebrate an FA cup goal against Swansea City


Bowyer was a victim of his own success though, his second full season in charge began with a lot of belief from the fans and the board that this would be the year that Rovers would return to the premier league. However when things weren’t going according to plan and Rovers were struggling to establish any sort of promotion challenge, the fans started to get on the manager’s back. With Rovers finishing in 9th place, 11 points behind the play-off group, the fans believed that Bowyer’s time was up, something that clearly the board and the man himself also believed.

So what next for Blackburn Rovers Football Club? The bookmakers have got former Rangers manager Ally McCoist as the favourite at 11/4, where other surprise inclusions include former players Tugay (8/1) and Brad Friedel (11/1). Whoever the Venkys do decide to hire to replace him, finding a coach who cares about this club more than Gary Bowyer will definitely be a tough task for them.
You've put some backstory into this. Good work. Will be following. Good luck!
Amazing start for sure, very interesting! :D


Speaking in an interview with the Rovers website today, Dunn has expressed his concerns over the future of the club. The 35 year old, who's contract is up this summer told us that he couldn't see the club challenging for promotion under the current leadership, especially now with the transfer embargo in place.

Speaking today, he said 'Any team that doesn't have the ability to sign players permanently is always going to struggle to challenge because other teams around them are making 6 or 7 signings to strengthen their squad. Blackburn now don't have the opportunity to do that so it's almost certain that they will fall behind their competitors. Now it has been made even harder with Gary (Bowyer) stepping down, it means there is less time for whoever the new manager is to come in and try and get a few loan signings in or maybe a couple of player's who's contract has expired elsewhere. My contract is up in a couple of weeks but obviously no matter where I end up I'll still be looking out for this club. I was born locally round the corner in Great Harwood and I was raised a Rovers fan. I've spent 13 brilliant years here and had some cracking moments and played with some brilliant players but all things have to come to an end eventually and I think my body is telling me now that I can't carry on playing at this level. I do hope though that we manager to get a good manager in who can help us get back into the Premiership, then one day hopefully I can return as a coach or maybe the manager myself who knows!

Dunn first joined Rovers as a trainee in 1997 and made his full first team debut in September 1998. He was part of the team that won Rovers promotion from the championship in 2000/01 season and then won the league cup the season after also making sure that Rovers kept their place in the premiership. During his first spell at Rovers, Dunn represented the England under 21 side 20 times scoring 3 goals, also wearing the captain's armband numerous times.

After numerous arguments with the manager at the time Graeme Souness during the 2002/03 season, Blackburn agreed to sell him to Birmingham City for a fee of £5.5 million in the summer ready to start the 2003/04 campaign. A niggling hamstring injury meant that he didn't make as many appearances for the blues as he probably would have wanted. The skilful midfielder only managed to play 58 times in 4 years scoring 7 goals.

In January 2007, Dunn looked set to return to Lancashire in a transfer to Bolton Wanderers after manager Sam Allardyce negotiated a fee for the midfielder, but on 17 January it was revealed that Dunn had turned his back on Bolton, having already passed his medical, in favour of a return to hometown club Blackburn for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half-year deal believed to be £2.2 million. Since then Dunn has gone through major highs and lows with the club. Scoring in both derbies against Burnley in the premiership season of 2009/10. Relegation, niggling injuries and scoring probably his most famous goal for the club. In the 95th minute of the East Lancashire derby, Burnley leading 1-0. The ball fell to Dunn 8 yards out and he smashed the ball into the bottom corner of the net in front of 4,000 Burnley fans, Dunn wheeled away in delight, failing to stop himself from bouncing around in front of the travelling Burnley fans. A moment that he and the Rovers fans there that day will never forget.

Dunn, who made 377 appearances for Rovers and scored 59 goals in two spells at Ewood Park, announced the news that he would be leaving in an open letter to the supporters on the club's website. Although he will be moving on, I doubt he'll be going very far and I'm sure he'll be back doing something associated with the club very shortly.
Another great update, born writer! :D
@IWelshWizard - You're too kind! Trying to do one update a night if I can, hopefully I can keep it up :)

Blackburn pair Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede could be on their way

Numerous clubs are showing their interest in Blackburn forwards Jordan Rhodes and Rudy Gestede. This comes as no surprise as last season the pair scored 43 goals between them in all competitions. Gestede has publicly come out and said that he wants a move to a premiership club but the Blackburn board refuse to allow him to go until a bid deemed acceptable is received. Blackburn value their man at £6 million, a total that some clubs are refusing to meet, but the Indian owners refuse to budge.

Venkatesh Rao was quoted in saying. 'What would be the point in us selling some of our best players? Currently we are under transfer embargo so if we did allow them to go it would not be sensible as we wouldn't be able to sign anybody to replace them. Also we've been speaking to candidates about becoming the new manager so it would be unfair on them to speak to them with the current squad and agree to sell players before they've even got here. Although we deal with the finances, we are going to let the new manager whoever he may be come in and evaluate the squad and if he feels like an offer is good enough for some of the players and he wants them to be sold that's when we'll get involved and look to sort a deal out. For the time being though nobody will be leaving!

Jordan Rhodes has been the subject of rumours linking him to a move to promotion rivals Middlesbrough. All over Twitter rumours have surfaced that the reds have already had a £10 million bid rejected from Rovers with their valuation of the Scotsman being closer to £15 million. Karanka has said that signing a natural goalscorer has been his number one priority over this summer and he believes that adding Rhodes to the squad will be the final piece of the promotion jigsaw after losing out in the cruellest way last season.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka really wants Jordan Rhodes

Gestede joined Rovers on 26 November 2013 on loan until the end of 2013 under an emergency loan arrangement after he found his playing time at Cardiff reduced since their promotion to the Premier League.
Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer stated that Gestede was the type of player the team needed to assist talisman Jordan Rhodes in an important season for the club. On 1 January 2014, Gestede signed for the club permanently, on a three and a half year deal. After making 66 appearances for the club, scoring 33 goals, Gestede now believes that he is ready to move on to the next level with or without Blackburn Rovers.

Rhodes joined Blackburn Rovers on 30 August 2012, for a then club record fee of £8,000,000. After being unveiled as a Rovers player the following morning, Rhodes said of his move to the Lancashire club: "I'm delighted, it's great to be here and to be part of a prestigious club." Rhodes was named Blackburn's player of the season and he received his trophy at Ewood Park on 27 April 2013, before Blackburn's 1–1 draw at home to Crystal Palace. Rhodes celebrated this achievement with his 26th league goal of the season, a deft lob from an acute angle over Palace goalkeeper Julián Speroni. On 10 July 2014, Rhodes extended his contract with Blackburn Rovers to 2019. He said of the contract extension: "I'm very happy. It is a fantastic football club and I'm very lucky to be here." Rhodes isn't as vocal as Gestede about his ambitions to leave, he was described as 'dissappointed' after Rovers rejected an offer from Middlesbrough and didn't allow the player to talk to the club. Jordan Rhodes believes that if he was playing higher level football then he would have a better chance of nailing a first team place in the Scotland squad, something he thinks is more achievable with Boro' rather than Rovers.
Jordan Rhodes celebrating a goal earlier in the year

Whoever the new manager is, I doubt he'll want to lose any of these players and if you listen to what the owners have to say, they won't be put under any pressure to sell them or survive without them.
What an update, detail is insane. Keep this up, and we'll have a very good story on our hands.
@Tallery - cheers mate, hoping to get another update out tomorrow morning :)


Just 8 days after being sacked by Leicester City, Nigel Pearson has quickly returned to the managerial hot-seat after agreeing a 2 year deal with championship club Blackburn Rovers.

When asked for his reasons in returning so quickly Pearson said, 'Football is in my blood, I love it. It has always played a huge part in my life from playing to coaching to managing and I don't think that I would ever want a break. Once I'm retired I'll have plenty of free time so whilst I'm still young and able to do so, I'd like to be involved in football as much as I can. Obviously I was disappointed with being sacked from Leicester but these things happen in football, I won't say anything bad about the owners or the club because they gave me a great opportunity and some great years there. Now I have a new challenge at a very good club with magnificent facilities and a very good squad. When I spoke to the owners a couple of days ago and they told me they were interested in having me I knew that this is where I wanted to be because it's another challenge for me. They told me their ambitions of getting the club back into the premiership and keeping it there something I believe is possible. I've got a meeting with the squad later on and I can't wait to meet them all and hopefully get them in the right shape of mind and body to compete with the other teams in this division.'

Pearson signs for Rovers after finishing his second spell at Leicester. His first spell started in the summer of 2008 and a brilliant season was to follow, after losing 3-2 to Brighton, Leicester went on a 23 match unbeaten run between the 1st of November 2008 and the 7th of March 2009. The following month Leicester won away at Southend to confirm their promotion back to the Championship as League One champions. The following season, Leicester finished in 5th place in their first season back in the Championship, booking themselves a place in the Championship play-offs and a chance of back-to-back promotions. However, they were defeated by Cardiff City by virtue of a penalty shoot-out in the play-off semi final.

Leicester City players and staff celebrate winning the league one title in 2009

Despite his relative success in his two years at Leicester, he often had a very strained relationship with chairman Milan Mandaric and chief executive Lee Hoos and in the summer of 2010, Leicester's chairman Milan Mandaric showed a consortium of potential club buyers round the club without Pearson's permission and invited Paulo Sousa to the second leg of the play-off semi final. The club then allowed Hull City to speak to him. Pearson claimed "it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out what's happening" claiming the club didn't want to keep him. He then left Leicester to take the job at Hull City and Paulo Sousa was later appointed as his successor.

After Mandaric and Hoos had departed the club, Pearson was persuaded to rejoin Leicester City under their new ownership by chairman Vichai Raksriaksorn and after days of negotiations he was finally re-appointed as manager on 15 November 2011 with Leicester sitting 12th in the Championship.

In 2012/2013 season, Leicester made a slow start and the club just got into the Championship play-offs on goal difference following their last gasp 3-2 win against neighbours Nottingham Forest on the last day of the season. After winning the first leg against third placed Watford 1-0, Pearson's Leicester City narrowly lost the second leg of the play offs 3-1, after Anthony Knockaert missed a last minute penalty before Troy Deeney scored instantly at the other end sending Watford to Wembley in their place in one of football's greatest ever moments.

The 2013-14 season saw Leicester recover from their play-off defeat of the previous season, starting well and sitting in 1st place at Christmas. It was during this time the club started a club record win for consecutive league victories, winning 9 games between 21 December 2013 – 1 February 2014, which saw the club pull 10 points clear at the top of the Championship and earnt Pearson the Championship Manager of the Month award for January 2014. Continuing good results which saw Leicester 20 league games unbeaten by the end of March also earned Pearson the award again in March 2014. Leicester ended the season as champions, winning promotion to the Premier League.

Leicester players celebrating their promotion

The following season was full of controversy, in February 2015, following a home defeat by Crystal Palace in a game, in which at one point, Pearson put his hands around Palace's James McArthur's neck, whilst on the ground, the press reported that Pearson had been sacked. In a "night of confusion," it was reported by The Guardian that club staff, and even Pearson himself had been told that he was sacked. However, the same evening, the club issued a statement stating that such claims were "inaccurate and without foundation."

Nigel Pearson got into a bit of a tussle with Crystal Palace Midfield James McArthur

On 29 April, 2015, following a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea, Pearson was again embroiled in controversy, when he called a journalist an "ostrich", "stupid" and "daft" during a bizarre post-match news conference. However, he apologized for his comments the following day.

On 16 May 2015, Leicester City confirmed their Premier League status following a goalless draw with Sunderland, becoming only the third team to escape relegation having been bottom at Christmas. Leicester finished the season in 14th place, which beckons the question as to why he was relieved of his duties? Well, the rumours suggest that Nigel Pearson's sacking by Leicester was linked to his son's role in a racist sex tape in the owners' homeland of Thailand. Pearson's son James was one of three trainees dismissed by the club for their involvement in the tape. The issue was the final straw in the deteriorating relationship between the owners and Pearson.

In Leicester's loss Blackburn believe it is there gain, hopefully he will be able to replicate his success with his new club, the fans and the board will certainly be hoping so.

After being appointed as the new manager yesterday, Nigel Pearson arrived at Brockhall this morning to take his first training session with his new club and his new players. Before they went out on the field, the squad, staff and Pearson spent a good 45 minutes in one of the rooms in the facility having a meeting. Pearson introduced himself to the squad and told them all his goals for the following season, something he is keeping close to his chest with the rest of us. I'm sure his first training session has given him a big impression of the squad and who is likely to feature in his choice 11.

Squad Report - CA/PA
Jason Steele - /
Simon Eastwood - /
Jake Kean - /

Adam Henley - /
Yann Songo'o - /
Tommy Spurr - /
Matthew Kilgallon - /
Grant Hanley - /
Shane Duffy - /
Marcus Olsson - /

Lee Williamson - /
Corry Evans - /
Jason Lowe - /
Ben Marshall - /
Craig Conway - /
Chris Taylor - /

Connor Mahoney - /
Leon Best - /
Chris Brown - /
Jordan Rhodes - /
Rudy Gestede - /

I'm sure in the next couple of days Pearson will be deciding who is and who isn't part of his plans and will be trimming both his squad and his wage budget in order to bring in some new players.
Your updates just get better and better..
This is a great story, really enjoying it thus far. If you sell Rhodes do it for the fee quoted, 15m + 15% of a future sale.. He's awesome!

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