02/11/2013

Plea To Rovers Fans

Blackburn Rovers released on Saturday their pre tax loss which was a worrying £36 million. Despite the negative news, the team managed to claim three points over Middlesbrough with an absolute thunderbolt of a strike from Jason Lowe.

This is what the club needs to now focus on - gaining momentum, getting points and pushing for the play-offs. The financial situation is very concerning and strong performances do not excuse it but this is why fans need to get behind the club more than ever.
Ewood Park
Saturdays game recorded an attendance of over 16,000 - of which over 2,000 were Middlesbrough fans. While it is completely understandable that fans are still frustrated about the Venky's takeover, the Steve Kean era has been over for a year, and it is time that existing fans revisited Ewood and showed their support. The Venky's aren't going anywhere - they have made that quite clear which is why it is desperately important for attendances to increase.

It's difficult to make money in football, particularly when you're not playing in the Premier League - if the club wants to sort this financial mess out then there needs to be a real push for the play-offs. However, the club can not do this unless they have the complete and undivided backing of fans. With a capacity of over 31,000 it is simply not good enough for home fan attendances to be dipping under half the capacity. This is the reality.

While it is understandable for fans to hold grudges against the owners - the past two years have been unforgivable, it really is now time to put things aside and just try and support the team. For a club that is built on foundations of community it is imperative that it has the community's backing. Without support, without high attendances, these losses are only going to increase - and where will that leave Blackburn Rovers? Administration? Being docked points? Transfer embargoes? Further relegations? While this may seem like a reductio ad absurdum argument - it must not be shrugged away - because it could happen.

The team may have had a few hiccups this season in the last few weeks, but on the whole they are playing the best they have done in the past two and a half years. Automatic promotion is extraordinarily unlikely, but with support and backing - the play-offs are a possibility.

Being a Blackburn Rovers fan has been in recent times, challenging, upsetting and frustrating, but is that a valid reason to turn your back on your team? No. The Venky's have been at times, inconceivably naïve, financially ridiculous, and disrespectful - but this season, summer included, they have shown signs of stability, sensitivity and supporting the manager.

It is a football fans right to decide to stop attending their football teams matches in protest of the owners, but at this moment in time, it is difficult to see much to protest against. I will not accept justifications of protest based on the financial losses as they have only been released this week and therefore that can not be the reason for fans who have not attended a game all season.

I'm not criticising fans for protesting against the owners, because it is understandable - I'm making a plea for fans to return to Ewood Park, to support Gary Bowyer and the boys, to rebuild Ewood as a fortress and help push for promotion - as all of this will in some way help the club recover these losses.

The atmosphere at Ewood Park is better this season than it has been in the past two years (excluding last seasons derby day) - so please, please, reconsider and come back to Ewood to support the club we all love so dearly.

4 comments:

  1. Why do you believe 16,000 (or current attendances at Blackburn) isn't good enough?

    They are not in the Premier League anymore, they aren't even a club challenging for promotion from the Championship, so why should the fans turn out every week in their numbers when prices are so high.

    Blackburn can solve their own problem by reducing ticket prices and doing something to encourage the fans to turn up regularly.

    I hate to say it Anna, but you are so out of touch when it comes to appreciating fans' support.

    I'm a Middlesbrough fan, and we used to get close to 35,000 when we were in the top half of the Premier League. When we were a struglling PL outfit our attendances dropped to less than 30,000, then they dropped to less than 20k when we were relegated. Three seasons into the Championship and our attendances are now down near the 14-15k mark. That's just the nature of the beast I'm afraid.

    You can't turn around and say more people need to turn up.

    How about clubs reduce ticket prices for starters? And not just on a one-game basis, I'm talking throughout the season.

    If you think fans are going to start coming back through the gate then I'm afraid you are very sadly wrong.

    Mike

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    1. I know what you are saying but it's not a criticism of existing support, it's more of a plea to fans who have stopped going because of the owners and I just think that the owners aren't going to leave now so it would be best to just come and show support. I do understand what you're saying, I wouldn't say I'm out of touch with appreciating fans support. They have frozen season ticket prices and are reducing them by 75% if we get promoted so they are doing things for ticket prices.

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  2. Very Good write up/Plea Anna. Very good to read + totally agree with you, although I'm not a Blackburn fan. Football prices these days to see football league, or premier league are very expensive that's why more + more clubs are going bust, due to less attendance, higher wages etc. Football needs sorting out on a whole, else it may just be non-league in 50-70 years time.

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    1. Thank you,

      It's a difficult situation, as with rising ticket prices, I can see why fans aren't keen to return however I think for the benefit of the football club alone, it's worth it.

      Appreciate your comment.

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