Blackburn Rovers have sacked their manager Henning Berg after a grand total of 10 games in charge. Admittedly, he only won one of those 10 games, but if they move quickly, they’ll have three managers in the last five months. That means one thing – Blackburn are a toxic club. Badly run and lacking a soul, they are in danger of following Portsmouth into near-oblivion.
In the early 90’s, local steel baron Jack Walker bought and bankrolled the club with no small success – becoming one of only five clubs to win the Premier League. After Walker died in 2000, Blackburn remained a moderately successful club – not as competitive as before, but mostly a Premier League side.
In 2010 the Venkatesh (Venky) family bought the club for £23m. They promised title challenges and big name signings. They sacked the manager: Sam Allardyce despite his doing a pretty good job with the players he had. The first sign that they didn’t really know what they were doing was their failure to find a decent replacement and instead appointing Allardyce’s assistant: Steve Kean.
Kean had a decent reputation as a coach, but struggled nearly right from the start with the management job. He wasn’t helped by the Venky group appointing a football agent to make most of the sporting decisions at the club – leaving Kean out of the loop with player purchases. Blackburn were relegated at the end of the 2010/11 season.
They kept Kean on as manager, but it became apparent he no longer had the faith of the players, fans or the board and was sacked in October. Further evidence that Venkys are clueless was the subsequent of Henning Berg. As a player, Berg was a Blackburn legend, but as a manager he had an undistinguished record in Norway, so why they thought he would succeed in the cut-throat world of the Championship, is beyond me. I never understand why clubs think that just because a player did well as a player, they he will do well as a manager.
The rumour mill is that Mark Hughes will be given the chance to revive his flagging managerial reputation at one of his old clubs. That’s not the worst idea, but it’s obviously short term thinking. It’s not the work of a club who have a plan for the future. It’s also not clear what the Venkys really want with Blackburn. They have invested very little money and have overseen the decline of a stable Premier League side into a relgation threatened Championship side.
Its time for Venkys to seek a buyer for their club and end their vanity project before Blackburn end up fighting administration and possible termination.
Mark Cruise is a soccer writer for Rantsports. Follow him on Twitter: @chiefhairyman