IT was an opportunity to salvage a fragment of respect, endear themselves slightly to a timorous army of doubters or even portray an atom of personality – but the powers that be at Ewood Park dealt with the James McDonough saga in the wrong manner.
The expeditious fall of Blackburn Rovers is a damning indictment on the running of the club since Venkateshwara Hatcheries Private Limited, under the name Venky’s London Limited, completed the takeover of the club in November 2010.
From there, with Rovers 14th in the Premier League, the inexplicable sacking of manager Sam Allardyce a month after the takeover proved the catalyst for their farcical decline and sparked a dossier of seemingly inept handlings of a football club.
The reign of Steve Kean erupted in controversy – eventually provoking mass protest – while the respective tenures of Henning Berg and Michael Appleton were extremely short-lived.
Disputes at boardroom level saw stalwart John Williams part company with the club, and in similar circumstances managing director Tom Finn, Martin Goodmann along with a number of personalities affiliated with the club – including doctors and physios – would follow suit.
Since relegation from England’s top tier – an inevitably considering the circumstances – the club has become a scalding, disruptive cauldron of discontent.
Shebby Singh’s appointment as “Global Advisor” in June 2012 did little to quell the turmoil, with fans berating his legitimacy. Rumours of a power struggle have now emerged between Singh and Messrs Derek Shaw and Paul Agnew while purported contract settlements to axed managers is sinking the club deeper in to turmoil.
That’s only a brief summary, but my main point is of their inability to handle a harmless prank that caught the imagination of the local and national media as well as gambling conglomerates BetVictor.
Burnley season ticket holder McDonough’s spoof application for the vacant post at Ewood (http://www.burnleyexpress.net/news/strange-but-true/burnley-fan-applies-for-vacant-blackburn-job-1-5515595) was accepted in good humour by most – but not Singh who apparently sought legal advice against a national publication for running the tale.
Whether it was an act of desperation, an ambitious statement to detract the attention from his own inadequacies I don’t know but it was another move that further denounced the club and its representatives as adjectives for incompetence.
In a similar quip in 2006 Middlesbrough chairman Steve Gibson responded in the perfect manner after receiving an audacious CV from self-proclaimed Football Manager expert John Boileau.
A humorous application, citing success with Nuneaton Borough and Swedish club Kalmar FF on the computer game, while signing Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres and Raul at Doncaster Rovers, was met with the following response:
“Many thanks for your recent application for the Managerial position at Middlesbrough Football Club.
You were of course the outstanding candidate but after careful consideration we decided against your appointment. Quite frankly we were of the opinion that your tenure with us would have been short lived, as your undoubted talent would result in one of the big European Clubs seeking your services.
We consider it a sign of our progress that someone of your status could consider us.”
There stands a man with a grasp of reality, integrity and an understanding of jest. If Singh and Venky’s can’t get the little things right, how do they expect to address the bigger picture and save a club teetering above the Championship relegation zoll