Now that the dust has settled after another tumultuous week at Ewood Park, we can all take a moment to reflect.
Let's, if we may, take football out of the equation, and look at this objectively, from a business perspective. The Venky's bought the club for £23million back in 2010, taking on the clubs debt of around £20million in the process. At the time, we had to endure press conferences and interviews telling us how married up they were with the Blackburn Rovers philosophy and ethos and that they were looking forward to taking us to the next level. So what's gone wrong?
The catastrophic capitulation of a top ten Premier League team to one languishing above the drop zone in the Championship has been spectacular, for all the wrong reasons. Nobody can doubt the business acumen of the Venky's, as they have built up their brand to a global, multi-million pound organisation, but football doesn't work like that. We don't want to see projected growth on the spreadsheets and increased revenues year on year. We just want three points when Saturday comes.
Anyway, I digress. Back to business...
A business thrives on stability, employee engagement, a strong customer base and reputation. A straw poll of a handful of Blackburn fans would leave us with some pretty damning statistics against those pillars to success. The return of Shebby Singh was somewhat acrimonious this week as he apparently gave Michael Appleton his marching orders via a letter left with a secretary. Ouch. He didn't even have the decency to tell the man to his face. Come on Shebby, manners cost nothing.
What kind of a message does that send out? Rafa Benitez?! We'll be lucky to get Mike Bassett at this rate. Sure, the football wasn't idyllic and the FA Cup run was somewhat of an anomaly compared to the league form, but it seemed as though we were making progress. Perhaps my definition of progress has been warped over the past two years.
With regards to employee engagement, we can talk until we're blue in the face about the cushy lifestyle of a footballer, but not knowing who your boss is going to be every fortnight can hardly be helping. Off the pitch, the furore that surrounds the club is hardly giving us the foundation to move forward on it, so until we get a manager in that can be left in peace to get things done, the circus could be in town for just a little while longer. I can't see the likes of Jordan Rhodes, Scott Dann and Colin Kazim-Richards wanting to stick around for another season of this.
The dwindling attendances are probably doing more damage than we realise. Under the guiding hand of Big Sam, 25,000 fans would make it through the turnstiles on a regular basis to support the team. These days, if we reach 15,000, we've done well. The Millwall game saw just over 8,500 fans inside Ewood. It's a bleak outlook, but the fans are not turning their back on the team, just the hierarchy. The only way to hurt the regime is by hitting them in the pocket. But maybe it's just a drop in the ocean? What else can we do?
The club's reputation is in tatters and it needs football people to build it back up again. This could be the greatest corporate rebrand since Apple. We just need our very own Steve Jobs, with a vision, passion and desire to take us back up the league and back to the big time. We need a manager who can embrace the vast financial support that the Venky's can offer, but keep them at arm's length to let him get to work on the football pitch. We need a manager who can get the fans back, inspire a town and make us proud to be blue and white once again.
Answers on a postcard...