Premier League - New Rovers protest planned
Thu, 01 Mar 09:47:00 2012
A major new protest is to be staged by Blackburn fans against the club's hierarchy ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League home match against Aston Villa, it has been announced.
A section of Rovers supporters called BRFC Action Group have released a statement outlining plans for three marches that will set off simultaneously around an hour before the 3pm kick-off and then join together at Ewood Park - described as "the largest and most attended demonstration in the history of our club."
Throughout the season - during which the team have struggled near the bottom of the league table - Blackburn's owners, Indian-based poultry and pharmaceutical firm Venky's, have been the target of protests and manager Steve Kean has endured calls for him to be sacked.
Rovers fans have launched a new share investment scheme in a bid to buy the club from the current owners and the statement said the marches this weekend would "symbolise a vote of 'no confidence' in Venky's...and will carry the message 'Venky's sell the club'."
Meanwhile, Venky's have dismissed reports they are set to sell more key players following defender Christopher Samba's move last week to Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.
"There are no plans like that there, that is ridiculous," said Venky's representative and Blackburn director Vineeth Rao, quoted in the Lancashire Telegraph.
"There are no plans to sell any more key players, why would there be? Our immediate focus is on staying up in the Premier League. We hope Chris Samba will be the last key departure. There are no plans to sell any more key players because we want to improve the squad."
Samba, who joined Blackburn in 2007 and had become their captain, handed in a transfer request last month. It was initially rejected, but he eventually signed for Anzhi on Friday, having not played for Rovers since January 2.
Kean has said the 27-year-old Congo international's desire to leave played a big part in the deal, and Rao insists Venky's had wanted Samba to stay.
"It was not even our intention to sell Chris Samba," Rao said. "We did not want to sell him. We wanted him on the pitch because he has been a big player but in the end we had to respect his wishes because he wanted to leave."