Championship - Salgado blasts Blackburn owners as relegation looms again

Former Blackburn Rovers defender Michel Salgado has slammed the decision by owners Venky's to summon caretaker manager Gary Bowyer to India with the team battling to avoid relegation to English soccer's third tier.

Reuters
Championship - Salgado blasts Blackburn owners as relegation looms again
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Michel Salgado in his playing days at Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn are third from bottom of the Championship with six games to play following a 3-2 defeat by Sheffield Wednesday last weekend. They host mid-table Derby County on Saturday before Huddersfield Town - a point above Rovers - visit Ewood Park on Tuesday.

Blackburn have four games in 11 days including a trip to promotion-chasing Watford, yet Bowyer this week flew to Venky's headquarters in Pune, India, along with senior executives.

"When you are playing for your life, you need to stick together, train more than ever, be prepared for the games and instead the manager is in Pune," Salgado told reporters in Dubai.

He said officials from chicken meat processors Venky's should have travelled to Blackburn, so players' training was not disrupted.

"The club is totally destroyed at this moment - I keep in touch with a lot of fans and it's really sad to see an amazing, historical club in this situation," said Salgado.

"It's outrageous what is happening."

The former Spain international retains a deep affection for Blackburn, having played for the club for three seasons before retiring last year.

That stint coincided with Venky's acquisition of Rovers in November 2010, with the Indian company making its mark by sacking manager Sam Allardyce a month later.

"When they came for the first time, it was really exciting because they said it was about developing something really good for the future, even fighting for something more than being in the middle of the (Premier League) table," said Salgado.

Steve Kean replaced Allardyce as manager, but the Scot won 13 games out of 59 in the Premier League as Blackburn - English champions in 1995 - eventually slipped into the second-tier Championship last year.

Kean left last September with Blackburn in the promotion play-off places and Bowyer is now the fifth manager this season following the brief reigns of Henning Berg and Michael Appleton and Eric Black's temporary stint in charge.

"Hopefully, one day (Venky's) will tell the truth, even to me, because I would like to know what is happening...everything was running really well and you had the facilities, the fans," Salgado added.

The Spaniard was more upbeat about another former club, Real Madrid, who are through to the Champions League semi-finals for a third straight year following a 5-3 aggregate win over Turkey's Galatasaray.

Winning a record 10th European crown would ease some of the pressure on Real coach Jose Mourinho, who has been lambasted by fans and the city's media for the club's failure to mount a convincing La Liga title defence in Spain.

They trail Barcelona by 13 points, with the Catalans near-certainties for glory.

"It was really surprising to see Real Madrid out of the league in January - (there were) rumours about problems in the dressing room and that doesn't help," said Salgado.

"They have the chance to turn this around and forget about that if they win the Champions League."

Mourinho is widely expected to end a tumultuous three-year reign in Madrid, with the Portuguese strongly linked in the media with a return to Chelsea for next season.

"I can see Mourinho in England because he loves England, the atmosphere, the respect English football has for him," added Salgado.

"He's a real winner, but you know his way to win. The pressure is very big at Real Madrid and if you want to be part of the history you have to be mentally very strong and I think Mourinho is."

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