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The Libero - Madness descends on Ewood Park

Published: 05 Jan 2011 - 09:39:16

Proof, if it were still needed, that Blackburn's new owners aren't cut out for the job came earlier in the week, with their utterly unprofessional handling of the Ronaldinho transfer story.

First came a post on Venky's Facebook page, apparently (it is no longer there) claiming that they were interested in signing the past-it Brazilian star, who is set to leave Milan for pastures new this month. Sorry, was that Facebook? Facebook? Football has certainly changed a great deal over recent years with the advent of new technologies and such internet utilities, but is this how things are done now? Multi-million pound transfer deals brokered on Facebook?Apparently so, at least in certain parts of Lancashire.

Then, just hours later, came an about-turn of Roono-Tevez proportions, as director Venkatesh Rao rubbished the story and claimed it was "not true at all". Presumably via his Twitter feed or Bebo account.

Incredibly, they weren't finished there and the next day his sister and Venky's chairwoman Anuradha Desai insisted they had indeed lodged an offer with Italian giants Milan.Just what is going on? Do these people know what they are doing? Do they even know each other?Where is the communication between them? No idea, absolutely not, unlikely, who knows are the probable answers.

However, it wasn't the first time transfer 'news' has been leaked via a social networking site. Trailblazing youngster Ashley-Paul Robinson is one name that immediately springs to mind after the Crystal Palace forward announced on his Facebook profile that he was to trial for Fulham.

His post made the headlines because we thought we had entered a brave new world of cyber-deals and e-transfers, but in reality his actions merely proved that using such a public platform in this way is a bad idea. He failed to impress Fulham at his trial and Palace were so miffed by the way he had gone about things they decided not to offer him a new contract. Robinson currently plays for Dorking FC in the Combined Counties Premier Division. Well done that man.

But back to Blackburn, and this isn't a young, impressionable prospect we're talking about here: these are the owners of a Premier League football club; wealthy and successful businessmen and women at that. Surely if Venky's want to be taken seriously in the Premier League, if they really want to turn Blackburn into a club that can challenge for major honours, pursuing the former World Player of the Year in this fashion is just plain wrong.

It all smacks of a budget operation, albeit with a whole stack of cash behind it. Ironic, isn't it? Equally budget is another post on their Facebook page, which is still there for all to see. It reads: "backburn rovers wins thier latest match against wolfs.we are postioned 8th on the point table.way to go!!!!!!"

That is not to mock Venky's use of English. It should be, and is, appreciated that they are not writing in their mother tongue, so the obvious grammatical and syntax errors, along with the Americanisms can perhaps be excused. But misspelling the club they own? Simply unforgivable.

It comes back to the point about being taken seriously. Or not, as will increasingly be the case at Blackburn, should the owners not buck up their ideas sharpish. And we haven't even begun to question the sense in bringing a 30-year-old has-been fancy dan to Ewood Park, where he will be expected to perform on bitterly cold winter's nights against the likes of Stoke and Wigan. Nor, for that matter, their unfathomable decision to offload Sam Allardyce and replace him with Steve Kean.

Blackburn are a proud club, with a rich tradition that should never be sniffed at. Unfortunately, Venky's behaviour is making a mockery of that and putting the club in serious danger of becoming a laughing stock.

Mr Jack Walker, who for so long strived to cement the club's status as one of the country's elite football clubs, would be turning in his grave.

FOLLOW THE LIBERO ON TWITTER @mike_hytner
DSG


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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:the libero
Libero (noun): 1. Versatile, ball-playing defender given licence to roam. Expected to break up opposition attacks while instigating counters. Role patented by German legend Franz Beckenbauer. 2. Versatile weekly football columnist, aka journalist Mike Hytner, given licence to write what he likes. Expected to file every Wednesday. Not nearly as talented as his boyhood hero Der Kaiser.

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