Former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers have been relegated after losing 1-0 at home to Wigan tonight. Antolin Alcaraz’s goal in the 87th minute was enough to keep Wigan in the Premier League for another season.
There were ugly scenes at the final whistle when some Blackburn fans ran onto the field at Ewood Park in further opposition to the club’s management and owners on a night of protest at Ewood Park.
Rovers went into the game knowing that anything less than a win would mean relegation, and yet they were dominated completely by Wigan.
The poisonous atmosphere at Ewood Park did not help the Blackurn players. From the opening whistle, Rovers fans were venting their anger towards both manager Kean and the club’s owners.
Venky’s, Blackburn’s owners, have been a joke ever since they bought the club. There were stories going around that they did not realize until after they bought Blackburn that they could get related! They thought they were buying a franchise like we have in the U.S.
After purchasing the club, the Venky’s issued stories that they were going to attract the likes of Ronaldhino and Beckham to Ewood Park. Those fantasy stories followed the firing of Sam Allardyce and the hiring of Steve Kean. There is some irony that on the day that Allardyce guided West Ham to the Championship play-off final at Wembley that Kean saw Rovers get relegated.
I am not a big Fat Sam fan, but he does know how to keep a team in the Premier League. It was obvious from the first game that Steve Kean had no right being a Premier League manager. In his 65 games in charge of Blackburn his record is W17, L34, D14.
But it was not just the appointment of Kean that upset the Rovers fans. It was the apathy and invisibility of the club owners that turned the fans against the team. It will be interesting to see what the Venky’s do now. Do they take the parachute payments from the Premier League and reinvest them in the team, or do they instead take the money while simultaneously gutting the club?
Going into Sunday’s season finales, three teams are at risk of joining Blackburn and Wolves in the Championship next season. Aston Villa (7-13-17) has 38 points, one ahead of Queens Park Rangers (10-20-7) and three in front of Bolton (10-22-5). Aston Villa is at Norwich, Bolton at Stoke and QPR at Manchester City.