The players had a joke when a fan released a chicken onto the pitch on Monday night but their was no laughter at the final whistle as Blackburn were consigned to the Championship after a bizarre season of discontent and civil war.
Three points from their last eight matches – including seven losses – means Blackburn will finish the season with under 35 points for the first time since 1979.
This column recently praised Roberto Martínez for his marvellous effort at Wigan, who are now finally safe, and his pragmatic Chairman Dave Whelan. The contrast at Blackburn is stark with the fiercely unpopular Steve Kean working under Venky’s.
Kean has constantly defended his team, the tactics, the performances and his position. However, his side have slid from attempting to signing David Beckham to fielding a team lacking experience, direction and quality.
The Scot’s tactics are extremely defensive and he’s failed to replace the likes of Christopher Samba and Phil Jones. Yes, he should be lauded for blooding in youth to the squad, but in such a challenging division it is suicidal to rely on kids.
The starting line-up from Monday was Championship-esque, with only Hoilett and Yakubu acting as shining lights in a dark campaign.
Yakubu has fired in 16 league goals to become value for money despite a slow start, while Hoilett has provided pace and some vital goals.
But their endeavours were never going to be enough. Both will surely escape in the summer, especially as Hoilett is a free agent and deserves to be surrounded by quality.
The fans have directed a lot of unwarranted and vile abuse at Kean. All football supporters vent their frustrations and at Blackburn they have every right to – but Kean has not deserved the incessant abuse, which makes it remarkable he wants to stay on.
The Venky’s are by far the real culprits. When they arrived on a whim in January 2011, talking of Champions League football and Ronaldinho, it all looked rosy.
Over a year on and their absent and silent style of ownership has left Kean no chance and has aggravated the fans beyond belief.
As the dusts settles, the problem for Blackburn is that they do not have a manager like Martinez or a sensible chairman like Dave Whelan at Wigan.
Sadly, it seems the League’s 1995 champions are doomed to spend a considerable time in the Championship under the current stewardship.
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