Blackburn Rovers owners 'deeply hurt' by relegation to League One
Blackburn owners Venky's claim they are "deeply hurt" after Rovers were relegated to League One 22 years on from winning the Premier League title.
Rovers dropped down to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1980 on Sunday as wins for Birmingham and Nottingham Forest rendered their own Championship victory over Brentford redundant.
On social media both Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton, the strikers who scored 49 goals between them in their 1995 title-winning campaign, pointed the finger of blame for the club's plight at their Indian owners Venky's, with the former claiming they "deserve it".
The Rao family, who purchased the club when they were still a top-flight outfit in 2010, have made a rare public statement on the club's official website regarding their demotion, which they termed a "temporary setback".
"The owners of Blackburn Rovers wish to place on record their appreciation for the work of manager Tony Mowbray since his arrival at the club, during which time both the performances of the team and results have improved significantly," it read.
"Going forward he will continue to have our full support. Despite the courageous performance by the players and the victory at Brentford yesterday, results elsewhere led to the relegation of the club from the Championship.
"This is indeed a very sad situation and we are deeply hurt by these events. We share the same feelings as our supporters.
"Notwithstanding this temporary setback, we are confident that the collective efforts of the team, under Tony's leadership, will enable the club to achieve promotion back to the Championship next season.
"The owners and everyone at the club recognise and appreciate the solid backing of the supporters and thank them for this. We believe that such strong support will set us in good stead for the season ahead.
"We have all witnessed the events of recent years, where teams have been relegated but have turned their clubs around and emerged stronger, and we are determined to see Blackburn Rovers do the same.
"Work has already begun to make this happen and we will be making every effort during the forthcoming season to give ourselves the best chance to achieve this goal."
The statement followed the club's announcement on Monday that director of football and operations Paul Senior had resigned only 123 days after being appointed.
Senior, who current manager Mowbray claimed was the only member of the hierarchy he spoke to prior to taking the job in February, had been hired early in the new year with part of his remit to oversee recruitment.
When Mowbray was appointed on an 18-month deal as Owen Coyle's successor, he revealed that he had not spoken with anyone in India and that Senior was the one who had contacted him regarding the position.
After their relegation was confirmed, Mowbray admitted he would be seeking discussions with Venky's regarding his own future.
Under Mowbray Blackburn failed to get out of the bottom three but took 22 points from 15 games, which was the ninth-best record across the division from the moment he arrived.