Saturday 10 December 2016

Allardyce not expecting major windfall

Published 19/11/2010 | 16:25

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has welcomed news of the club's takeover, but accepts he will have to spend wisely.

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Indian company Venky's today completed their purchase of the Ewood Park outfit for £23m.

The poultry giant, owned by the Rao family, have bought the 99.9pc shareholding of the Jack Walker Trust, which has run the club since the death of their former benefactor a decade ago.

Venky's spoke only of modest targets after the club announced they were in discussions with them last month and, although investment will be made, Allardyce expects constraints.

He said: "You've got to keep to the reality. People will go off mentioning we're after Torres or Drogba but in terms of investment, rather than huge sums of money, it will be relatively moderate.

"We will improve the squad but we will have to be diligent in our research to get the right player and spend the money wisely."

Venky's - short for Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group - have promised to run the club efficiently and are confident of a bright future.

Venkateshwara Rao, joint managing director, said: "We are all truly honoured to be working with such an historic club and are committed to creating a long-term financial platform which the club can use to realise its obvious potential, on and off the field.

"It is as a team that this club has succeeded in the past and it is as a team that this club will achieve great things in the future."

Rovers had been up for sale for two years with the trust feeling new investment was the best way for the club to continue competing in the Barclays Premier League.

Walker's millions propelled Rovers to the league title in 1995 but, despite being recognised as one of the best-run clubs in the country, they have long since fallen behind their bigger rivals.

Allardyce added: "We all know we have been short of a bit of investment in the last few years.

"Since the trust has tried to sell the club they haven't been willing to fund the sort of transfers needed to keep the club improving.

"That's put it in danger of maybe being in the throes of selling your best players and threatened with relegation."

The takeover takes the number of foreign-owned clubs in the Premier League to 10, half of the competition.

While that may cause concern in some quarters, Venky's have promised to continue running the club in line with its traditions.

Rovers' existing management team, including chairman John Williams, will remain in place.

Chairperson Anuradha J Desai said: "We are delighted, proud and humbled to be associated with Blackburn Rovers, a team with whom we share many values and ambitions.

"Going forward we plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand.

"We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remains one of the best-run clubs within the Premier League.

"Blackburn Rovers is an historic institution that has won the Premier League and we want the fans to embrace us so that we are able to do our best in the interests of the club."

Rovers certainly feel they have found perfect new owners for the club.

Williams said: "The successful conclusion of the deal is clearly a significant event in the history of the club.

"It represents the end of the remarkable Walker era, which saw Rovers projected to the top of the football pyramid.

"In the 10 years since Jack's death, the board and trustees together have managed to build on Jack's legacy and preside over the club's longest term in the top flight since 1936.

"The Rao family pursued the opportunity with determination and enthusiasm.

"The board will remain focused on what it does, providing important stability, a platform from which the new owners will be able to launch new ideas, particularly in markets outside the UK."

Venky's will now be making an offer to minority shareholders to take their stake to 100pc.

Press Association

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