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New Blackburn Rovers owners back manager Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce (left) watches from the stands along with Balaji Rao (second right) and Venkatesh Rao (right) of Venky's
Allardyce (left) has been promised funds by the new owners

The new owners of Blackburn have given their backing to manager Sam Allardyce.

The Rao family completed their £43m takeover of Rovers through their newly formed company, Venky's London Limited, on 19 October.

"We want results and Sam has taken up the challenge. He deserves a chance," Venky's chairman Anuradha Desai said.

The Rao family have vowed to preserve the traditions of the Ewood Park club and to build upon the legacy left by previous owner Jack Walker.

Walker, who passed away in 2000, took over as Rovers chairman in 1991 and subsequently ploughed millions of pounds into the Lancashire club, who were then in English football's second tier.

We are looking for sponsors and may add a prefix or suffix for Ewood Park but we will not change any names. We would never want to upset the fans

Venky's chairman Anuradha Desai

Under Walker's ownership the club forced its way into the top flight and won the then Premiership in 1995 - their first title in 81 years.

Following his death, ownership of the club passed to the Jack Walker Trust, who sold their 99.9% controlling share to the newly formed company Venky's London Limited last week.

"We were looking at football clubs for ownership as a majority holder. We did not want to be a sleeping partner," Desai added.

"When our agency brought this proposal we could draw parallels between the Jack Walker legacy and our traditional business.

"Blackburn itself is a big brand. In my opinion it has not been exposed and can grow leaps and bounds.


"We are looking for sponsors and may add a prefix or suffix for Ewood Park but we will not change any names. We would never want to upset the fans."

Under Allardyce, Rovers have made a decent start to the season, taking 18 points from 14 games to leave them 11th in the Premier League. They finished 10th during the 2009-10 campaign.

Desai revealed that the new owners are hoping a positive input from themselves will see the club continue to flourish on the field.

"Most of the time the team has been between eighth and 10th in the rankings," she continued. "Only once it went out of the league.

"With the right motivation I feel they can go higher than eighth. Who is to say they can not do better than that, say fifth or sixth position, why not?"

"To this end, the group have promised manager Allardyce funds to spend in the January transfer window.

"Some money has been put aside in improving the health of the club," she revealed, adding that they are currently "looking at a striker" but refused to provide further information.

Allardyce admitted recently that he would be keen to bring former Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz back to Ewood Park from Manchester City.

Anuradha Desai was talking to BBC News website reporter Prachi Pinglay.

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see also
Allardyce excited by new owners
21 Nov 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn taken over in 43m deal
19 Nov 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn close to takeover deal
26 Oct 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn confirm takeover talks
17 Aug 10 |  Blackburn
Parkes reflects on Walker years
17 Aug 10 |  Blackburn
Blackburn Rovers owner dies
18 Aug 00 |  Football

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