Rovers owner: No transfer interference
Blackburn Rovers owner Anuradha Desai has spoken to ESPNsoccernet to refute claims that Venky's removed Sam Allardyce after a dispute over transfer policy and has set out an Indian vision of the future at Ewood Park.
Both Sir Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp have criticised the removal of their managerial colleague, with the Manchester United manager saying: "I've never heard of such a stupid decision in all my life". Reports have suggested that Allardyce's meetings with the new owners had not gone well, and that football agency SEM, which has acted for Kentaro, the Swiss company which set up the Indian takeover, was forcing Brazilian midfielder Geovanni and Middlesbrough's Scottish striker Kris Boyd on to Allardyce.
While it is clear that the two parties did not see eye-to-eye in their meetings since Venky's took over the club in November, Desai disputes the claim of transfer interference, and has told ESPNsoccernet: "I can emphatically and unequivocally state that at no time would any decisions have been taken with respect of buying or selling of players, unless sanctioned by the manager."
Blackburn are now without a manager after Monday's removal of Allardyce, though it is believed stand-in Steve Kean is to be granted some time to establish himself at the club, yet the new owners are already setting out their vision for the future, and India is set to be at the centre of club policy.
Desai clearly wants Indian players playing for Blackburn, a town with a sizeable Indian population, and set out her vision, which includes an X-Factor-style search for talent. In the spirit of FIFA president Sepp Blatter's support for the World Cup moving to fresh territory in Russia and Qatar, the new Rovers owners see their home turf as an area to pursue.
Desai said: "Wouldn't it be nice if the football world embraced the opportunity that India, with a population of 1.4 billion, could bring not only to Blackburn Rovers, but to football in general in opening up the territory?
"The dream is one day of having an Indian international or even Indian internationals playing for Blackburn Rovers. Wouldn't that be one of the most exciting developments in the modern game?"
SEM's Jerome Anderson, an avowed Arsenal follower and admirer of Arsene Wenger's determination to focus on young talent rather than big-money signings, is advising Venky's. Kean, who has close links to SEM, is expected to play a role in furthering a similar approach which will target Indian talent in particular.