Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

Paul Lambert - Welcome To Ewood

In persuading Paul Lambert to become the new manager of Blackburn Rovers, the owners of the club have arrived at their first proper football decision in five years.
November 17, 2015

Gary Bowyer’s promotion from within the ranks two-and-a-half years ago was at least acknowledgement from someone in charge that the crazy days of Kean, Berg and Appleton had to end.

Of course, most Rovers fans could have told the Rao family, Derek Shaw, Shebby Singh and Uncle Tom Cobley, too, that (to paraphrase Alan Hansen) you win nothing with inexperience.

Who decided to approach Lambert? Whether it was a member of the Rao family, owners of Blackburn Rovers, an advisor to them or someone based at Ewood Park, it does mean that a proper manager, with relevant experience has agreed to work under the Venky’s regime.

He’s been allowed to bring in proper backroom staff as well, with Alan Irvine as No. 2 a particular coup.

Lambert, at his first press conference, was also saying the right things. Paul Wheelock, the Rovers reporter for the Lancashire Telegraph, quotes him as saying: “The owners have been supportive, so I'm comfortable. Let’s go out there now and start winning games. We'll give it everything.

“I know the situation behind the scenes. Now is the time everyone needs to stop the negativity. It's time to play an entertaining brand of football and try to win games.”

This is a message all Rovers fans want to hear. Play some good football and win matches.

Lambert clearly knows what the club and the supporters have been put through and is asking for the fans’ support to bring good times back on to the pitch.

It’s a feel good factor that might even hide the fact we are still under a transfer embargo and still losing tens of millions a year as the Venky’s and their executive team continue to grapple with the nightmare effects of relegation from the Premiership three seasons ago.

At the press conference Derek Shaw, managing director of Blackburn Rovers, is quoted by Wheelock as saying: “FFP is something we've been working on for months. We're making good progress.

“We're not looking to sell a player. Hopefully we'll have other irons in the fire to clear us from that.”

If Shaw can free Rovers from the FFP shackles and balance the books through continued down-sizing of players’ contracts then we will be some way to getting back onto a more sound financial footing.

But, the Venky’s will still be £100 million or so in deficit and Lambert will have a League One/Championship squad with which to attempt to reach the play offs or better.

On the play-offs Lambert says: “There are still a lot of games to be played. If you do have a run you can sneak in there. We have to win games and to do that we need to get the fans here and get their support.

“The big thing for ourselves is to win games. Lack of money will not be an excuse.”The bigger picture is whether the current regime at Ewood Park has the foresight to use this singular opportunity for goodwill to theirs and the fans’ advantage.

Lambert’s appointment represents a once-in-five-years opportunity to finally establish a real bond with supporters by actively and genuinely engaging with the Rovers Trust, the official supporters trust for the club.

An olive branch offered would be accepted and talks on bringing club and fans closer could begin – as Paul Lambert (note, not the owners or Shaw) clearly realises is crucial for success.

This is their chance to make the running; to show they have learnt something after five long years of mistake-making and ignoring all attempts at dialogue.

We at the Rovers Trust wish Paul Lambert and his team all the success and luck in the world.

 Photograph of Ewood Park taken through football net

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