BLAME for Blackburn’s sorry plight has been widened, with the Walker trust accused of taking “anyone’s money” in their desperation to sell the club.
Tony Parkes, who spent 35 years at Blackburn and occupied a variety of roles including player, coach, assistant manager, caretaker boss and scout, insists the club’s slump is not down simply to beleaguered manager Steve Kean or Indian owners Venky’s.
The Walker trust was set up by the late former owner Jack Walker to own the club and sold its 99.9 per cent holding to Venky’s in november 2010 for £43million after a two-year search for buyers.
Blackburn are rooted to the foot of the Premier League table despite a Boxing Day draw with Liverpool and Parkes remains fearful for the future.
“There are three groups of people to blame for the situation the club are in, the manager, Venky’s and
the Walker trust,” said Parkes, who joined Blackburn’s playing staff aged 21 and made almost 400 appearances.
“It has to be remembered the Walker trust were the people who brought them in. they wanted to get out and were taking anyone’s money to do that. All three have a lot to answer for. Steve Kean will never turn the fans in his favour. That chance was gone a long time ago.
“The fans are the people who ultimately get managers the sack, so surely that has to happen with Steve Kean. It is all very well saying it is only a minority who are against him, but it isn’t.
“As a Blackburn Rovers fan through and through it is very difficult to see the club in this situation.
“You wonder what is going to happen at the end of all this? We have people running the club who know nothing about football and they have got rid of all the people who could have helped them. It beggars belief how people who know nothing about this club have come in and taken apart everything that was good about it.
“Venky’s have to get real. They may like the manager but he is going to take the club down.”
Blackburn face Manchester United at the weekend with Kean looking to buy four players in January to freshen up a squad who punched above their weight in claiming a point at Anfield.
David Dunn and Junior Hoilett both limped away from the 1-1 draw but are expected to be fit for the trip to Old Trafford, while Gael Givet and Martin Olsson are also close to being available for selection again.
Yet Parkes believes the problems lie in the long-term.
“It’s almost not about Anfield, though,” he said. “It’s about the next 20-odd games and Venky’s proving themselves as owners of the football club.
“Are we going to have enough quality to win enough games to stay up? This is the big test for Venky’s. We need new players. I’m not talking about players worth £500,000 or £1m, we’ve already signed them. We now need three of four players of real quality and they cost. Venky’s have to start putting their money into it.
“If they’re going to back Steve Kean, which I fear they are going to, then they need to back him with money. They have yet to show they are prepared to do that.
“The problem is if they do decide to sack Steve Kean, which looking from the outside I don’t think they will, then the new manager would demand a lot of reassurances before taking the job.
“It’s hard to see him getting these at the moment.”