Whatever happened to Blackburn Rovers?

JSArsenal

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I'm not talking about their complete slide under the Venkys but Jack Walker's league title winning Blackburn. It was slightly before my time but reading up about it, I just find it very odd how Blackburn won the title one season and were nowhere after that.

Leeds won the title in 92 and then sank like a stone. But they still managed to come back in the late 90s and early 2000s. Blackburn on the other hand (I'm just reading their wikipedia page), were nowhere near anything resembling a top side since, except perhaps the season they qualified for the UEFA cup. They flirted with relegation for a few seasons and were sent down to the Championship 4 years after winning the league title which is mental.

They should have at least secured themselves as a mid table club and a mainstay in the premier league.
 

Offside

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feck knows what happened 95-99 (although I think Woy had a decent season with them) but Blackburn in the 2000’s had a very good run of things. Finished 6th twice, 7th once, playing in the UEFA Cup and winning the League Cup in 2002.
 

sugar_kane

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From memory (quite hazy) Dalglish stepped down immediately after them winning the league and they were taken over by Ray Hartford and struggled immediately.

Shearer also left a year later which would have had a big impact
 

FootballHQ

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feck knows what happened 95-99 (although I think Woy had a decent season with them) but Blackburn in the 2000’s had a very good run of things. Finished 6th twice, 7th once, playing in the UEFA Cup and winning the League Cup in 2002.
Yep lots of good players in that team.....Friedel, Brett Emerton, Damien Duff, Matt Jansen, Tugay etc. Yorke and Cole also turned up although couldn't get the partnership going again as both were over 30 at that point.

Then they dipped for a few years before Mark Hughes did a similar job to Souness getting in players who hadn't broken through....Santa Cruz, Benni McCarthy and David Bentley all played very well for a season or two there.

They were pretty consistant for much of the 2000s in premier league but Bolton down the road got more attention.

I don't think there was much difference between their drop off from winning league in 95 to Leicester doing it apart from Leicester did much better in europe. Shearer left only a year after their title win.
 

Lay

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I miss them in the league. I think they finished 7th after they won the league and had a shocking CL campaign. Didn’t Batty and Le Saux fight each other on the pitch against Rosenberg?
 

2 man midfield

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I used to hate playing Blackburn in the early noughties. So many memories of league cup ties, league games etc where they played like a team possessed. We never seemed to do well against them, and Friedel was unbeatable.
 

PoTMS

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I miss them in the league. I think they finished 7th after they won the league and had a shocking CL campaign. Didn’t Batty and Le Saux fight each other on the pitch against Rosenberg?
I miss them because they are a proper football team but at the same time, they had our number, particularly at Ewood Park. I still have nightmares of Morten Gamst Pedersen.
 

Luffy

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I miss them in the league. I think they finished 7th after they won the league and had a shocking CL campaign. Didn’t Batty and Le Saux fight each other on the pitch against Rosenberg?
I liked a magazine's coverage of the Batty/Le Saux incident, something about the silver tongued Batty questioning Le Saux's manhood.
 

pascell

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They seem to be doing ok nowadays after their drop under the Venkys. They sort of simmer around the promotion places and we're only a couple of points off last season.
 

Anduin

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I would like to erase my last two relevant memories from Ewood Park. First, Berbatov and Valencia missing a couple of sitters and us drawing 0-0 while any win would have given us a league title back in 2010. Rooney was missing after getting injured v Bayern and we couldn’t get the required win without him. And then our 2-0 win in April 2012 which put us eight points clear after Arsenal beat City... great joy after Young scored the second, but I just pretend our collapse leading up to Aguerooooo never happened.
Fecking hell, I just remembered we won the title at Ewood Park in 2011! Weird that the disappointments popped up first...
 

Lay

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Didn’t tevez either score a winner or equaliser in the last minute at Ewood?
 

Haddock

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Shebby Singh. Long time Asia Pacific viewers of ESPN/Star will know what I mean. (Hint: Gerrard was really a right back)
 

MrMarcello

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feck knows what happened 95-99 (although I think Woy had a decent season with them) but Blackburn in the 2000’s had a very good run of things. Finished 6th twice, 7th once, playing in the UEFA Cup and winning the League Cup in 2002.
And numerous Brad Friedel superhuman performances in goal.
 

Sandikan

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What happened to them? Their billionaire owner who artificially kept them competing well above their level left..simple as that.
 

Chairman Steve

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I associate them mainly with noughties. Too young to remember their nineties side, other than just a billionaire hammering a small textile town football club over the top.

Noughties Blackburn is a bunch of shithouse players who'd frustrate you if you played against them like Neill, Savage, Emerton etc. Morten Gamst Pedersen who couldn't hit a cow's arse with a banjo most times then decides to turn into Luis Figo when facing Utd. Ex-berties and scousers playing for them who'd turn up against us.

And of course Friedel...
 

stubie

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They were never the same after deciding not to sign Zidane to replace Tim Sherwood!
 

Leroy The Red

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I would like to erase my last two relevant memories from Ewood Park. First, Berbatov and Valencia missing a couple of sitters and us drawing 0-0 while any win would have given us a league title back in 2010. Rooney was missing after getting injured v Bayern and we couldn’t get the required win without him. And then our 2-0 win in April 2012 which put us eight points clear after Arsenal beat City... great joy after Young scored the second, but I just pretend our collapse leading up to Aguerooooo never happened.
Fecking hell, I just remembered we won the title at Ewood Park in 2011! Weird that the disappointments popped up first...
Don’t forget Tevez massive equaliser in 2008 which basically won us the league too.
 

Nevilles.Wear.Prada

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I miss them because they are a proper football team but at the same time, they had our number, particularly at Ewood Park. I still have nightmares of Morten Gamst Pedersen.
So glad I'm not the only one. He always turn up against us. That bastard.
 

Mb194dc

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Walker died in 2000 and then this:

Blackburn Rovers were sold by the Jack Walker settlement in November 2010 to Venky's...
 

Amir

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Didn’t tevez either score a winner or equaliser in the last minute at Ewood?
88th minute equaliser late in 2007/08. It was a big point as it kept us ahead of Chelsea despite losing to them in the next match.
 

Wonder Pigeon

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Walker's investment in Blackburn Rovers was more of a rich man's lark in relative terms and after their initial success there wasn't the same will at the top or big club infrastructure to sustain it. They won the league on the back of the money he pumped into the club but after they reached the top of that particular mountain he and the board considered their work there done more or less. They didn't continue to invest, didn't take Europe seriously, and didn't replace Dalglish well. The players were gradually picked off by more ambitious sides and Blackburn returned to their usual level.

There's a good book called 'The Club: How the Premier League became the richest, most disruptive business in sport' which sums up their quick fall after winning the league pretty well in one chapter:

He had built a training ground, a stadium, and a title-winning team. There was nothing left to do. While other top clubs built for the future, rearming their squads and clearing out the chaff, Walker the gambler felt about ready to cash out. That summer, the club made no meaningful signings, spending only slightly more than £2 million on four players, one-third of what Walker had shelled out twelve months earlier. When Dalglish moved upstairs into a director-of-football role, Blackburn's board didn't exactly cast a wide net to find his successor: they promoted his assistant, Ray Harford. And almost from the moment the season began, it became clear that Blackburn's title was a once-in-a-lifetime deal. Injury cost record signing Chris Sutton nearly two-thirds of the campaign. The club's first foray into the Champions League saw them fail to win any of their first five games because the coaching staff had barely bothered to watch video of any of their new European opponents. If they had, they might have realised that the direct, cross-heavy English game wasn't going to worry anybody on their trips to Moscow, Warsaw and Norway. Especially not when two Blackburn players ended up fighting each other on the field during a defeat in Russia.

It became painfully obvious to Blackburn's board that the club hadn't been prepared for success. The league title, one member said publicly, had come a year too early. That perfectly stupid remark served only to annoy the players even further. How had Rovers' brass failed to recognise that a championship was possible when the club finished second the previous season? The directors' ultimate crime was a lack of ambition and a failure of imagination. In the eyes of the Liverpools, Uniteds and Newcastles, the title hadn't changed Rovers' station in football's class system. And Blackburn weren't prepared to keep pushing through the ceiling.

One by one, the players the club paid for so handsomely were picked off by bigger teams. David Batty left for Newcastle for £3.75 million. In 1996, Shearer followed him there for a then-world-record of £15 million. And in 1997, Le Saux shipped out for a price of £7 million, the highest price to date for an English defender. All told, the title-winning squad were sold off at a profit of more than £40 million At Walkersteel, those were numbers the accountants dreamed of. At Blackburn Rovers, they simply formed the ledger for a collapse.

In the space of four years, Walker's monument to himself eroded just as quickly as he had built it. It turns out that there is something to the art of curating a perennial winner. By 1999, what had so recently seemed unthinkable caught up to Uncle Jack. Blackburn slumped to nineteenth place and were relegated.
 

sugar_kane

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On the back of this thread I had a quick look at the wiki page for their 95/96 season, surprisingly Shearer netted 31 league goals that year... no wonder he binned them off.

Their away form in particular seemed pretty dreadful, they actually did pretty well at home, winning 14 of 19. On the road they lost 10 games in the league that season.

Sutton's form seemed pretty bad when he wasn't injured as well, netting only once in 22 league games.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1995–96_Blackburn_Rovers_F.C._season