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Blackburn Rovers: Venky’s tax dispute leaves Championship club caught between a rock and a hard place

It is almost 13 years since Indian chicken farmers Venky’s purchased Blackburn Rovers.

That number is pretty apt given how badly run the Championship club has been under their ownership.

Venky’s took over Blackburn in November 2010 and swiftly dismantled the excellent work done in previous years.

A series of questionable decisions took a club that was well-established in the Premier League and fired them head-first into League One in 2017.

The Lancashire outfit made an immediate return to the Championship but have remained stuck in the second tier since then.

While Venky’s have continued to bankroll Rovers, the club has not finished inside the play-off places in the last five seasons.

Developments in India this summer suggest Rovers fans may be denied the chance to see the club back in the Premier League for the foreseeable future.

Venky’s have been caught in a tax dispute with the Indian government, with sizeable company assets seized while the matter is investigated.

Questions have been raised over the purchase of property in Lancashire and how Venky’s facilitated its acquisition.

The issues had a knock-on effect on the club’s transfer business, leading manager Jon Dahl Tomasson to claim his ‘project’ at the club had changed.

Restrictions to Tomasson’s transfer budget left Rovers taking chances on several unproven players rather than established Championship performers during the transfer window.

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Venky’s in India, the owners issued a statement earlier this week reasserting their commitment to the club.

Intriguingly, while Venky’s seem eager to put a positive spin on proceedings, a deeper dive into the state of their company paints a worrying picture.

According to investment experts Simply Wall St, Venky’s earnings per share have dropped 27 percent per year over the past five years.

The firm considers the sharp decline in earnings to be a ‘warning sign’, which undoubtedly has the potential to fill Rovers fans with dread.

With the Indian government seemingly not enamoured with how they run their core business, these are troubling times for every Rovers supporter.

Those feelings will be accentuated by the largely shambolic way Venky’s have run the club, particularly during their early years in charge.

Unfortunately for Rovers fans there is no easy solution, with billionaires willing to take the club off Venky’s hands seemingly in short supply.

The past 13 years have largely been tough to stomach for Rovers supporters – judging by the latest developments, things will not improve any time soon.

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