How to become everyone’s second favourite team… or not?

Published On January 20, 2012 | By dominic | Mark

In the Barclays Premier League last season Blackpool soon established themselves as, for most people, the second result to look for after your own team after each round of fixtures. Playing attractive attacking football on a shoestring budget with discarded players from other teams, with Ian Holloway at the helm with his media soundbites lighting up the TV screens and being replayed on YouTube and Sky Sports News, made Blackpool the media and therefore the public’s darling of last year.

Their eventual relegation without deserting their attacking beliefs and not breaking their budget to gamble on staying in the top league during the transfer window in panic really helped cement this respect. This may be the blueprint of being the plucky underdog team which everyone likes.

Contrast that with the team at the bottom of the table this year with the most column inches in newspapers this season – Blackburn. Jack Walker’s millions, in the eyes of many, ‘bought’ Blackburn a Premier League title under Kenny Dalglish with Alan Shearer leading the way on the pitch and paved the way for greater wealth first at Chelsea and perhaps at Manchester City being able to lend a strong hand in ‘buying the title’.

Their gradual slip down the table over the last few years may be seen by some as the Lancashire side retreating to their true position in football.

Rather than having a cheerful, frank and humorous ex-playing manager such as Ian Holloway Blackburn have a gruff almost unknown Steve Kean appointed possibly above his position on the cheap as their manager. The xenophobic manner of many English football fans was stirred up by the club’s takeover by the Indian ‘chicken farmers’ the Venky family.

Planning an assault in 5 years on the Champions League with no real investment, selling their best players like Phil Jones, and attempting to run the club like all their other businesses with one head reporting directly to the board has made them the laughing stock of the Premier League.

Fans have turned on their manager with such venom and some have argued Kean should resign rather than have to face the abuse and act as a puppet to the Venkys who he has to report to monthly in Pune. However, as the current 2-1 favourite to be the next Premier League manager to be sacked, why resign and miss out on a severance package? The soap opera nature of the club’s plight this season has meant that few people are sympathetic of Blackburn’s plight this season.

Having no money to spend playing great football and getting relegated seems to endear you to neutral fans much more than having no money to spend and potentially staying up with foreign owners ruining the English game.

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