September 23, 2012 by Chris Hames
Two day ago saw the first defeat for Blackburn Rovers in their return to the Championship, having started the season in good form – well good enough to sit them top of the division. Though as the whistle went the infamous cries of ‘Kean Out’ rang around Ewood Park, as though they were still facing the season of last. Many outside of the club were quick to jump to the defence of Kean, or more so the criticism of Blackburn, and dismiss the boo’s as petty, cheap and wrong – considering the start they had had. I do question those, however, and suggest that, in some way, the Ewood Park lot are right to boo as they please.
Just to clarify from the off, I am in no way congratulating, or supporting the hatred of a man who has only lost one game this season. It is against everything I, and so many others in the sport, believe in, to dispose of a manager after such short space of time. But. And this is a big Beyonce-esq but. I do see where they are coming from.
Imagine, if you will, your football club. Not even two decades after winning the league title against all the odds and being the first to break the Sir Alex stronghold. A club that only five/six years ago had a manager who was loved by all who flocked to your ground, and had created the sort of club, with the sort of football you desire. Then look at your club now, with a man whom nobody has warmed to. Even your Chairman has said he is prepared to sack him on a whim, something that only fuels the hatred of those that solely place the blame of this once great clubs demise to the Second Tier of English football. Steve Kean is not the man the Blackburn fans want, and it is through these Boo’s and demonstrations that they try to show us that the “beautiful” game is no longer in the hands of the fans, and of those that have to stick by their clubs through thick and thin, but by the Millionaires and the businessmen. And it is because of this unbreakable link to their club they boo. Not because they can’t stand to lose one game, but because all they can see under this man, and his owners is bleak.
A similar, yet less public and less disastrous, case happened at Bolton, not all that long ago, under the stewardship of Gary Megson. The Reebok lot never grew to man who had the mountainous task of trying to replace their true legend Big Sam Allardyce, (this forgetting the unfortunate spell with Sammy Lee?) and because of this his job became increasingly more difficult, considering win, naturally, can be few and far between for teams at the lower reaches of the tables. Ironically it was not the man they despised, but the one they cherished who eventually dropped them from the Premier League.
For those who support the likes of Arsenal or Manchester United, or Everton who have had the same man and same ideas at the helm of your club for so long that there never is ‘the-fear’ that this may all seem a bit alien, but to those clubs that have, above all expectation achieved, the idea of seeing a Steve Kean, or a Gary Megson in charge is frightening. In these circumstances, the booing, though perceived by the press to be so, is very loosely linked to the results on the pitch. Instead it has a greater standing off it, where the true fans demand their say, in order to still feel connected and in trust of their club.