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Venky's ducks press after Blackburn relegation

Venky's ducks press after Blackburn relegation

FOOTBALL: The Indian owners of relegated Premier League club Blackburn Rovers, chicken farm operators Venky’s, ducked the media on Tuesday amid a storm of criticism of their disastrous 18-month management.

Thursday 17 May 2012, 04:00PM


PLAYING CHICKEN: Fans vented their anger at Venky’s by releasing a chicken onto the pitch wrapped in a Blackburn flag with a one-word message for the owners: “Out.” Photo: AFP

PLAYING CHICKEN: Fans vented their anger at Venky’s by releasing a chicken onto the pitch wrapped in a Blackburn flag with a one-word message for the owners: “Out.” Photo: AFP

British press reports slammed the absence of the Venky’s family at the club’s make-or-break Monday night clash with Wigan which saw the club lose 1-0 and confirm their drop from England’s money-spinning top division.

Fans, who have vented their anger at Venky’s and hapless manager Steve Kean all season, released a chicken onto the pitch during the game wrapped in a Blackburn flag with a one-word message for the owners: “Out.”

Arvind Chauhan, spokesman for the company based in the western city of Pune which paid 23 million pounds (US$37 million or B1.15 billion) for Blackburn in November 2010, declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

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Reaction in the Indian media was muted, with pundits saying Venky’s had failed to generate any excitement in their home market despite interest in the English Premier League (EPL) taking off.

Their main promotional effort was in October last year when Blackburn travelled to the subcontinent for an exhibition match, becoming the first EPL team to play in the vast market of 1.2 billion people.

But barely 6,000 fans turned out for the game against a local side, and the trip was noted mostly for an advertising campaign that featured leading players eating fried chicken in the dressing room.

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