Blackburn Rovers fans stage Venky's Ewood Park protest

A Blackburn Rovers supporters group has started a 24-hour protest against the Premier League club's owners outside the team's Ewood Park ground.

Fans are angry at the way the club has been run by Indian owners Venky's, who took over in 2010.

The organisers, Blackburn Rovers FC Action Group, said the message of the protest was "Venky's, please engage with the club's stakeholders or sell the club".

Blackburn Rovers declined to comment.

The protest is planned to remain outside the stadium until 12:00 GMT on Saturday, when a protest march is due to take place ahead of the team's game with Fulham.

'Deep regret'

It is the second non-match day protest to take place, following a protest by supporters at the club's training ground on 23 December.

Blackburn Rovers FC Action Group has been in conflict with the club over the position of the poultry company Venky's as owners.

On 3 December, members agreed to a truce, saying it would not stage any organised protests against the club.

In a statement, group leaders Glen Mullan and Simon Littler said it was "with deep regret that we find ourselves in a position that the organised element of protest has had to return to our match day experience".

"As organisers who only have the long-term future of the club at heart, we have done all we possibly can to allow Venky's and the board of directors to engage with its supporters and stakeholders," they said.

"We have maintained throughout this process that protesting has come about due to all other avenues being exhausted.

"All conversations we have had with the club have delivered the same message; we do not want to protest but want our club to be truthful and the owners to show honour and integrity regarding the pledges they made when they purchased the club.

'Continued absence'

"Sadly, it's becoming increasingly apparent that only the supporters wish to talk and the silence and lack of action from the owners is jeopardising the club's long term future.

"The players of Blackburn Rovers have the supporters' 100% support, but Venky's' continued absence is seeing the team caught in the cross fire, as the only voice we have is from the stands on match days.

"We maintain it's in the owners', club's and supporters' best interest for open communication and the owners' intentions to be clear, so that supporters can concentrate on giving the team support during these challenging times."

The group's statement also makes 33 specific requests that supporters would like to see, including the appointment of a "credible, experienced chairman", the cessation of media interviews criticising supporters and for those who attended November's League Cup defeat by Cardiff City, which manager Steve Kean admitted he "forfeited", to be given a refund.

Blackburn Rovers are currently at the foot of the Premier League and went out of the FA Cup after losing to Newcastle earlier this month.

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