Blackburn Rovers: Venky's will need help reorganising after relegation

Balaji Rao and Venkatesh Rao
Balaji Rao (left) and Venkatesh Rao purchased Blackburn Rovers in November 2010

Blackburn owners Venky's will need help reorganising the club following relegation to League One, says local businessmen Ian Battersby

Battersby and Ian Currie, through their company Seneca Partners, contacted Venky's with a joint-ownership proposal in May 2016 that was rejected.

Debts have risen to £104.2m since the club lost their Premier League status in 2012.

"This has moved on a million miles from 12 months ago," said Battersby.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire: "The situation is disastrously worse than it was back then.

"What you're dealing with here is not just stressed situation, you're dealing with a distressed company in terms of its finances."

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The 1994-95 Premier League champions were relegated from the Championship on goal difference on the final day of the season, dropping into the third tier for the first time in 37 years.

Venky's, run by the Rao family, have given manager Tony Mowbray their "full support" since relegation was confirmed.

But Battersby thinks that changes are needed to reverse the downward trend.

"I do believe we've entered a completely different phase here in terms of the clubs history," he added.

"This is a very, very different situation for Venky's to be trying to deal with and they are going to need help.

"There is not the structure there to deliver the change and take the remedial action needed to take this club back on an even keel.

"If we [Seneca Partners] can do anything to help that then we absolutely will."