22 years after the winning the Premier League title, Blackburn Rovers have been relegated to League One alongside Rotherham and Wigan. Rovers began the final day in the relegation zone level on points with Nottingham Forest and needed to better Forest’s result to escape the drop due to an inferior goal difference.
Despite winning 3-1 away at Brentford, Rovers couldn’t rely on Ipswich to do them a favour as they were also beaten 3-0 at Nottingham Forest sending them into League One. Birmingham also won 1-0 at Bristol City, a game which if would have ended a draw then Blackburn would have survived. But, in a day full of if, buts and maybes for the Lancashire club, they were condemned to relegation.
There is no hiding the fact that this has been a miserable season on and off the pitch this year for the club and its fans. A season which started with Owen Coyle in charge, never really got going. Coyle only spent £250,000 of the £10 million received in the transfer market, maybe this was a sign of what was to come for the club as backing from the board is vital in a league like the Championship.
With 15 games to play, Coyle was replaced by Tony Mowbray who was left with the task of only a three-point gap to survival to play with, the job could have been easily bridged. Changing to a three at the back formation evidently helped Rovers but it was too little too late and they couldn’t find an escape route in a season where they failed to rise above 20th all season.
It wasn’t just on the pitch where concerns surrounded the fans of the club. Seven years ago, Blackburn were in the Premier league and with new investment from owners the Venkys. Everything was looking up but constant unfulfilled promises and lack of backing in the market has seen Rovers only slide one way down the English leagues system. This season has been marred with repeating protests trying to force the owners out with fans bellowing the owners have ruined their club.
Despite all this Mowbray seemed motivated to succeed in League One in his post-match interviews, “We have to take it on the chin. It’s going to be a huge summer for us in terms of recruitment, and conversations with the owners are coming – we have to recruit well, be strong next year and bounce back.”
Blackburn relied heavily on Danny Graham and the on-loan youngster Sam Gallagher who scored 13 and 12 goals respectively. If they are to bounce back immediately they need a larger scale of goals from their strikers. Sheffield United were promoted this season as Champions and Billy Sharp scored more goals then Rovers strikers put together so finding a goal scorer will be vital for Blackburn as will finding a system that will earn them consistent victories as-well as performances.