The sharp decline of Blackburn Rovers

General view of Ewood Park

It seems like another lifetime ago that Blackburn Rovers were crowned champions of England, having endured a sharp decline in recent years.

General view of Ewood Park

Blackburn Rovers is a football club with a long and storied history. They are one of only three teams to have been a founding member of both the Football League and the Premier League, have won six FA Cups and have also spent a mammoth 72 years of their existence in the top flight of English football.

It would be disrespectful to insinuate that they are not a big part of the game's past. However, their present and future status is much more worrying for fans of the club.

After gaining promotion to the Premier League back in 1992 following a takeover by Jack Walker, Rovers employed legendary striker Kenny Dalglish as their manager in an attempt to become a force in the English game once again.

In 1995 they reached the summit by winning the Premier League under the guidance of Walker and Dalglish, as well as with the help of Chris Sutton and Alan Shearer's goals.

It seemed like the future was bright for the club, and to this day they are one of only six teams to lift the trophy. However, dark times were once again ahead of them as just a few years after their triumph they were relegated to the second tier in 1999. They managed to gain promotion once again in 2001, but from that point onwards they never managed to excel and reach the heights they were once at.

Blackburn manager Steve Kean during training

In late 2010 the club were taken over by Indian company Venkys for £23 million. Fans were initially sceptical and they had every right to be, as the new owners immediately sacked Sam Allardyce and placed first-team coach Steve Kean in charge. The fact that Kean was appointed brought a great deal of controversy, as his agent Jerome Anderson had played a huge role in advising Venky's during the takeover period.

After staying up on the final day of the season in 2011, the club went on to post an annual loss of £18.6 million at the end of the year. The owners continued to assurance fans that they would provide funding for the club even in the case of relegation, which was eventually confirmed in May 2012 following a home defeat to Wigan Athletic.

The resignation of Kean followed in September, and since then Blackburn have been lingering in the Championship with no real sign of movement.

This year, however, things have taken yet another downward turn as the appointment of Owen Coyle has coincided with the club's poor start to the season that has left them bottom of the table.

They seem destined for relegation into the third tier, and the glory days of the Lancashire side are now just a distant memory.

Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton parade the 1994/95 Premier League title they won for Blackburn Rovers

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