More money will be splashed after initial 5m pound: Venky`s

The five million pounds pledged for the January transfer window is just the start and much more would be spent next summer to make Blackburn Rovers a top team in the English Premier League.

Last Updated: Oct 28, 2010, 16:34 PM IST

London: The five million pounds pledged for the January transfer window is just the start and much more would be spent next summer to make Blackburn Rovers a top team in the English Premier League, the club`s prospective Indian buyers Venky`s has promised.

Reacting to media reports that her firm will spend just
five million pounds in the January window which would be much
lesser than other top EPL clubs, Venky`s chairperson Anuradha
Desai pledged to invest "much more" in the summer to make sure
that Rovers are competitive at the top of the Premier League.

"Initially there will be 5 million pounds put in
straightaway to buy players but of course if we have to do
more then we will. There will then be much more investment and
we have devised a spending strategy already for the next three
years that will see the manager given significant funds to buy
players," she said.

"I am not promising that we will be a top four team but I
can promise we will try. And that is what we will aim for. We
are committed to improving the performance of the team and
when the situation is right there will be investment," she was
quoted as saying.

By buying the EPL side based in Blackburn, Lancashire,
she hopes to capitalise on the craze of English Premier League
in India and try to create "a whole nation of Rovers fans".

"There is a new generation of boys aged between 10 and 17
in India that are football mad but lots of them support
Chelsea. I believe at this time we can make the market for
football in India grow. Having Indian owners in EPL will
create a lot of interest and I think we can try to create a
whole nation of Blackburn Rovers fans," she said.

"The takeover has made the front pages of all of the
newspapers (in India). That shows the interest that is there.
My dream is to make Blackburn Rovers an even bigger brand in
India than Venky`s," she added.

The 47-year-old Desai chairs Venky`s, one of the world`s
largest poultry firms, and the rest of the board is made up of
her brothers Balaji and Venkatesh Rao, the joint managing
directors, and her husband Jilendra Desai.

She said her family would not take a "hands-off" role in
the running of the club, as had been speculated.

"We will be taking a very hands-on role in the way that
the club is run because we are passionate about making this a
big success. My brothers will be very much involved in the
running of the club. I will be coming over soon with my
family.”

"Please tell the fans that we are totally committed to
them and to the club. We are fully committed to Blackburn
Rovers. This is not just another investment to us. We are
fully committed to the success of the club. That is how my
family is with every venture we take on," she said.

She said Balaji, in particular, was a football fanatic
and a Blackburn Rovers fan. Both her brothers will be at
Rovers` home match against Chelsea on Saturday.

PTI