Blackburn Rovers Relegation Odds: Jon Dahl Tomasson set to leave amid chaos

 | February 08 | 

5 mins read

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Blackburn Rovers Football Club is nothing short of a circus right now. Only imagine if the ringleader was about to walk out, and the new star, the trapeze artist, wasn’t actually allowed to perform for the rest of the season. Oh, and everything in the background is on fire as well.

You know your club is in a bad place when there are conflicting reports on whether your manager has actually been sacked or not. Jon Dahl Tomasson will probably not be on the touchline by the time Blackburn take on Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, but with Rovers at the moment, you simply never know. 

Blackburn Rovers Championship odds

  • Blackburn to beat Stoke @ 11/8
  • Blackburn to be relegated @ 15/2

The Danish manager has become increasingly outspoken as the season has progressed. He was promised funds to spend over the summer which never arrived and offered to walk away from the club for free. From a play-off chasing side last season, the goalposts changed due to the financial situation, and JDT was now in charge of a team hoping simply to keep their heads above water. 

“We still need to get experience in,” he told me just before the January window closed. “I know that, the club know that, our fans know that. I think our fans knew what we needed to get in the summer. And hopefully the club can manage to get it now.

“I had an idea in the summer what we needed to bring in. With that new project and the financial situation, it didn’t happen. Hopefully they can manage it now, but we need to wait and see what the club is able to do.” 

The irritation has been simmering away since the summer. But what has unfolded over the past few weeks has made Blackburn the laughing stock of the Football League. The Duncan McGuire saga deserves its own Disney+ documentary - ‘Welcome to Ewood - almost.’

The American flew from Orlando to England only to find his move to Blackburn had seemingly collapsed while he was in the air. By the time he landed, the move was still in jeopardy as he waited in a South Yorkshire hotel, with Sheffield Wednesday keen to hijack the move. Eventually, Blackburn got their ducks in a row and he completed a medical, announcing his arrival with a fanfare before the deadline. 


But not everything was as it seemed. For the third time in 12 months, following Ethan Brierley and Lewis O’Brien’s failed moves last year, there had been an administrative error at Blackburn’s end which meant that the documents were not sent in time. According to The Athletic, instead of pressing ‘submit paperwork’, Rovers pressed ‘save’. It’s a cock-up of remarkable proportions, and one that could cost them both their manager and their Championship status. 

You can understand why JDT is furious with the hand he has been dealt and the position he finds himself in. "What should I say about Duncan McGuire?" he mused to reporters recently. "The Duncan McGuire case. I am not allowed to speak about that case. You should ask Steve and Suhail about that case. I think you should ask Steve, Suhail and the ownership about the Duncan McGuire case."

Suhail Shaikh is in charge of the admin at Blackburn while Steve Waggott is the CEO, having previously been at crisis clubs Charlton Athletic and Coventry City. The anger of the fans has been widespread, with those two names taking a lot of the flak, and it has forced Rovers to try to calm the situation down. Waggott called an emergency meeting on Wednesday with five senior players, Dom Hyam, Sam Szmodics, Sam Gallagher, Ainsley Pears and Ryan Hedges - and invited fan groups to have an open and honest discussion with them.

The discussions focused on the negative mood around the club, one that is now impacting training and performances. The players spoke on how the crowd's boos have affected them, while the supporters insisted that they were fully behind those on the pitch, and the boos were not for the players but for the regime. 

This mess behind the scenes comes from the owners, the Venkys. The figures being bandied about to cover operational losses are £20m-£25m a season, and the Venkys' finances in India have hit a brick wall. 

They've had their assets seized and the Indian courts are now preventing them from sending money overseas. New tax laws for money going out of the country were implemented and it has seriously limited the spending ability of Blackburn Rovers. The £18m banked in January for star talent Adam Wharton is likely to be used to keep them afloat until the end of the season. 

Blackburn relegated

JDT’s seemingly inevitable exit feels like the separation of a couple stuck in an unhappy marriage. The manager has clearly shown he has talent during his 18 months at the club - in his first season Rovers finished seventh, their highest finish since relegation from the Premier League in 2011/12. But he’s also made unpopular decisions, and fallen out with senior players such as Lewis Travis, who left for Ipswich on loan in January. 

He’s also spoken honestly in press conferences, perhaps to his own detriment as we have seen this week. He was banned from speaking to the press before the defeat to Queens Park Rangers, and the writing has been on the wall ever since then, although it was uncertain whether Blackburn could actually afford to make a change. Now it looks as though John Eustace, the former Birmingham City manager, will come in to try to salvage their season. 

After that crucial defeat at the weekend, they are now just five points above the relegation zone. On paper, they have a squad capable of staying up, but their belief has completely deserted them, and now they must understand that results are far more important than performances. 

Something has to give. JDT departs with his reputation still intact, as Rovers lurch from one disaster to the next. Given the entire mood around the club and the lack of confidence from the fanbase, these next few months are absolutely crucial. Not just for Blackburn Rovers’ Championship status, but for the entire future of the club. 

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