Football

Venky’s completes Blackburn takeover

Venky’s chairperson Anuradha J. Desai: We plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand.

Venky’s chairperson Anuradha J. Desai: We plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand.  

Poultry giant Venky’s became the first Indian company to own an English Premier League club on Friday when it completed the takeover of former champion Blackburn.

A newly-established British subsidiary called Venky’s London Limited paid £23 million ($36.8 million) for a 99.9 percent stake in the northwest England side and is making an unconditional offer for the remainder.

Venky’s chairperson Anuradha J. Desai said in October that the company was buying Blackburn, which has been mostly mediocre since winning the 1995 Premier League, to promote its image overseas.

But the Indian company gave contractual commitments as part of the takeover that include promises not to change the name of the stadium stand bearing the name of former owner Jack Walker and to maintain the club’s principal activity as a professional football club.

“We plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand,” Desai said. “We will absolutely respect the Jack Walker legacy and will be actively supporting the organisation to ensure that Blackburn Rovers remains one of the best run clubs within the Premier League.”

Lifelong fan and local businessman Walker funded Blackburn’s return to England’s topflight for the first time in 26 years and then its sole Premier League title three years later.

Venky’s, which is owned by the V.H. Group, has also promised to maintain the statue of Walker outside Ewood Park stadium.

“We have been impressed with their enthusiasm for the club and their plans and ideas for future investment to develop it further as well as their wish and commitment to preserve the legacy of Jack Walker,” said Paul Egerton-Vernon, chairman of the Jack Walker Settlement Trustees who previously owned the club.

“Over the last 10 years, the global appeal of the Premier League has grown significantly and it is only natural that, as we have seen at other clubs, international ownership and investment should increase.”

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 4:31:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/Venkyrsquos-completes-Blackburn-takeover/article15696980.ece

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