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Nov 19, 2010

Venky's completes Blackburn takeover

Blackburn Rovers have confirmed Indian company Venky's has completed its takeover of the club, though Sam Allardyce warned fans not to expect a big change in personnel at Ewood Park.

Allardyce confident over takeover

The BRFC Investments group - part of the settlement of the club's late former owner, Jack Walker - has sold its 99.9% shareholding to Venky's London Limited for £23 million and the company will make an unconditional offer for the remaining 0.1% of shares.

Venky's chairperson Anuradha J Desai told the club's official website that Allardyce and his team have the company's full support.

"We are delighted, proud and humbled to be associated with Blackburn Rovers, a team with whom we share many values and ambitions," she said.

"Going forward we plan to focus on leveraging the global influence in establishing Blackburn Rovers as a truly global brand. 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.

"We are particularly pleased that the deal has the full support of the Walker Trust, the chairman and the management team, who will of course remain in place with our full support.

"Blackburn Rovers is an historic institution that has won the Premier League and we want the fans to embrace us so that we are able to do our best in the interests of the club."

Joint managing director Venkateshwara Rao added: "We are all truly honoured to be working with such an historic club and are committed to creating a long-term financial platform which the club can use to realise its obvious potential on and off of the field.

"It is as a team that this club has succeeded in the past and it is as a team that this club will achieve great things in the future."

Chairman of the board John Williams said the club had done well to preserve its top-flight status in the decade since the death of Walker, who was behind the club's league title success in 1995.

At the time of Walker's death, Blackburn were in English football's second tier having been relegated in 1999, but have now been in the Premier League for ten successive seasons since their promotion back to the top flight in 2001.

"The successful conclusion of the deal is clearly a significant event in the history of the club," he said. "It represents the end of the remarkable Walker era, which saw Rovers projected to the top of the football pyramid.

"In the ten years since Jack's death the Board and Trustees together have managed to build on Jack's legacy and preside over the club's longest term in the top flight since 1936.

"The board will remain focused on what it does - providing important stability, a platform from which the new owners will be able to launch new ideas, particularly in markets outside the UK."

Manager Sam Allardyce is not expecting a windfall in terms of transfer funds. He said: "You've got to keep to the reality. People will go off mentioning we're after Torres or Drogba but in terms of investment, rather than huge sums of money, it will be relatively moderate.

"We will improve the squad but we will have to be diligent in our research to get the right player and spend the money wisely."

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