THE VOTE Were Blackburn Rovers' fans wrong to boo Lucas Neill?

00004172fullsize West Ham defender Lucas Neill has complained about the 'disgusting' treatment he received on his return to Ewood Park:

'Five-and-a-half years at the club, 100 per cent commitment, I've never gone to the papers, never complained about anything and then, when I want to further myself for my own personal benefit, whether it be backwards, sideways or forward, I get the reception I get… I think it's disgusting because people have come here and been here only six months to a year, not worked hard, walked away with a pay-off, and here's me trying my heart out for five years and this is the reception I get.'

Aw, diddums. Seriously though, I feel Neill has a point. He was generally very loyal to Rovers, but after having a very good 2006 World Cup he started to believe his own hype. He was never going to get applauded at Ewood, but to boo him relentlessly seemed a wee bit harsh, no?

March 19, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Vote, West Ham United | Permalink | Comments (3)

Robbie Savage taunted by darts fans

'Who are ya?!' Fair play to Savage for standing up and taking the joke. I don't know why the darts players had to stop for the noise - they spend their whole lives playing in pubs! [As spotted on The Offside]

March 16, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Funny old game, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (0)

Obscene season ticket prices to be slashed?

Money_4 News reaches us that Premiership chairmen are going to be forced into cutting 'obscene' ticket prices because fans have just about had enough of being the victims of daylight robbery every weekend, and as a result, football has reached a tipping point.

Two top-flight chairmen have expressed the same view, both of whom predict price cuts all round next season. 'It is a serious issue that has reached saturation point across the country,' said Phil Gartside, chairman of Bolton. 'We feel duty bound to make a stance by reducing the cost for our season ticket holders, and I'm sure other clubs will follow suit next season and listen to public opinion.' But surely the tickets are inflated at the chairs' behest?

This weekend saw ManYoo fans protesting about the amount being charged to let their fans watch their side at Fulham. They were asked for a whopping £45 to watch their team, and that doesn't include travel and grub... although they hadn't got far to travel from Essex eh? Ho Ho Ho... I'll get me coat. A senior executive from another of the Premiership's 'big four' clubs told Observer Sport that prices could not go any higher. 'Officially we are monitoring the situation,' he said. 'But privately we have realised that ticket prices have reached their maximum, at least in the immediate future.'

These warnings come slap bang in the middle of an attendance slump. Despite an increased capacity at Arsenal and Manchester United, the average attendance is down from last year, and whilst the big four continue to sell out their games, the overall Premiership average is down by more than 1,000 year on year and now stands at 32,775, not including this weekend. What is causing fans to stay away? Well, once, you could watch the footy and not dent the wallet too much, and know exactly when you'd be going out. Basically, high prices and amended kick-off times to enable saturated TV coverage aren't encouraging fans to get down the ground. 

Of course, a lot of money is generated by the TV rights, which obviously help clubs to bring in new players and the like. That said, the Premier League negotiated a new £600million, three-year deal for overseas TV rights to the Premiership. Add the £1.7 billion Sky and Setanta will pay to screen matches in Britain, and the £400m for internet and mobile phone rights, and it seems scandalous that ticket prices continually increase. Each club will be getting around £900m per season (starting in August).

Apart from drops in season ticket prices, a group are also want away matches addressed. The Football Supporters' Federation want a fixed price for all travelling supporters. 'Away fans in England are unique. You would not get 5,000 Milan supporters travelling to Juventus. If prices were to stay in line with the Taylor Report's recommendation, then £15 would be a fair price for those who travel to watch their team.' The report, published in January 1990 in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, stated that 'it should be possible for seating to be £6'. With inflation, that would mean fans paying just £9.60 now, rather than the average of about £30.

So what's the answer? Well, looking at Germany's Bundesliga, the average attendance was approximately 40,000, which is superior to our league matches. In fact, it's about a quarter more fans in through the turnstiles, shouting for their team. German fans can buy tickets for as little as £10 or £15 for all games, and in some cases, terracing is being used, which gives a fan a feeling of real unity, as opposed to the sterile stadia over here. What is interesting is that the Bundesliga is renowned for its competitiveness, with many teams standing a chance of winning it. Should we look at the German model to fix our game? [Mof Gimmers]

February 26, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, News balls, Portsmouth, Reading, Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (2)

Kit Parade: Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer_leverkusenBlackburn's Uefa Cup opponents Bayer Leverkusen favour this little red number from the house of Adidas. The kit is similar in style to the Germany national kit. The hand that appears to be groping the wearer's left breast belongs to energy company RWE. You can buy the kit from Kitbag for £44.99 by clicking here. [Rob Parker]

February 14, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Kit parade | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blackburn's Ryan Nelsen gets his arse drilled

NelsenBlackburn Rovers skipper Ryan Nelsen has revealed that only allowing a surgeon to take a drill to his backside put an end to his nine-month injury layoff. In what sounds like a fairly gruesome procedure, the 29-year-old had his buttock sliced open and holes drilled in a bone so that his hamstring could be reattached. Ouch!

The New Zealander said: "Once the doctor saw the problem he drilled a couple of holes in the bone in my backside. They had to reattach my hamstring — then nail it back in." [Via The Sun]

[Rob Parker]

February 1, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Horror Hair - Noel Brotherston

Noel_brotherston_1 We're in the middle of a ginger afro fetish at the moment at Pies. There have been a few over the years, but surely no-one can match the mighty bonce of Noel Brotherston.

Noel was a tricky winger, and graced the flanks of Spurs, Blackburn Rovers, Bury, and Scarborough, and won 27 international caps for Northern Ireland, scoring 3 goals. It was at Rovers' where he captured most hearts and apparently became a painter and decorator in the town when he retired as a player. Sadly, he died of a heart attack aged just 38, but his legacy can still be seen in the thatch of Wes Brown. [Mof Gimmers]

January 26, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Funny old game, Horror Hair, Tottenham Hotspur | Permalink | Comments (1)

THE VOTE What did you think when you heard that Robbie Savage had broken his leg?

_42488079_robbiesavage203 Robbie Savage is one of the least popular footballers in England. He has girly hair, an Armani tattoo (form is temporary, class is permanent) and a knack of winding up opposition fans and players alike. Last night, during Blackburn's Premiership clash against Watford (the Hornets won 2-1), Savage broke his leg, an injury which may keep him out for the rest of the season. When you heard this news, did you allow a brief smile to pass across your lips, or did you immediately think 'Poor Robbie…'?

I'm no Savage fan – although I don't agree with many fans that he is a dirty player – but I do feel sorry for him, although perhaps not quite as much as I do for Rovers team-mate Andre Ooijer, who broke his leg last weekend, during his side's win against Man City.

January 24, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, News balls, Vote, Watford | Permalink | Comments (8)

Pub Debate: Would you go for Champions League football and a top four club, or double your money for a relegation scrap?

Neill_2Lucas Neill has decided on the latter. Despite interest from Barcelona after his impressive World Cup and a contract on the table from Liverpool, Neill has made the distinctly sideways move from Blackburn Rovers to West Ham.

The reason? If we are to believe the rumours the Hammers will be paying the Australian international £60,000 a week, while Liverpool were only willing to go up to £30,000. Is that a wise move for a 28-year-old? Would you be tempted by the money or is Neill showing a lack of ambition? Let us know your views below. [Rob Parker]

January 23, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Liverpool, West Ham United | Permalink | Comments (7)

Free travel to football matches

Wewillfollow_1 Fans who have experienced the thrill of an away match will know how addictive it is. The trip down, the pre-match pints in a strange pub, being in a strange ground. It's like a holiday with a football match stuck in the middle of it! However, loads give it a wide berth because they can't get a lift down to the games. Well, you needn't fear that any more.

A website called WeWillfollow aims to stop all that worry and hassle by allowing you to offer and request lifts to games home and away, and it’s completely free. Added to that, the site also has a ticket exchange for fans with a spare. It's all rather nice isn't it? To add to the community feeling, WeWillFollow also have a unique 'Exile List' for each club, so if you've drifted away from your club (geographically speaking) you can register as a member on the site and talk to other exiled supporters of your club. With a list of 1000+ supporters clubs too, you need never feel lonely and exiled again! Have a look and sign up with the site now!

January 22, 2007 in Arsenal, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers, Bolton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic, Chelsea, Everton, Fulham, League One, League Two, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Non League, Portsmouth, Reading, Scotland, Sheffield United, The Championship, Tottenham Hotspur, Watford, West Ham United, Wigan Athletic | Permalink | Comments (0)

Classic Moments: Roy Keane is sent off for diving against Blackburn Rovers

A fresh-faced Roy Keane – the same Keane who once called for anti-diving wristbands – is sent off by David Elleray for diving, during a league game at Ewood Park in 1995. You have to laugh…

January 18, 2007 in Blackburn Rovers, Classic Moments, Manchester United, Video clips | Permalink | Comments (3)