Pune Prattle Is The Pits

A constant theme of my columns over the last 18 months has been to warn Rovers fans not to think the situation has hit rock bottom.
The events of the last week have only strengthened my belief and fear that worse is to come, probably much, much worse.
Through the season while other giddy newspaper reporters and columnists were getting hysterical after the two-wins-two-clean-sheets shaft of light relief which convinced the less considered judges that we were out of trouble, I remained convinced that we would be relegated and I was right.
Not from me any of the “beat Sunderland and we can afford to lose at Bolton” drivel or the irresponsible empty-headed “It looks like we’re going to be safe now, Big Sam probably back at Ewood next season, what do you think…?” tosh emanating from other outlets.
No, when I get one wrong, it’s at least a big one!
Last week I was informed by a source with close business connections to the club that legal papers were in the process of being drawn up to terminate Steve Kean’s managership.
I went with it and it never happened, so apologies to those who got excited, as I did, at the prospect of a positive step for the club.
My contact tells me that the deed wasn’t done in the end because, simply, unbelievably, no-one actually had the cojones to deliver the final verbal blow. Over a table in an office, squealing and begging confused the hangmen and they bottled it. Ducked out.
The days of non-communication which followed built up a sense that Kean had ridden the storm and even strengthened his position by, astounding as it seems, having his impudent “and any chance of a promotion for me mate?” chancer’s request granted.
It was said that we had a new Director (of communications), hitherto the Press Officer partly responsible for the worst year and a half for the club’s public image in 137 years of existence.
Entirely predictably and appropriately, no confirmation or refutal of such an appointment could be drawn out of the club, and a vaguely sinister solitary account of a “Gang Of Four” ( Kean, minder, agent and PR acolyte) sat sipping in the sunshine outside a Brockhall Cafe bar suggested the self-satisfied smugness of men who had just completed a coup.
Fast forward a day however and even that unsatisfactory scenario was trumped for utter absurdity and unsuitability by the latest comic-cuts despatch from Pune.
If Venkatesh Rao had been around 35 years ago he would surely have been a regular on The Comedians, or Wheeltappers & Shunters, arm perched on the mike stand, fag on the go, cracking jokes about mothers-in-law, Irishmen and mildly mocking his own ethnicity a la former Barnsley centre-half Charlie Williams. He is that much of a comedy stereotype. Perhaps he could have been the Language School’s resident Indian in Mind Your Language.
Despite an austere new haircut and a simpering, affected air that reminded me of one of those pleading but ultimately devoid-of-all-faith-or-hope videos of hostages that creep out from oppressive climes, Rao’s it-would-be-hilarious-if-it-was-happening-to-someone-else rambling had the thought-impossible effect of convincing Rovers supporters that we are in even more of a mess than we knew we were.
While clubs are appointing, signing, planning, drawing up strategy to survive or prosper in the tough, unforgiving environs of the 46-game Championship, we are fannying around and being told that maybe a decision will be made in a month, an absolute lifetime for a football club.
The very zenith of Rao’s discomfort was apparently symbolised by the fact that he had missed having his tea a time or two, a sacrifice his burly brother might actually benefit wholly from making.
To even put this chump in front of cameras is an insult, a trivialisation of what’s been a painful few weeks for supporters.
But what it clearly indicates to me is that Venkys clearly are clueless and incompetent, no more.
We all know that something darker, more Machiavellian is happening at our club.
Kean has often been described as a puppet of the owners.
They are no more puppet masters than the wooden images of the Thunderbirds were.
Wasn’t their creator and string-puller named Anderson?

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