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Positive discussions in India, says Waggott

Rovers CEO Steve Waggott has been reflecting on the trip to India, which took place at the end of May

3 June 2019

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Rovers CEO Steve Waggott says a trip to India to meet the Owners was a "really positive" one, during the week-long excursion.

Waggott was joined by Club Secretary Ian Silvester, Finance Director Mike Cheston and boss Tony Mowbray in Pune, with the quartet meeting the Rovers Owners.

And on touching down back in the UK last week, Waggott was delighted with how talks went.

“They were really positive meetings. The owners are fully supportive," he beamed.

“We met Madame Desai, Mr Desai and Bala, and they are all extremely positive.

“They wanted to discuss the blip in the middle of the season, what can we do better on that front, and Tony gave an explanation on that.

“They follow it very closely. They know where we are, and where we’re trying to get to. There’s no given you can get promoted no matter size of the budget, it’s still difficult to get out of the league.

“But if we can keep building and adding, and Tony can get the squad he needs, then there is a chance we can threaten the top six and have a go this season.

“We have a budget process that takes a couple of months. We meet all the heads of department internally, all the budget holders, put it all together and then have a board meeting," Steve added.

“We run through everything, (director) Gandhi Babu flies in from Venky’s, and we go through line by line everything we’re proposing.

“Once there is clarity over that, we fly out to India and go through everything we’re looking at.

“We sit down and speak over four days, review the season, how we feel it went, how and why the blips came when they did, and we at all the commercial revenues, what we generated and what we forecast and what we can generate.

“Then we have discussions about what we’re trying to do and the message was about continuing to re-build and kicking on. I’m not saying the league is easier, but the composition of it with Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa going out, and the ones coming down (from the Premier League) and the ones coming up (from League One), that if we can add a few players to the squad that Tony wants, give it more depth, then we’ve got a chance to kick on next year.”

Waggott believes the face-to-face meetings are so worthwhile, and says that the Owners are just as determined to continue improving after Rovers' 15th place finish in the Championship in the season just gone.

“We have owners, as everyone knows, who are quite a few thousand miles away," he said.

“Therefore we have to keep engaging with them and keep them involved. While we can do that over the phone and via email, there’s nothing better than sitting down for four or five days and discussing everything.

"They can feel our passion and emotion and that we care and want to leave the club in a better shape than when we found it.

“Can you get that across on an email? You can, but it’s not the same as a face-to-face meeting with the owners. They can feel Tony’s drive and emotion, he wears his heart on his sleeve and puts his point across really well.

“They interrogate me on forecasts, budgets, how we’re doing, how the business world is doing in Blackburn and the surrounding areas, and when you’re sat in front of them they can ask you the supplementary questions.

“From my point of view it’s the trust element, to make sure that we’re spending their money as if it’s our own. There’s constant planning, discussion, you can’t stand still in football otherwise you move backwards.

“We have to keep progressing and keep the dialogue and engagement levels high. We’ve seen other clubs recently who don’t have that support and then it’s freefall time.

“My message is always about stability, steady growth, progression, and rebuilding the club. Tony is doing exactly on the football side.”

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