Allardyce backed to lead Blackburn revolution
Sam Allardyce has been backed to "work wonders" with a bumper transfer kitty by Blackburn's owner-in-waiting, who has pledged to give the Rovers boss up to £100m for team strengthening.
Ahsan Ali Syed moved a step closer to buying Blackburn on Monday when representatives of the Indian businessman signed a Memorandum of Understanding to start a four-week period of exclusive negotiations and due diligence. Syed, 36, is hoping to wrap up a takeover of the Premier League club as quickly as possible to give Allardyce time to bolster his squad before the current transfer window shuts at the end of the month.
However, regardless of when his acquisition is completed, the owner of Western Gulf Advisory is keen to keep the incumbent Rovers manager in place for the foreseeable future if the deal acquisition goes ahead. "I have 14 days to complete (the takeover) before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month and I'm trying my level best because Big Sam needs funds for players," Syed told The Sport Briefing.
"I will be working very hard to complete the deal so that I can allocate some funds and help Big Sam to buy some good players. Between £80-100m is what I'd be allocating for players, but I'm not saying that there is not talent in the team. The talent is already very good. Right now Big Sam has done a fantastic job with very limited resources. If I can give him some good resources I'm pretty confident he could work wonders."
Unlike some other big-spending Premier League club owners, Syed insisted he would not set his manager a lofty initial target - in terms of trophies or league positions - to stay in the job. However, he acknowledged that participating in the UEFA Champions League "has to be" a realistic ambition during a 15-year masterplan he has mapped out for the club.
"Big Sam has done a fantastic job and I wouldn't distract him with targets," said Syed. "At the moment it is about concentrating on providing a solid foundation to the team so that Premiership status is retained. Of course, every fan dreams of championship titles and I am no different."
Syed, who plans to delegate responsibility for the day-to-day running of the club, also insisted he would not interfere directly with team matters. "I will run the club, but I will definitely not get involved in the day-to-day operations of the club," he added.
"However, I will certainly get involved in the emotional aspects of the club and Blackburn will be my passion. I would be an owner, but I'd rather be a fan of the club. Fans get emotionally attached and have passion. I intend to be the same and I'd leave the technical stuff to the experts."
Syed also revealed he is planning to increase the capacity of 31,000-seat Ewood Park. The revamp would include other building developments in an effort to make the club "self-sustainable", although Syed said: "Right now all of those plans are in the first stage and it would be very premature for me to speak about those plans."
Should takeover talks go according to plan, Bahrain-based Syed plans to make his first trip to Ewood Park in the coming days. "I have been following Blackburn for ten years," he added. "I have never had the opportunity to physically witness their games live, but I've followed them through the media. Once everything is decided and before the transfer of shares, I will definitely come to see what I am buying."