Alan Biggs: Rovers’ fowl play is example to all

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Ozzie Owl and Toby Tyke might not be the closest of buddies right now but I’ll tell you this: they’d willingly join forces to duff up the too-silly-for-words Venky’s the Chicken.

So would their clubs, I reckon. How long before the saner side of football (it does exist) rounds on those whose actions bring the whole game into disrepute?

But for now I can think of no finer punishment for barmy Blackburn Rovers than Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, among others, contriving to relegate them. Look at the table; it can happen.

The Owls-Reds derby may be capturing all the attention right now but don’t forget the second part of a vital Hillsborough double-header.

After Saturday’s relegation six-pointer - and Monday’s basement battle at Bristol City - comes the visit of the most mismanaged club in Britain, if not the world.

Between now and then, a team now under the command reserve coach Gary Bowyer will have faced Blackpool and leaders Cardiff. See what I mean? After all, Rovers have plunged to within four points of the bottom three.

Ridicule is often the most effective form of criticism, especially when the targets are as deserving as the owners of this famous and once proud club.

But the state of the place and its ludicrous decision-making has gone way beyond a joke.

Venky’s have brought football into disrepute by having five different “managers” in charge of their team within one season - and it hasn’t finished yet.

The Indian chicken farmers can only be deemed guilty of what Daily Telegraph columnist Paul Hayward has described as “corporate hooliganism.”

A pity they can’t be banned because they are clearly not fit to be anywhere near a football stadium.

Although we can’t be too sanctimonious about this (Wednesday and Barnsley have both overdone the revolving door in recent times), South Yorkshire has two struggling Championship teams with just a single managerial change between them this season.

And you’d have to say an entirely justifiable one at that with David Flitcroft providing a remarkable uplift since succeeding Keith Hill.

Equally, the Owls look more like gaining than losing from the restraint shown by Milan Mandaric. Let’s hope they both survive - at the expense of club owners who plainly need a strong dose of League One to bring them to their senses.

Could Kevin be the answer for Owls?

Football being a simple game at heart, there’s really no need for any scratching of heads over the current anxieties of the two Sheffield clubs.

Two of United’s three top goalscorers this season - Nick Blackman (14) and Shaun Miller (8) - are either sold or injured, leaving Dave Kitson (10) as the only sure bet for a regular return.

Two of Wednesday’s top three - Michail Antonio (9) and Chris O’Grady (6) - are either injured or (controversially) loaned out - leaving left back Reda Johnson (5) as their main marksman!

Naturally, loan solutions were being sought this week, though the Blades already have two. Can either Dominic Poleon or Jonathan Forte deliver at Tranmere as Danny Wilson’s men play catch-up in the promotion stakes?

Can Dave Jones land one from a range of targets, including Bolton’s former England (and Chesterfield) striker Kevin Davies?

O’Grady was often compared to him by former Owls boss Gary Megson.

But those suggesting O’Grady - going well for a rival team but not eligible on Saturday - would have been a better bet should note that the comment was a compliment to him and not the other way around.

Though not a prolific scorer, Davies is a top pro and a big game player who is fighting, at 36, for his next contract.

Oh, and a boyhood Blades fan - but why should that matter?

How about this for a balanced scenario: a loan to Hillsborough for the rest of the season and a move to Bramall Lane (if promoted) in the summer?

Only trying to keep the peace!

Dust off your boots for charity

There’ll be a few Franz Beckenbauers and “fair-haired, slightly balding Bobby Charltons” coming out of retirement in Sheffield soon for a charity five-a-side competition.

The one-day tournament on May 18th will be staged on state-of-the-art pitches in Broomhill where a mini-league system will lead to a grand final.

Cost is £10 per player, or £50 per team. All proceeds go to the Huntington’s Disease Association.

To enter, email

Silly schedules are here to stay

Sheffield United face a ridiculous nine games-in-30-days run-in to the season knowing that only they, and others like them, really care about the crush.

Fixture pile-ups and international fortnights: anyone see the obvious connection? Of course people do, and in the highest of places.

But are they bothered? No, just as long as everyone at the top of the game is kept sweet.

The season is plenty long enough for 46 games but throw in four or five yawning fortnightly gaps, and the smattering of postponements that are inevitable across any winter, and the climax will always be chaotic.

Ironically, England have shown no improvement since the gaps were introduced and fans have never been more emphatic that they care for their club more than their country.

But we are forgetting something here, not least that the majority of football clubs and fans are now disenfranchised. The only thing that really counts is the welfare of the Premier League and its galactic players.

Television is now in ownership of the soul of the game to the extent that big nights of Champions League games are played out live, to the detriment of attendances in the Football League.

And it’s only ever going to get worse.

So the sooner Sheffield regains representation at the top table (and hopefully remembers where it has come from in a push for equality?) the better.

Dedication isn’t always rewarded

While most of us were holed up last Saturday morning, there was a hero in our midst.

A friend who drives a 4x4 stopped to offer a lift to a bloke who was trudging through a foot of snow down the hill from Dore village.

Turned out he only wanted dropping off at the railway station on Abbeydale Road. Reason; he was en route to a game of football - at Bournemouth!

This apparently was a fan of Bury living in Sheffield and showing devotion far beyond the call of duty.

Bury lost 4-1. Who said life was fair?