Tony Mowbray lifted the title as manager of West Bromwich Albion in 2007-08
Blackburn chairman Tony Mowbray has said Rovers will not risk “mortgaging” the club as he dreams of returning to the Premier League for the first time in a decade.
Birmingham’s 4-0 defeat on Saturday lifted Blackburn to third in the championship, one point off the top two.
But Mowbray expects the January transfer window to be approaching for the stars, including the 19-goal goalscorer Ben Brereton Diaz.
“January is coming and if the phone rings and we have these decisions, what are we going to do?” He said.
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“Do we keep them, hoping we can cross the line and then they’ll have a bigger decision to make if we get to the Premier League?
“Or if that’s their ambition now, will they jump in January if someone gives the right amount of money?”
“The owners have invested a lot of money, I’m not sure it’s the right word, but you have to be careful about foreclose on the club, and take your X-times-one-a-half salary bill.
“At some point it becomes unsustainable. There is a balance to be struck,” Mowbray, 58, who is nearing five years in his position at Ewood Park, added in February.
Vinky was “amazing” and “enormous”
Rovers, who won the Premier League title in 1995 under Jack Walker’s ownership and managed by Kenny Dalglish, were relegated from the First Division in 2012 and even dropped to the First Division for one season before they were immediately brought back by Mowbray.
Alan Shearer’s goals led Blackburn Rovers, then owned by Jack Walker, to the Premier League title in 1995.
This decline in fortunes coincided with the tenure of Indian food company Venky’s, which bought the club in 2010, and while the owners cannot boast of mass popularity among Blackburn’s fan base, Mowbray believes they deserve credit for reviving the club.
The former West Bromwich Albion, Celtic and Middlesbrough coach said: “The owners have been fantastic to me – they supported me when we needed support. I don’t feel there is a conflict between the owners and the fans.”
“I think they would say early on in their tenure that they might have made some decisions that they might look back but the financial support from the owners has been really massive.
“However, do we want to move forward from this point on? We are in danger of running out of contracts for some of these players very soon. We would like to keep them together because they are so young, energetic and full of energy.”
Rovers have won eight of their past 10 games, including the last five in a row, all with clean sheets, but Mowbray highlighted the only defeat on that round – a 7-0 home win by leaders Fulham – as key.
“I tried to use a little bit of negativity around this result to try to motivate the team,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire. “The whole team reacted wonderfully to the result.”
“The combination of defensive stability and the goal threat we have is very strong at the moment. The biggest test is coming – the next 20 singles matches.”
The remarkable rise of Breton Diaz
At the start of the season, Rovers striker Brereton Diaz was at 1,000-1 with one bookmaker to score 20 league goals this season – but he’s already hit 19 and the campaign is only halfway through.
His impressive scoring lead coincided with his being called up by Chile earlier this summer after La Roja found out he was qualified to represent them through his South American mother.
Since adding Diaz to his title, he has more than doubled his previous tally of 17 in 133 games for Rovers and former Nottingham Forest club.
Ben Brereton Diaz has scored three goals in nine international matches for Chile since his debut in May
But, with his contract next summer, those exploits have seen the striker – who has not scored twice in a match before this season but has a hat-trick and four times that term – linked to a move away from Ewood Park.
“After his taste for international football with Chile, Ben Brereton Diaz would consider playing in the Premier League,” former Rochdale and Tranmere midfielder Joe Thompson told BBC Squad Goals.
“Blackburn Rovers fans hope he plays in the Premier League for them. The improvement in goal-scoring since he was called up by Chile is really amazing.”
Goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, defenders Dara Linehan, Jean-Paul van Heek and Ryan Nyamby and midfielder Joe Rothwell are among the other first-team players whose contract expires next year.
“There is a real opportunity for us with some really talented young players who are very motivated and motivated, yet they are on the cusp of suitors who take them in and give them more money,” Mowbray added.
“If that money is more than we can handle then we just have to do the deal, go ahead but reinvest some money and try to find a really talented young player to keep this club. That would be sad of course but if we can this is life and we have to deal with it” .