Tuesday the 4th of January 2011. VAT went up to 20%, Mohamed Bouazizi; the Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation marked the dawn of the Arab Spring protests finally succumbed to his injuries in a Ben Arous hospital and a solar eclipse was viewed around the globe.
On the same day Blackburn Rovers launched an incredible bid to sign Ronaldinho from AC Milan.
The Brazilian legend had been told he was surplus to requirements at the San Siro and Blackburn’s owners, keen to quell fan dissatisfaction, made their interest in the player very public.
At the time, then manager, Steve Kean had this to say:
"When we spoke with the owners we said if there was a potential marquee player – and there are four or five that spring to mind and two have been mentioned in Ronaldinho and David Beckham – we would love to have them here. If we can get solid, reliable foundations and then sprinkle a little bit of magic on top of that then fantastic but it certainly comes from a solid base."
Five days later and he had signed for Flamengo. Did Blackburn ever really have any intention of signing Ronaldinho we may never know but if I were a betting man I would say no; nothing more than whimsical wishful thinking anyway.
Fact; the people in charge at Ewood Park are exactly what the all so elusive ‘fit and proper’ persons test is designed to detect. The fact these clowns are in charge of a team like Blackburn is beyond me. While embarrassing for the club and its fans the FA should also be shaking their heads.
All three of their managerial appointments so far have stunk to high heaven. Henning Berg was a mediocre to poor manager in Norway while Michael Appleton simply won plaudits for putting up with it at Portsmouth; hardly the benchmark for a turnaround in fortunes.
Now Blackburn fans have to walk past the embronzed statue of their ‘greatest supporter’ Jack Walker and continue on to watch a bloated and chaotic squad of players desperately scrambling away from relegation to the third tier.
The same day Blackburn tried in vain to sign Ronaldinho there was a solar eclipse and now, over two years on; it seemed the latter was a more apt omen for their future.
I mean, can you see the sun for Blackburn Rovers?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald