The first season of the Rovers Returned podcast covered the club’s previous spell in the Premier League, from 2001 to 2012. Looking back at that time in the form of a mini-series was the chance to reflect and chart the story of Rovers over those eleven years.
When we finished season one it felt like an abrupt end, especially given the circumstances around relegation to the Championship. Based on the feedback from listeners and our own desire to put the events that led to relegation in a wider context by looking at what happened next, we decided to record a second season covering the 2012 to 2017 era, followed by the promotion campaign from League One.
The history of football clubs can often feel like reading a book, with different chapters and storylines, heroes and villains. When looking at a club’s history, the task is to work out where different chapters begin or end, and more importantly what the specific story of that chapter is. In some circumstances these chapters will coincide with a successful manager, a core group of players, success in winning trophies, or relegation and promotion.
The other notable chapter that has grown in prominence in recent times in English football is a change in club ownership. In season two we look back at the immediate aftermath of relegation and the decisions the club took in a bid to return to the Premier League. Without turning this article into an assessment of the current running of the club in 2022, looking back at the chaos of 2012 it’s hard not to shake your head in disbelief. The most shocking memory recording season two brought up was reading the reports of Henning Berg’s legal case against Rovers after his dismissal, in which the club’s own legal defence described the situation internally as ‘out of control’.
The other story that really stands out in this period is the way Rovers went about trying to return to the Premier League, ultimately failing, then eventually succumbing to relegation due to financial pressures that grew and led to a transfer embargo which curtailed any ability to invest and re-build the squad. Rovers are not the only club to have this chapter in their history, but in telling the story in season two we wanted to demonstrate that relegation from the Premier League led to a cascade of other errors
Season two ends with a feel-good factor and Rovers’ promotion season in League One. The positivity that surrounded that season was the first in years, and felt like a good place to end the story, for now. We hope you enjoy listening.
Listen to the podcast on Spotify now at: https://open.spotify.com/show/3F2tBfD6It2Gvh9szxaD4I
Or listen via Apple podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/nl/podcast/rovers-returned/id1627449582?l=en
We are also on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/rovers_returned/