Steve Waggott has sensed a smoothing of tensions towards the Rovers owners in what feels like a third stage of their ownership.

Venky’s took charge from the Jack Walker Trust on this day in 2010 and have overseen a rollercoaster period for the club. Just 18 months after taking over, Rovers found their 11-year stay in the Premier League come to an end, and they are yet to return, even spending a season in the third tier for the first time in 37 years.

With the owners having been in situ for a decade, CEO Waggott coming up for three years in his role and with Tony Mowbray one of the longest-serving managers in the Championship, Rovers have stabilised after a turbulent start to their time in charge.

And the club's chief executive believes the way the club has been funded through the pandemic has been key to that.

He told the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think the pandemic has crystallised the position and the need for having good owners. We’ve got very good owners, we’re fortunate to have them. They have a put a lot of money into the club and continue to do so.

“The overriding sense I’ve got is they want the very best for the club and they make decisions with the club’s interest at the heart of everything they do.”

One of Waggott’s remits after being appointed CEO in December 2017 was to help improve relationships with supporters, a section of who weren't willing to attend matches at Ewood Park, but would travel in numbers away from home.

He said: “I have met quite a few fans, from those who are quite moderate to those who are quite extreme in their views and opinions of the owners.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been a smooth ride, there’s been bumps along the way, but gradually some of them have come back to the club, I’ve said to them that it’s their club, you have to support your club. Executives and managers come and go depending on results and how we’re perceived by owners, but if you’re a supporter you’re a supporter for life.

“I’m saying that it’s your club, get behind it, support it and I can sense a shift in opinion and attitude towards the owners from my position. It’s not as destructive as it was, it’s more considered.”

Waggott feels the owners have reflected on what was a turbulent opening to their time in charge and learned lessons from that. He believes their trust in manager Tony Mowbray, appointed in February 2017, has been key.

“I think the big word that came out when I first met them was trust. To establish trust, spend the money wisely and carefully on our behalf and report back with any issues,” Waggott explained.

“There was a huge amount of turbulence in the earlier years and then obviously there was a readjustment in the mid-years and then we finally got some stability and some focus on engaging with our fans, trying to put pride back into our area again and to keep pushing on with a sensible model.

“We don't want boom or bust. We want to be progressive in that we build gradually, we're not asking to bring a magic wand and an immediate impact, we just want to see that it's run well.

“Football is a pretty unique environment to work in. When you take on a football club, you would hope that their due diligence and everything else but sometimes it's the intangible things that can catch people out by surprise.

“We have seen many, many times where owners can be the silver chargers and held to great acclaim but after results go wrong after two or three seasons, it all goes horribly sour. But the overriding sense that I've got since I've met them is that they're trusted individuals, they want the very best for the club and they make decisions with the club's interest at the heart of everything they do.”

Waggott said the issues Rovers had faced were “well-chronicled” but said his experiences have only been positive.

His first impressions were built during a trip to Pune during the interview process for his position during the early stages of the League One campaign. 

Since being appointed, Waggott has championed the word stability throughout his time in the job, and speaks of a close relationship behind the scenes at the club.  

“You create a bond between yourself, the owner and the manager and you become a triumvirate within the club, but if there is a dislocation it can create a lot of issues for the operational aspect of the club and how it’s run. If it manifests itself into bad results on the pitch then you’re into some really, really difficult situations with the fanbase.

“I think there is a close line between the owners, the chief executive, the football manager and the board and you’re all tight and rolling in the same direction, then you’ll stay intact with the club.

“If you’re fragmented then it causes all sorts of problems.”

The owners were catapulted into the public eye after the takeover, but have taken a backseat, last attending a match in January 2013.

Since then, there have been representatives of the family at games, most recently December 2018, but Waggott feels it would be a big lift for the club were they to return to Ewood Park when the opportunity allows.

He said: "They live fairly private, quiet lives and they do an enormous amount of work for communities in India. They've done an enormous amount unheard of in Blackburn as well.

“They live their life in a certain way that they want to live it. Once you enter a football club, you're within a public domain. Most of us in football will never be fully liked, we might gain a respect every now and then through our work and I think when things went wrong and the spotlight was shone on them and different situations occurred, the games were ultimately different to the way they lived their lives.

“And I think they've retracted back from it. I think the atmosphere is better. Fans seem to be in a better place with the ownership now. I think the timing of it is right, whenever this pandemic allows them to come back to the club and re-engage.

“It would be a huge lift to everyone involved with Blackburn Rovers if they did so. And one of my tasks is that I've just got to make sure I keep positioning the club well with the fans and making sure results continue on the pitch, which helps greatly in getting them back and getting them across.”