Tag Archives: venky

Steve Kean quits as Blackburn manager

Kean quits! Blackburn boss 'forced out' after Venky's try to interfere with team

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UPDATED:

19:11 GMT, 28 September 2012

Steve Kean’s turbulent 22 months in charge of Blackburn came to an end on Friday when he quit as the Championship club’s manager.

Sources at Ewood Park have told Sportsmail he decided to walk out because he believed the club’s Indian owners were trying to interfere in his team selection before Saturday's match at Charlton.

I'm out: Steve Kean has quit as Blackburn Rovers' manager

I'm out: Steve Kean has quit as Blackburn Rovers' manager

Ironically the 44-year-old has faced
bitter abuse from a section of fans who saw him as the symbol of the
unpopular owners ever since he took over from Sam Allardyce

Blackburn are in third place in the
Championship following their relegation last season, but Kean has been
under pressure all week since last Friday’s home defeat by Middlesbrough
left them two points short of the target of 16 from seven games he was
set at the start of the season.

On Friday night, in a statement issued through his lawyers, Kean said: 'For
reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret,
given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I
have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club
with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming
untenable.

'I wish to thank all the players and
coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who
now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back
to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future.'

Kean has been a much-derided figure
at Ewood Park for the duration of his near two-year spell in charge,
with the low point being relegation from the Barclays Premier League in
May.

Burn notice: Kean quit after club's Indian owners made his position 'untenable'

Burn notice: Kean quit after club's Indian owners made his position 'untenable'

Unrest: Kean failed to win over the fans despite guiding them to top of the Championship this season

Unrest: Kean failed to win over the fans despite guiding them to top of the Championship this season

But despite poor results on the
pitch, Kean remained in charge – much to
the fury of supporters who regularly protested against him.

The tide seemed to have turned for
the 44-year-old this season, on the pitch at least, as Blackburn made a
positive start to the campaign, with Rovers sitting third in the npower
Championship table ahead of Saturday's trip to Charlton.

Kean was appointed as Rovers boss in December 2010, replacing Sam Allardyce who was relieved of his duties despite saving the club from relegation the previous season.

Kean's contract was upgraded a month later and, although he Kept them up that campaign, it was clear he was not a terrace favourite.

As Rovers struggled at the start of the 2011-12 season, the calls for Kean to stand down became stronger, but despite that, he was again given an improved deal in the November.

Regular protests reached their most vicious when Blackburn lost a six-point relegation battle at home to Bolton but Venky's remained nerveless, though, standing by their man despite a seemingly inevitable relegation being confirmed when they drew at Wigan in May.

Even the most loyal Blackburn fans expected Kean might be relieved of his duties over the summer, but the faith remained in the boardroom, despite disparaging public comments from director of football Shebby Singh, who had to apologise for stating Kean would be sacked if he lost three games in a row.

Kean was heavily backed in the transfer market, signing Huddersfield's Jordan Rhodes for 8million, but despite only losing their first league game of the season last Friday, he remained under heavy pressure.

Singh did little to douse the fires this week when he said the situation was getting worse 'day by day', with those comments coming three days before Kean's decision to stand down.

Rovers later confirmed news of Kean's departure in a brief statement on their website.

'Blackburn Rovers Football Club can confirm that Steve Kean tonight resigned from his position as manager,' the statement read.

Steve Kean on the brink of Blackburn sack

Kean on brink as Venky's rue cost of keeping hapless Scot in charge

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 12 September 2012

Steve Kean faces a defining week as Blackburn manager with one eye on the top of the Championship table and the other on his future at Ewood Park.

The club’s Indian owners Venky’s told Kean before the start of the season that he needed a minimum of 16 points from the opening seven games to keep his job.

Even though Blackburn are second in the table with eight points, and unbeaten in their first four matches, sources close to the Venkatesh family indicated on Wednesday night that the ultimatum remains in place.

Time up Steve Kean could still face the sack at Blackburn Rovers

Time up Steve Kean could still face the sack at Blackburn Rovers

That means Kean must win his next three games in the space of six days – away to Bristol City on Saturday and at home to Barnsley and Middlesbrough next week – or face the sack.

It is a peculiar scenario even by Blackburn’s standards over the last couple of years.

However it provides further evidence that Kean is losing the unqualified support of Mrs Anuradha Desai, the family matriarch who saved him from the axe in December and again in May when Blackburn were relegated from the Premier League.

The owners have backed him by spending upwards of 15million to bring in 12 new players this summer, including record 8m signing Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield.

False dawn Blackburn have made a bright start to life in the Championship

False dawn Blackburn have made a bright start to life in the Championship

But it is understood that they remain unconvinced by Blackburn’s performances and feel that an unbeaten run of two wins and two draws has flattered Kean’s team.

They also accept that the decision to keep the unpopular manager has hit the club financially.

Attendances have dipped below 14,000 – the lowest for league games at Ewood for almost 20 years – with thousands of fans refusing to return until Kean goes.

And it is understood that two potential shirt sponsors have pulled out of deals because of the ongoing turmoil at the club.

That has further weakened the Scot’s position despite a relatively positive start to the season, and failure to win any of the next three games would give his bosses the excuse they need to wield the axe.

Steve Kean and Venky"s going nowhere as Hunt crisis gets worse

We're going nowhere! Kean and Venky's staying put as confusion grows over Hunt sacking

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UPDATED:

14:38 GMT, 9 May 2012

The ever-more unpopular Blackburn manager Steve Kean dug his heels in on his position, stating he is at the club 'for the long term' whether fans like it or not.

Blackburn were relegated from the Premier League after losing to Wigan 1-0 on Monday at Ewood Park, and their dreadful season took another miserable turn with the sacking of deputy chief executive Paul Hunt on Wednesday.

Going nowhere: Despite long-running calls for his dismissal, Steve Kean says he is staying at Blackburn 'for the long term'

Going nowhere: Despite long-running calls for his dismissal, Steve Kean says he is staying at Blackburn 'for the long term'

A letter written by Hunt addressed to Venky's, the Indian chicken magnates who own the club, warning of Blackburn's impending financial woes and requesting the sacking of Kean.

Kean said he has spoken to the owners of the club, but refused to discuss the Hunt situation.

'I am aware of the speculation but I can't, at this moment, confirm it. That is all I want to say on that matter'

Both Kean and Venky's are hugely unpopular with the Blackburn faithful, both being the subject of fans' demonstrations demanding their departures.

But Kean moved to quash any speculation that either he or the owners would leave Ewood Park in the near future.

Enough: Blackburn fans have been protesting for Kean's dismissal for much of the season

Enough: Blackburn fans have been protesting for Kean's dismissal for much of the season

'We have taken a massive backward step but we have to look forward and make sure we can get back at the first time of asking,' the Scot said.

'The owners are not going anywhere, I'm not going anywhere.'

When asked if Venky's were the right owners for the club, he said: “100 per cent”

Dejected: Blackburn were relegated after they lost 1-0 to fellow relegation strugglers Wigan on Monday

Dejected: Blackburn were relegated after they lost 1-0 to fellow relegation strugglers Wigan on Monday

Kean also stated that rebuilding the squad was already under way to get back into the top-flight next season.

He said: 'We are very numb. We have taken a step backwards but we now have to prepare a squad and the process has already started.

'I have spoken at great lengths with the owners and now we have to assemble a squad that is a very competitive squad.'

To add to Kean's woes, the Hunt fiasco seems to be getting worse, with confusion rife at the club and no one being able to comment on the matter.

Defiance: A disgruntled supporter throws his season ticket near Kean in protest to his and Venky's tenure Blackburn

Defiance: A disgruntled supporter throws his season ticket near Kean in protest to his and Venky's tenure Blackburn

Hunt was the most senior executive based in the UK, and his letter was reflective of the mood around Ewood Park.

Hunt wrote of Kean: 'He has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening's game has lost the dressing room as well – the players no longer want to play for him.

'It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club.'

It is unknown whether Hunt received a reply but few of the recommendations in his 2,500-word letter were acted upon.

Steve Kean's side face Chelsea on Sunday on the final day of the season, but three points can not save them from the drop after their devastating home loss to Wigan.

Blackburn fans plan protest as Venky"s defend Samba sale

Blackburn fans plan protest as Venky's defend Samba sale

A major new protest is to be staged by
Blackburn fans against the club's hierarchy ahead of Saturday's
Barclays Premier League home match against Aston Villa.

A section of Rovers supporters called
BRFC Action Group have released a statement outlining plans for three
marches that will set off simultaneously around an hour before the 3pm
kick-off and then join together at Ewood Park – described as 'the
largest and most attended demonstration in the history of our club.'

Angry: Blackburns fans will stage protest

Angry: Blackburns fans will stage protest

Throughout the season – during which the team have struggled near the bottom of the league table – Blackburn's owners, Indian-based poultry and pharmaceutical firm Venky's, have been the target of protests and manager Steve Kean has endured calls for him to be sacked.

Rovers fans have launched a new share investment scheme in a bid to buy the club from the current owners and today's statement said the marches this weekend would 'symbolise a vote of “no confidence” in Venky's…and will carry the message “Venky's sell the club”.'

Meanwhile, Venky's have dismissed reports
they are set to sell more key players following defender Christopher
Samba's move last week to Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala.

Sold: Defender Chris Samba

Sold: Defender Chris Samba

'There are no plans like that there, that is ridiculous,' said Venky's representative and Blackburn director Vineeth Rao, quoted in the Lancashire Telegraph.

'There are no plans to sell any more key players, why would there be Our immediate focus is on staying up in the Premier League.

'We hope Chris Samba will be the last key departure. There are no plans to sell any more key players because we want to improve the squad.'

Samba, who joined Blackburn in 2007 and had become their captain, handed in a transfer request last month.

It was initially rejected, but he eventually signed for Anzhi on Friday, having not played for Rovers since January 2.

Kean has said the 27-year-old Congo international's desire to leave played a big part in the deal, and Rao insists Venky's had wanted Samba to stay.

'It was not even our intention to sell Chris Samba,' Rao said. 'We did not want to sell him.

'We wanted him on the pitch because he has been a big player but in the end we had to respect his wishes because he wanted to leave.'

Blackburn fans will hold 24 hour protest against Venky"s

Blackburn fans to take drastic 24-hour protest action against Venky's

Blackburn Rovers fans will undertake an astonishing 24-hour demonstration outside Ewood Park from Friday, in protest against owners Venky's.

The organisers have called off their truce with the club which began on December 3, and will resume their action more vehemently than ever.

The fans' group had halted their protests in a temporary peace deal, but say the club have not kept their promise to hold a meeting to discuss their concerns.

Resumed: Action against the owners and manager has resumed

Resumed: Action against the owners and manager has resumed

Day: Blackburn fans will protest for an entire day

Day: Blackburn fans will protest for an entire day

Little support: Steve Kean has few backers at Ewood Park

Little support: Steve Kean has few backers at Ewood Park

A statement from the fans' group said: 'Despite organisers arranging no protest for the last seven matches the club has failed to deliver on the promises and pledges they made.

'This protest will be aimed at Venky's, the legal owners of Blackburn Rovers football club.'

There will also be a protest march to Ewood Park ahead of the match against Fulham on Saturday.

Organisers Glen Mullan and Simon Littler recently released a statement which read:

'The aim of the protests, as from the start, will be about the removal of Steve Kean as first-team manager, Venky's as owners of the club and now the removal of the board of directors.

'The intensity of the protest will increase substantially.

'As Blackburn Rovers fans we have no choice but to try to ensure we preserve the legacy left by the late Jack Walker.

'While we appreciate that this era is in the past, the failure by Venky's and the current board of directors to build on his legacy leaves fans with very little if anything to cling on to.'

Saga: Blackburn are embroiled in a relegation scrap

Saga: Blackburn are embroiled in a relegation scrap

Since calling off the protests in December Blackburn have been knocked out of the FA Cup and suffered defeats to Stoke, Bolton, West Brom and Sunderland.

Although they achieved a creditable victory over Manchester United and a draw with Liverpool, the fans are understandably unhappy with the club's current league position.

Blackburn fans to "increase" protests against Steve Kean and Venky"s

Enough is enough! Blackburn fans to 'increase' protests against Kean and Venky's

Blackburn fans are planning to step up their campaign to rid the struggling Premier League club of their under-fire manager, owners and board of directors with 'increased intensity'.

A section of Rovers supporters have demonstrated against manager Steve Kean and owners Venky's at several Ewood Park fixtures this season.

Outrage: Blackburn boss Steve Kean faces renewed calls to resign from the club's fans

Outrage: Blackburn boss Steve Kean faces renewed calls to resign from the club's fans

The action was officially postponed for the final two home matches of 2011, although losses in those games against West Brom and Bolton saw many fans continue to vent their anger anyway.

Blackburn then enjoyed an upturn in form, securing a 1-1 draw at Liverpool and a shock 3-2 victory at Manchester United, and even though they lost Monday's home game against Stoke 2-1, Kean praised the Rovers supporters for getting behind their team.

However, organisers Glen Mullan and Simon Littler have now released a statement confirming that further protests are planned.

It read: 'The aim of the protests, as from the start, will be about the removal of Steve Kean as first-team manager, Venky's as owners of the club and now the removal of the board of directors.

Under pressure: Kean faces a fight to keep Blackburn in the Premier League

Under pressure: Kean faces a fight to keep Blackburn in the Premier League

'The intensity of the protest will increase substantially.

'As Blackburn Rovers fans we have no choice but to try to ensure we preserve the legacy left by the late Jack Walker.

'While we appreciate that this era is in the past, the failure by Venky's and the current board of directors to build on his legacy leaves fans with very little if anything to cling on to.'

Frustration: Fans have also vented anger towards unpopular owners Venky's

Frustration: Fans have also vented anger towards unpopular owners Venky's

Prior to the postponement in December, Mullan had revealed that communication between protesters and the club had improved, but it is claimed in the latest statement that Blackburn have failed to keep promises on that front.

Rovers, currently 19th in the table, host Fulham in their next league match on January 14, with a trip to Newcastle in the FA Cup to come before that this weekend.

Venky"s confirm they won"t walk away from doomed Blackburn

It”s not Rover yet! Venky”s confirm they won”t walk away from doomed Blackburn

Venky”s insist they will continue to fund Blackburn Rovers even if the club are relegated from the Barclays Premier League after it posted an annual pre-tax loss of 18.6m.

The loss – for the year ending June 30, 2011 – compares to only 1.9m for the previous year, while net debt rose from 21m to 26.3m.

Rovers made a loss of 4.8m before player trading, which incurred a further loss of 13.8m.

Staying put: Blackburn Rovers

Staying put: Blackburn Rovers” Venky”s owners Balagi Rao and Venkatesh Rao

Net transfer fees of 8.7m were due after the end of the financial year and were not included in the latest balance sheet.

A statement wsaid Blackburn would require ‘significant funding’ in the short term but that Indian poultry firm Venky’s, owned by Balagi Rao and Venkatesh Rao, had confirmed that they will provide that even if Steve Kean”s team are relegated from to the Championship.

The statement also confirmed that a number of players have clauses that would lead to significant reductions in their salary if Rovers went down.

Blackburn are currently rock bottom of the Premier League on just 11 points with manager Kean under continuous pressure from fans to step down.

“As part of the directors’ assessment of going concern they have prepared detailed cash flow forecasts for 18 months to the end of June 2013,” the statement said.

“These forecasts indicate that the company will require significant funding in addition to the current facilities available to the club.

Under pressure: Blackburn boss Steve Kean is feeling the strain at Ewood Park

Under pressure: Blackburn boss Steve Kean is feeling the strain at Ewood Park

“The amount of additional funding required will be dependent on the net proceeds of any player trading and availability of bank facilities.

“In view of this the directors have received confirmation from the ultimate parent company (Venkateshwara Hatcheries Pvt Ltd) that it has sufficient funds and is willing to provide such additional financing as may be required.

“The company is currently operating within its facilities provided by Barclays, which are due for renewal on June 30, 2012.

“The directors have started discussions with Barclays regarding the renewal of these facilities when they expire and based on these discussions the directors are optimistic these facilities will renewed on acceptable terms and conditions.”

Turnover dropped narrowly from 57.8m to 57.6m with wage and salaries increasing from 47.4m to 49.9m, leading to the wage to turnover ratio increasing from 82 per cent to 86.6 per cent – although that was still short of the figure of 90.6 per cent two years ago.

Steve Kean insists there is no financial crisis at Blackburn

Venky”s told me there”s no financial crisis at Blackburn, insists Kean

Pressure: financial difficulties would be another obstacle for Kean

Pressure: financial difficulties would be another obstacle for Kean

Blackburn boss Steve Kean has confirmed he sought immediate reassurances from the club”s owner that there will be no problems with paying the players” wages.

A report at the weekend claimed Venky”s, the Indian owners of Blackburn, had received a demand from Barclays bank for 10million to help to pay off the club”s debts and that they could struggle to pay salaries in January.

The club insisted there is “no financial crisis” and Kean said he had been personally reassured of thatby Venky”s head Anuradha Desai.

Kean said: “I immediately spoke with the owner and categorically she has told me to get across to the playersthere won”t be any problems financially on salaries or moving forward in the transfer window.

“I relayed that back to all the players directly I came off the phone – that was the way to communicate it, straight from the owners, straight back to the players.

“The players have just got on with their job and prepared for tomorrow”s game. We are all professional and Idon”t think our concentration has been affected in any way.”

Action: fans have mobilised themselves against Kean and Venky

Action: fans have mobilised themselves against Kean and Venky”s

Tomorrow”s match against West Brom marks a year since Kean took over at Rovers, and he has been convinced that this season especially, Blackburn have not enjoyed the rub of the green in terms of refereeing decisions.

Kean has felt so strongly that he met referees chief Mike Riley to point out eight incidents he believes has cost Rovers.

He added: “We have brought the referees in, spoken to Mike Riley and his associates and showed them theincidents and we got a very good response. He was very sympathetic.

“We are looking for consistency with referees and that the whole thing evens out. We feel there are seven or eight decisions that certainly cost us points and we have only a couple that went our way, such as the goal at Wigan when we all thought Yakubu had touched the ball at the corner.”

Dispute: Kean is unhappy with some refereeing decisions but admitted one or two had gone in his favour

Dispute: Kean is unhappy with some refereeing decisions but admitted one or two had gone in his favour

Problem: Givet had a heart problem against Sunderland

Problem: Givet had a heart problem against Sunderland

“It doesn”t get us any more points but I hope that will be fed back.”

Blackburn”s next two games could prove to be pivotal to their season with West Brom”s visit followed by bottom club Bolton coming to Ewood Park.

Kean said: “We want six points to get us out of that horrible zone where we are.

“I think the next five days will be massive, the table can look very different and not just for ourselves but for other teams who have tough away games. If we can get two wins back to back it could be pivotal.”

Gael Givet is having further tests today on the heart condition that saw him forced to leave the field at theweekend and is expected to miss tomorrow”s match.

Givet”s pulse rate rose to 250 against Sunderland and the French defender is having extensive tests in aManchester hospital and could be out for a month if he is not given theall-clear.

Meanwhile, Martin Olsson and Junior Hoilett are also doubtful for Rovers with hamstring injuries but Steven Nzonzi returns from suspension. If Hoilett does miss out he should be fit for the Bolton game on Tuesday.

Blackburn fans won"t protest at Ewood Park

Truce! Kean gets some respite as Blackburn”s rebel fans agree to stop protests at Ewood

There will be no organised protests at Blackburn”s next two home games, it has been confirmed.

With the club struggling near the foot of the Barclays Premier League, a section of Rovers supporters have been demonstrating against manager Steve Kean and owners Venky”s at several Ewood Park fixtures this term.

Banner ban: Blackburn Rovers fans have agreed to postpone protests for two games

Banner ban: Blackburn Rovers fans have agreed to postpone protests for two games

Reason to be cheerful: Steve Kean has failed to win over the fans after a disappointing year

Reason to be cheerful: Steve Kean has failed to win over the fans after a disappointing year

However, organiser Glen Mullan has revealed that communication between protesters and the club have improved and the action will be brought to a temporary halt for the crucial visits of West Brom on Saturday and Bolton on Tuesday.

“We are in advanced discussions with the club and we are very, very pleased with the progress that has been made,” Mullan said. “(Ewood Park stadium manager) John Newsham and (Blackburn deputy chief executive) Paul Hunt”s attention to detail over the last couple of weeks has been exemplary.

“There will be no organised protests this weekend before, after or during the game. We are not cancelling the protests, we are postponing them for the next two games, after discussions with the club and with (director of Rovers sponsor WEC Group and Blackburn fan) Wayne Wild as well.

He added, in the Lancashire Telegraph: “We ask everyone to get behind the team for these two very winnable football matches.

“Six points is the most important thing, while we remain committed to trying to open up lines of communication with the club for the fans that can stay there for a long time.

“We want a line of communication that will be permanently open.”