Belfast Telegraph

Allardyce shown door at Rovers over Keane row

After his dismissal yesterday, Allardyce, who was on a one-year rolling contract, was installed as a favourite to succeed Avram Grant at West Ham, currently bottom of the Premier League. Allardyce's assistant, Neil McDonald, was also dismissed.

With Blackburn 13th in the Premier League there was dismay around English football yesterday at the manner in which Allardyce was treated. He rescued the club two years ago from a disastrous start to the 2008-2009 season under Paul Ince and kept them competitive despite very limited resources.

Allardyce said in a statement released via the League Managers' Association that he was “shocked and disappointed” by the decision. Later he told Sky Sports that it was “unexpected”, saying: “That's the world of football today. I'm a little confused in my own mind but the reality will kick in over the next few days.

“I have had a fantastic two years and really enjoyed my time at the club. The support of everyone at Blackburn -- the fans, the players and the board -- was great and I really enjoyed my time there despite the relatively difficult financial circumstances. I knew that when I took the job. I am very disappointed not to be part of it but the club had to be sold.”

The influence of Kentaro, whose expertise is primarily in television rights, has been felt increasingly around Ewood Park over the last two weeks. Kentaro was behind England's friendly against Argentina in Geneva five years ago and is also behind the Brazil national team's “world tour” -- the corporate name for organising lucrative friendlies for the team all over the world.

Ryan Nelsen, the Blackburn captain, said yesterday that “virtually all the players will be devastated” by Allardyce's sacking. “When you look at what he [Allardyce] has done on such limited resources it is incredible,” Nelsen said. “The owners will look at the broader picture, but in the world we live in he did incredibly well at getting the best out the team.

“We were all happy because the club had to be sold and over the last few seasons the Walker Trust needed to sell. The club was a wee bit dead in the water, which is why he did an incredible job keeping us away from relegation, and we even finished in the top 10.

“Sam wasn't given the credit he deserved. Once we were bought out we thought we were moving in a new direction and that Sam might be given financial resources to work with. He wasn't given that chance, which is devastating for the man.

“Everyone says that 'this is football' with what happened at Newcastle [with Chris Hughton], but it is a real shame because I know how much energy, time and passion the manager put into Blackburn. To be let go like that must be very disappointing.”

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