Belfast Telegraph

Blackburn owners Venky's admits to 'total confusion' over Kean

By Martin Hardy

Steve Kean's future at Blackburn was still shrouded in uncertainty yesterday despite one of Rovers' co-owners speaking at length for the first time since the club's relegation from the Premier League this month.

Kean had flown to Pune in India last week to meet the Venky's hierarchy for talks but a decision was not made then on his long-term employment, and that remains the position of the owners who have controversially stood by the man they appointed to succeed Sam Allardyce 18 months ago.

Vankatesh Rao admitted a decision on Kean's role may not be made for a further month, despite relegation being confirmed fully two weeks ago when Rovers lost at home to Wigan in their penultimate fixture of the season.

"I don't know exactly, everything is in confusion, so I would say in the next month we will have a proper situation to talk about," he said.

"In the next month let us see what happens. I really don't know on that issue because we are talking about various things, so many – about the manager, about the players, about staff, about the club.

"Nothing will be said right away. Kindly bear with us for some time and then the whole picture will be clear."

Kean was actually back at his desk at Blackburn's Brockhall training ground on Tuesday following his meetings in India with Venky's. He is believed stil to have the support of chairwoman Anuradha Desai, although the possibility of his being moved to a different position has been suggested. At the same time, the lack of clear backing from Rao will do little to stem the belief that he and his brother, Balaji Rao, are ready to implement change.

Both were thought to have been prepared to change manager in mid-season, when, amid regular fan protests, Rovers struggled in vain for the points to save a largely miserable campaign.

Asked about the talks that took place last week, Rao said: "They were very much honest. Getting relegated is not good news for anybody, and the saddest thing is we did. We have to come back very strongly and I hope that by taking the right decisions, we have to come back at any cost.

"Right now we are totally in shock so let us take it step by step. I think there is confusion at this stage, we are still rectifying the whole thing as a club.

"We are in the process of just thinking – we are in the middle of the process."

The uncertainty can only add fuel to expectations that many players will now leave in the aftermath of relegation. Kean himself admitted that he expected other clubs to plunder his squad, and there is a growing acceptance that a prime asset, Junior Hoilett, who was allowed to run his contract down, will leave in the summer.

Similarly Blackburn will struggle to hold on to Yakubu, who proved one of Kean's few successful buys following his move from Everton at the end of last summer's transfer window.

Belfast Telegraph


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