A brief look into Blackburn’s two years of misery

Henning Berg was sacked as Blackburn Rovers manager after just 57 days in charge. The dismissal follows a long list of controversial decisions made by club owners Venky’s and it’s fair to say things have gone from bad to worse since the Indian-based company completed their take over.

During their two-year reign, the club has plummeted from being a top half Premier League side to bottom half of the Championship. Three managers have come and gone and an immediate return to the top flight looks a long, long way off.

The dismissal of Sam Allardyce was arguably the worst decision of them all. The club sat 13th in the Premier League and relegation was far from the minds of the Blackburn faithful. Big Sam knows how to keep sides in England’s top division and what followed after his sacking showed what a huge mistake the new owners had made.

Steve Kean was appointed temporary manager in December 2010 but was later appointed full time manager, much to the anger of the Blackburn Rovers’ fans. Kean endured a tough time during his reign as Rovers’ boss. The club struggled at the bottom of the league and the fans never warmed to him. Numerous protests by club supporters against Kean and owners Venkys which continued throughout the entire 2011/12 campaign. The protests didn’t help the situation that the club found themselves in and was one of a number of reasons why their inevitable relegation took place.

Following the club’s relegation at the end of last season, Kean remained in charge and brought in the likes of Jordon Rhodes for £8 million and Danny Murphy from Fulham. Their Championship campaign begun with two wins and a draw, leaving Rovers in third spot. However, in September Kean claimed he was “forced out” a week after his first league defeat of the season.

Despite having said “there are no real managers with credibility who would accept a job like that”, Henning Berg signed a three-year contract to manage Rovers, taking charge with the club fifth in the Championship, five points off top. Berg won just one of his 10 games in charge at Ewood Park, losing six of them.

The dismissal of Berg can actually be seen as one of Venky’s better decisions since taking over the club, but it begs the question, why did they appoint him in the first place? Why did they need a Blackburn ‘legend’ to take charge? He may have been a member of their Premier League winning side in 1995 but his coaching CV certainly didn’t merit the post.

Blackburn reserve-team coach Gary Bowyer will remain in charge until the end of January while Rovers search for Berg’s successor. Venky’s next decision will shape the reminder of the club’s season. It will prove to be the difference between challenging for promotion and lingering in the bottom half of the Championship.

Surely they can’t get this decision wrong as well, can they?

Andrew Floyd