Football: Kidd is cleared to meet Rovers

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The Independent Online
BLACKBURN ROVERS went out of the Worthington Cup last night but moved a step closer to appointing Brian Kidd, the Manchester United assistant manager, as a pounds 750,000 a year successor to the sacked Roy Hodgson.

The Rovers chairman, Robert Coar, tempered dismay at losing 1-0 to Leicester by announcing that United had given the Premiership's bottom club permission to speak to the 49-year-old Kidd.

"During the next 24 hours, we will be meeting Brian Kidd," Coar said. "That is all the club are saying at this time."

Rovers persistence appears to have forced the United chairman, Martin Edwards, to give way after he had stated that Kidd would leave Old Trafford "over my dead body".

Edwards said last night: "I have told Brian about Blackburn's approach and that we have turned it down. That's all I can do. It's up to Brian now."

Kidd, who as an 18-year-old scored in United's European Cup victory over Benfica in 1968, has been a major part of the Old Trafford success story under Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson made it clear he wants to keep Kidd, who has helped United to win four Premier League titles since 1993. "He is very important to United and to me personally," he said. "We have built up an excellent staff at this club and Brian has been a key part. I just hope he stays."

Tony Parkes, who has presided over two defeats since becoming Rovers' caretaker manager, said: "This could be my last dance, but I won't have any complaints."

Kidd had playing spells with Arsenal, Manchester City, Everton and Bolton Wanderers before joining the Atlanta Chiefs in the North American Soccer League in 1981. He returned to England in 1985 to become assistant manager at Swindon Town.

He took over from Tommy Booth as manager of Preston North End in January 1986, but his reign was short. After just one win in 12 games, and with Preston bottom, he was sacked.

Rovers sunk, page 30