Shebby Singh, the self-styled "global adviser" of Blackburn Rovers, who has presided over the farcical decline of the club in the last 12 months, is likely to be dismissed by the Indian bosses who hired him, The Independent understands.
Although Singh indicated last night that Anuradha Desai, the matriarch of the Venky's chicken empire of which Rovers are a subsidiary company, has not told him she intends to fire him, the TV mogul's tenure at Rovers appears over. This follows a Championship season which saw the club get through three managers, finish 17th and only avoid relegation on the penultimate Saturday. The Indians appear finally to be acknowledging that they need astute, experienced people from within football at the top of the club, rather than agents or moguls like Singh.
In the last three months, Singh's only presence at the club was his one-week flying visit to sack manager Michael Appleton, whom he had never met. The farcical recent court case in which Rovers' owners attempted to renege on a contract to pay Appleton's predecessor, Henning Berg, heard that Singh had been in his native Malaysia and unable to get into Britain because of visa problems.
He has been involved less and less in day-to-day business at the club and has played a minimal part in helping new manager, Gary Bowyer, prepare for next season.
Rovers' managing director, Derek Shaw, may outlast Singh, despite the damage of the High Court case in which he was characterised by Rovers' own barristers as a rogue element at Ewood Park who had signed off a lucrative contract which paid off the Norwegian Berg in full. Shaw has remained at the club after attending talks with the owners in Pune, following the conclusion of the Berg case. But the club appear to need a more dynamic individual capable of driving transfer policy, possibly working with an administrator.
Operations director and former club press officer Paul Agnew was dismissed earlier this month, while the club's finance director, Karen Silk, is working her notice. Rovers are close to agreeing a severance pay-off with Appleton.
Blackburn face losses of more than £40m at the end of this financial year, research by the Rovers Trust suggested earlier this month. The former Rovers player and Trust member Simon Garner has called for the appointment of someone with football expertise.Reuse content