Blackburn Rovers under Venky's - a rollercoaster ride
The Indian owners today sacked manager Michael Appleton
Tuesday 19 March 2013
It was announced today that Blackburn Rovers had sacked manager Michael Appleton - just 67 days after they handed him the job. Here, we take a look at the few highs and many lows at Blackburn since the club was taken over by Venky's.
November 2010 – Venkys pay £23m to the Jack Walker Trust to buy the club.
December 2010 – Sam Allardyce sacked with Blackburn in 13th place in the Premier League, five points above the relegation zone. Steve Kean is given managers role until the end of the season.
January 2011 – Roque Santa Cruz makes return on loan from Manchester City, while Pascal Chimbona and El-Hadji Diouf both leave. Ruben Rochina and Mauro Formica both join despite the club being linked with Ronaldinho and David Beckham. Steve Kean is handed a three year contract a month into the job.
May 2011 – Despite being dragged into a relegation battle, Kean guides Rovers to safety, finishing 15th in the league. Blackburn win 3-2 at Wolves on the final day of the season to retain top-flight status.
September 2011 – Blackburn fans stage protest against Kean and the Venkys before a league match against Arsenal.
October 2011 – Supporters stage second protest in a month after humbling 4-0 home defeat to Manchester City. Owners subsidise a visit to India from a select group of fans who want answers about the running of the club.
November 2011 – Venkys take it on themselves to ban protest banners from the ground. In retaliation plane is flown over Ewood Park reading ‘Steve Kean out’ during a match against Chelsea. Blackburn statement confirms ‘they are in dialogue with the protest organisers to achieve closure on protests for the good of Blackburn Rovers FC’. Rumours about new owners gather pace, however, it appears that Kean is offered a new two-year deal. The announcement leads to a ‘Week of Mourning’, with fans laying wreaths by the football club. Kean accused of ‘throwing’ FA Cup tie with Cardiff to concentrate on league – fans demand refund.
December 2011 - Despite just four wins all season, Kean boldly claims that a top-ten finish is not beyond the realms of possibility. Fans who went to India claim they haven’t been reimbursed by Venkys for the trip.
January 2012 – Ryan Nelsen released from club.
February 2012 – Christopher Samba is sold to Anzhi in Russia. Kean hires bodyguard to protect him from fans.
May 2012 - Blackburn relegated from the Premier League after 11 years in the top flight.
August 2012 – Venkys show intent on regaining Premier League status by signing Jordan Rhodes for £8m while Fulham pair Danny Murphy and Dickson Etuhu join.
September 2012 – Blackburn make poor start to Championship season, not winning in their first seven games. Steve Kean resigns finally, deciding his position has become ‘untenable’ and claiming he was ‘forced out’. Kean left with a poor win percentage of just 28 per cent.
November 2012 – Venkys make left-field decision to hire Henning Berg as manager. The ex-defender was a Rovers favourite, helping the club to the Premiership title in 1995, but his managerial credentials were called into question after inconsistent spells in Norway. He loses first game in charge against Crystal Palace.
December 2012 – Berg is sacked after 57 days after a 1-0 defeat at Middlesbrough. The Norwegian won only once in ten games.
January 2013 – Michael Appleton hired to become third Blackburn boss of the season. He leaves Lancashire rivals Blackpool after just 66 days to take position.
February 2013 - Blackburn beat Arsenal at the Emirates to reach quarter-finals of the FA Cup. They haven’t won since.
March 2013 – Danny Murphy stripped of club captaincy by Appleton after struggling all season. Blackburn salvage 1-1 draw with Burnley with a stoppage-time David Dunn equaliser in Appleton’s last game. Appleton is sacked after just 15 games with another poor win percentage of 27 per cent.
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