Blackburn try to quash rumours Bollywood actor will take charge of club on day of wild rumours
Judan Ali - a novice coach with experience limited to youth and amateur
level and the star of Bollywood football movie 'Dhan Dhan Dhan Goal', was at the training ground today
Friday 28 December 2012
Blackburn global advisor Shebby Singh has claimed it is “business as usual” at Ewood Park following a bizarre day of rumour and counter-rumour at the managerless npower Championship club.
Rovers sacked Henning Berg yesterday after 57 days at the helm and a a run of one win in 10 matches that leaves the pre-season promotion favourites 17th in the table heading into tomorrow's trip to Barnsley.
Assistant manager Eric Black, first team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms were also dismissed and reports emerged this morning that Singh took Friday training alongside Judan Ali - a novice coach with experience limited to youth and amateur level and the star of Bollywood football movie 'Dhan Dhan Dhan Goal'.
Singh quashed rumours that Ali was set to take up a position at Ewood Park, insisting his presence at Blackburn's Brockhall Village training base was that of a guest despite television footage of the 39-year-old wearing club training kit.
He told Sky Sports News: "No, no - he's a guest of the club and, no, there's been no appointments, there's been no signings. None at all.
"That's rumour and speculation at the end of the day, what can I say?
"Please, I am serious now, no it's not true."
When contacted by Press Association Sport, Blackburn stated no decision had been made on who would take the team at Oakwell, but Singh offered a glowing assessment of reserve team boss Gary Bowyer and his staff when denying he himself took training today.
"We've got capable people," he said. "This club is well run, we've got proper people.
"Gary Bowyer has been reserve team and Under-21 manager for two years, he's been at the club for eight years.
"Terry McPhillips, Tony Grant (both youth coaches) - these are great guys. They've been working so hard behind the scenes and people don't realise all the good work that they've put in.
"So nothing of that sort (Singh and Ali taking training), it's been business as usual."
Quotes attributed to Balaji Rao, managing director of the Venky's group that owns Blackburn, emerged this afternoon stating that a manager with "Premier League experience" would be appointed after the Barnsley game - something else Singh insists is wide of the mark.
He added: "I can safely say that is not true because I was on the phone with him. I've been on the phone with him all morning and no, it's not true.
"Someone's just decided to be mischievous about it so, no, it's not true."
Former Aston Villa assistant manager Kevin MacDonald is the bookmaker's favourite for the post having been heavily linked by a number of national newspapers, while ex-Hull and Preston boss Phil Brown today touted himself for the role via various media outlets.
Yet intrigue continues to surround any possible role for Ali in Blackburn's plans.
After failing to make the grade as a footballer in England, the former Arsenal trainee enjoyed a playing stint with Spanish minnows Murcia.
He enrolled in the FA's COACH Bursary Programme, a scheme aimed at addressing under-representation among ethnic minorities in high-level coaching positions.
The FA sponsored Ali while taking his coaching badges and he informed the governing body's official website, http://www.thefa.com, of his lofty ambitions.
Ali said: "My goal is to become the first British Asian Premier League manager.
"I also want to take a country to the World Cup when I have qualified and the 2022 tournament in Qatar is my goal."
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