Premier League or bust: Henning Berg given Blackburn Rovers ultimatum

New Rovers manager welcomed to the post with a warning from clubs' global adviser that the minimum requirement this season is a return to top flight

Blackburn Rovers' global adviser, Shebby Singh, has already heaped pressure on new manager Henning Berg by stating the minimum requirement this season is promotion to the Premier League.

Berg signed a three-year contract with the club and was unveiled at Ewood Park yesterday, fully aware of expectancy levels. Rovers sit fifth in the Championship, two points beneath the automatic promotion spots, and anything less than bridging that gap will not do for Singh.

"Promotion is the minimum and the maximum, we have emphasised that time and again," Singh said.

"But the most important thing is that Henning welcomes the pressure, he welcomes the challenge. He didn't sit in front of us and say 'I need three years to build a team'. He said 'I know what you want and I want to be the man to deliver that'."

Talks between the two parties earlier this week had to be frank and honest following Berg's comments in June that "there are no real managers with credibility who would accept a job like that." It was a scathing attack on the owners, Venky's, but the discussions about the vacancy sold the club to Berg, who had been out of the game for a year after being sacked by Norwegian side Lillestrom. He pointed towards the investment in the team – signing the likes of Jordan Rhodes from Huddersfield for £8m – as a significant reason to be optimistic about the direction the club is heading.

"The comments were made by me looking in from the outside," Berg said. "Now I have spoken to the people inside the club, I know what their ambitions are. They are taking steps now and I've seen their intent."

Singh was adamant throughout the five-week search for Steve Kean's successor that he wanted to install a younger manager, and one who preferably had previous links with Rovers. Approaches for Fulham's Billy McKinlay and Tottenham's Tim Sherwood were rejected, but Singh dismissed accusations that the ultimate choice was simply manufactured to appease an increasingly disenchanted and dwindling home support.

"The fact he has been successful here [as a player] obviously helps but no way is this anything but a football decision," he said. Berg's achievements – winning the League title in 1995 and the League Cup in 2002 during two separate spells – are all the more striking given Blackburn's failure to win any major silverware without him since 1928. Singh labelled the manager's arrival as the 'third coming' and Berg is delighted to be back.

"For myself I couldn't be back at a better place," he said. The manager must also be pleased that he doesn't have to endure the monthly 18-hour round trip to India to brief the owners, and has been given control over transfers.

"I think we've got a really good chance of being promoted and I'm looking forward to it," the manager enthused. His first test is a trip to Crystal Palace – the team he made his debut against back in 1993.

News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Horowitz will write the next 007 novel
booksAnthony Horowitz to write new instalment in spy series for 2015
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

Sport
Kicking on: Nathaniel Clyne is relishing the challenge of the Premier League after moving from Crystal Palace
footballSurprises include a first ever call-up for one Southampton star
Voices
4 May 2013: The sun rises over Tower Bridge in London. Temperatures across the UK could be higher than several European holiday destinations by Monday, including parts of Italy and France (Andy Hepburn/PA)
voices
News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Arts and Entertainment
The first batch of coach and ticket packages has sold out for next year's Glastonbury
musicIt looks like you're going to have to be quick to get tickets this year
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Extras
indybest
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?