Roy Hodgson advised Michael Appleton to take 'disaster shipwreck' job at Blackburn

England manager had a stint at Ewood Park

Roy Hodgson may not have been the obvious man to call when Michael Appleton wanted advice on becoming the fifth man this season to manage Blackburn Rovers. When he was fired in the boardroom immediately after a defeat to Southampton, he had driven away from Ewood Park in tears.

However, having worked as Hodgson’s assistant at West Bromwich Albion and verbally accepted the offer to leave Blackpool, Appleton felt he should discuss it with the England manager.

“He spoke very highly of the football club,” said Appleton, sitting in the players lounge at Ewood, with a photograph of Kenny Dalglish’s title-winning side behind him. “He had an indifferent time there but said he had enjoyed it and thought the challenge was right for me. He said it was doable.”

Hodgson was more positive than Appleton’s chairman at Blackpool, Karl Oyston, who spluttered his disbelief that the 37-year-old should be joining what he described as a “disaster shipwreck”.

Since Blackburn’s old regime, funded by the Jack Walker Trust and run by John Williams, one of football’s most competent chief executives, sold out to the Indian chicken producers, Venky’s, the club has been portrayed as a footballing banana republic, relegated, ridiculed and with nobody outside India capable of making a decision.

The Ancient Romans called one of their most disastrous civil wars, “The Year of the Four Emperors”. This has been the season of the five managers – three permanent appointments and two caretakers.

And yet Appleton, who succeeded Henning Berg who lasted 10 games and 54 days in the home dugout, was probably right when he said that most managers would have taken his decision to exchange Blackpool for Blackburn. It still feels like a Premier League club.

And for Appleton, that would be a novelty. When he managed Portsmouth it was a club in administration, whose former owner, Vladimir Antonov, had been arrested on money-laundering charges. “We had players who couldn’t pay their mortgages and the training ground was padlocked,” he said. “When we were on a pre-season tour, I was told the club would be liquidated the next day.”

Even West Brom, where he played until a knee injury wrecked his career at 25 before becoming an assistant to first Roberto di Matteo and then Hodgson, was not the streamlined club it is now. “On my first night working at the school of excellence there, I had fireworks thrown on to the pitch by local kids – and the first team didn’t have a training ground.”

Appleton seems ideally equipped to cope with what he described as the “circus” at Blackburn. Nevertheless, the fact he was rumoured to be a client of the agent Jerome Anderson, who was given a substantial and highly controversial role under the former manager Steve Kean – who was a client - caused some disquiet among supporters.

For the record, he has never met Anderson and does not employ an agent. “It is cheaper that way,” he said. He has also yet to meet Blackburn’s ‘global advisor’ Shebby Singh, who may be on the way out of his £500,000-a-year contract to improve Blackburn’s image.

“From Venky’s point of view, they are perhaps a little confused about the perception there is towards them because they have pumped money into Blackburn and found themselves slagged off for it,” said Appleton.

“To improve the image of the football club is not going to be easy but I certainly feel it is part of the remit.” To that end, Venky’s have employed Caroline McAteer, who used to handle David Beckham’s PR. She may find promoting Blackburn Rovers harder than keeping Rebecca Loos at bay.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
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

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?