Allardyce to stay if Rovers go down
Saturday 20 December 2008
The Blackburn Rovers chairman, John Williams, will not even contemplate the thought, let alone discuss it at any length, but he will stick with Sam Allardyce even if they are relegated at the end of the season.
The prospect of that outcome will come into even sharper focus if Rovers' winless run stretches to 12 matches after Stoke City's arrival at Ewood Park this afternoon for arguably Williams's most important game since his club returned to the top flight seven years ago. "I'm sure he [Allardyce] hasn't come here to manage in the Championship but if we go down together, we do [go down]," Williams said yesterday.
Paul Ince was sacked because Rovers know that getting back up from the Championship would be harder for them than most, with one of the Premier League's smallest fan bases and no Jack Walker. Williams has already done the calculation. Turnover, he predicts, would more than halve, from £56m to £22m, if Rovers drop. "And that's not the end of the story," he added darkly.
For now, Rovers are trying to look on the bright side, though it took all of Allardyce's charisma to make his unveiling late on Thursday afternoon more celebration than wake. Williams has taken fierce criticism from Tony Adams and Tony Pulis over his decision to replace Ince, just 17 games in, but he stoutly defended his position. "There was a time when clubs got relegated and tomatoes were thrown at directors' cars and fans simply lost the bragging rights in the pub," he said. "These days you might end up losing your business if you're not careful. This club has been around for a long time – 1875 – and the current board did what we had to do to preserve it. Tony Adams is entitled to his own view but I won't have it be said that Blackburn Rovers are trigger-happy. Nor are we not prepared to give young British managers a chance."
Allardyce's positive pronouncements about a squad Ince insisted needed strengthening has struck Williams. "Why have we gone from seventh to 19th? Is it because we've replaced Brad Friedel with Paul Robinson and lost David Bentley? My football experts tell me no and no," he said.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Latest in Sport
Paul Pogba to Chelsea? Juventus star linked with £60m transfer spotted in west London
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
Angel di Maria: Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal 'monitoring' Real Madrid star
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
- 2 Loom bands: Bids for dress made from colourful rubber reach almost £154,000 on eBay
- 3 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 4 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories