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.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians