Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Blackburn Rovers deny transfer policy behind Sam Allardyce dismissal

Blackburn's new owners have insisted the sacking of former manager Sam Allardyce had nothing to do with transfer policy.

Allardyce was surprisingly dismissed as Rovers boss on Monday with his team 13th in the Barclays Premier League.

Allardyce had reportedly objected to the prospect of having new signings forced upon him in the January transfer window by Venky's, the Indian firm who recently bought the club.

But Anuradha Desai, Venky's chairperson, claims the decision to axe the 56-year-old was based on long-term footballing reasons.

Desai told BBC Radio Five Live: "We have a long-term vision.

"We want to take the club up to higher heights in terms of position, in terms of overall betterment of the club, in terms of development of younger players - the future.

"In that, Sam definitely didn't fit in.

"We don't want to be, all the time, in danger of being relegated - three points away, five points away.

"I don't think this team deserves that. This team has a lot of potential and we can see that."

Allardyce's first-team coach Steve Kean has taken temporary charge of the side and could remain in the post for some time.

Venky's say they will not rush their next appointment and have dismissed speculation linking them with Argentina legend Diego Maradona.

Desai said: "We are looking for a manager in the future but that is going to take time. We don't want to make a hurried decision.

"We want to understand, meet a lot of people, take opinions and study the scenario.

"For the time being we have given Steve Kean the job.

"I can assure you he is the guy who is hands-on, he knows the strengths and the weaknesses of the players.

"He has been working hard with the players and I am pretty sure he will do an excellent job."

Scot Kean, 43, was wanted as manager by Kilmarnock in the summer but opted to stay at Ewood Park with Allardyce, who recruited him last year.

The former Celtic player has earned a good reputation in coaching after spells at Reading and with Chris Coleman at Fulham, Real Sociedad and Coventry.

Maradona, who coached his country with characteristic flamboyance at the World Cup last summer, was made an unlikely candidate to succeed Allardyce in some reports but Desai has rubbished those suggestions.

She said: "This is something that because we have offices everywhere somebody spoke about, but it is not true. There is no connection.

"This is something from before we got into the EPL - he knows one of our friends, but nothing beyond that.

"He is not being considered, not now and forever for the future. I can assure you there is nothing we are having to do with Maradona."