When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Former bosses Kendall and Lee hit out at Ewood freefall
HOWARD Kendall, who managed Blackburn Rovers from 1979 until 1981, fears his old club is heading for disaster under controversial owners Venky’s.
Michael Appleton’s shock sacking stunned the football world following his dismissal after just 67 days in charge at Ewood Park.
“What’s happening at Blackburn is outrageous – it is one of the saddest chapters I’ve ever witnessed in football,” said Kendall.
“It is mind-boggling. How can you sack a manager three months into a job? There just doesn’t seem to be any logic in anything the owners do when it comes to making football decisions.
“It is heartbreaking to see the club fall so far, from an established Premier League club a few years ago to this calamity.”
Kendall, who steered Blackburn from the lower reaches of the Third Division to promotion, later guided Everton to the League Championship, the FA Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup.
“Managing Blackburn seems an impossible job right now, but somebody will take it,” he said.
“They’ve obviously not done their homework in the past when it has come to appointing managers, though, because it is crying out for an experienced man to stamp his authority on the club.
“I just hope they get the next appointment right, because for the fans it must feel to them like the heart of the club has been ripped out.”
Another ex-Ewood Park manager Gordon Lee said: “I just can’t believe what is going on at my old club – it is a most incredible mess and it pains me to see Blackburn in such a terrible state.
“The people who run the club don’t seem to have a clue what they are doing.
“The whole thing is complete madness and unacceptable.”
Lee, who also bossed Newcastle United, Everton and Preston, added: “You need a couple of years to turn a club around, but the last lad Appleton got a few weeks and that’s crazy.
“The owners can do what they want with their money – but somebody needs to bring some sense to the situation because Blackburn are in freefall.
“Maybe the owners are on an ego trip, but a proud football club like Blackburn is not a play thing.
“It is something to cherish, a club of great tradition and they don’t seem to respect that “It is a town with a hard core of genuine and knowledgeable supporters. I can understand their anger with what has happened at Ewood.
“To have any hope of achieving success you need stability at a football club, but Blackburn’s in total chaos and I worry they could go into bankruptcy if this continues.”
Lee was the first Blackburn manager since Bob Crompton, in 1938-39, to win a divisional title for the club when he led Rovers to the old Third Championship in 1975.
And he believes a number of Rovers’ previous players and managers will feel the same sense of disappointment in what is going on at Ewood Park as he now does.
He added: “I signed players like Ken Beamish and Tony Parkes. Tony went on to manage Blackburn as caretaker. He was my chief midfielder and a great bloke “I wonder what they think about this sad situation. Like me, they must be very sad indeed.”
Graeme Souness, who guided Rovers back to the Premier League a decade ago and saw them win the League Cup under his tenure in 2002, said: “I don’t want to talk about it – it is very sad to see. It upsets me too much.”