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Structure is now in place to move forward, insist Blackburn Rovers
BLACKBURN Rovers believe they have the managerial structure at Ewood Park to spearhead a swift return to the Premier League after yesterday appointing former Preston chairman Derek Shaw as their new managing director.
Owners Venky’s were criticised last season for a lack of key management figures at Ewood, with many decisions taken from India following the departures of John Williams and Tom Finn.
But Venky’s recently installed Shebby Singh as global advisor to oversee events at Ewood and have also now brought in Shaw with immediate effect to work alongside Paul Agnew.
Agnew, previously the club’s press officer, had been given the new title of general manager earlier this summer but that has now been altered to operations director.
Shaw was chairman of Preston between 2001 and 2010, having joined the club’s board in 1994.
He was recommended to Venky’s by Agnew, who spent a period as chief executive of Preston in the early 1990s at a time when Shaw first became involved at Deepdale as the club’s shirt sponsor.
“Derek knows football, he’s got vast knowledge,” Agnew said last night.
“We just felt we needed someone on that administrative side and it’s a two-pronged attack.
“My title has changed because we felt that the role of general manager, most people did not understand it and what level it was at. But there is a seat on the board and it is an administrative role.
“I will work alongside Derek and he will work alongside me. Between us we have got 50 years’ experience in football.
“It’s about having that stability. There has been a lot of upheaval in a short space of time.
“It’s about fighting back now, although there’s no magic wand.
“Derek brought in David Moyes at Preston and they twice went into the play-offs in the division that we are going to be in, the Championship.”
A lifelong Preston fan, North End remained in the Championship during Shaw’s tenure but suffered relegation after he opted to step down to be replaced by Maurice Lindsay following Trevor Hemmings’ takeover of the club.
“I have been speaking with the owners for a few weeks,” Shaw, 54, told the Lancashire Telegraph.
“The owners know that things haven’t gone very well but they want things to change and they are so passionate about getting the club back in the Premier League.
“That’s something I want as well because I’ve been in the game for 20-odd years and I’ve never been there.
“I will be very involved in speaking to the owners and the day-to-day decisions and very involved in working with the non-football management.
“We know the fans have been disappointed with the last 18 months but we want to try to put that behind us now and move forward.
“I hope the fans can give us time because we will all be working extremely hard and I’ve been very impressed with the hours Steve Kean is putting in to put the squad together.
“I know how much time he put into the Danny Murphy deal. Danny had other offers but Steve just wouldn’t say no.”
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