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UPDATED: Kean resigns as Blackburn Rovers boss
7:32pm Friday 28th September 2012 in Sport
Steve Kean's troubled reign as Blackburn manager came to an end tonight as he resigned from his role, saying in a statement that he had been "forced" out and that his position had become "untenable".
The Scot has been a much-derided figure at Ewood Park for the duration of his near two-year spell in charge, with the low point being relegation from the Barclays Premier League in May.
But despite poor results on the pitch, Kean retained the backing of the club's owners, Venky's - much to the fury of supporters who regularly protested against him.
The tide seemed to have turned for the 44-year-old this season, on the pitch at least, as Blackburn made a positive start to the campaign, with Rovers sitting third in the npower Championship table ahead of tomorrow's trip to Charlton.
Fan unrest has continued, though, and tonight, in a statement issued through his lawyers, Kean said: "For reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable.
"I wish to thank all the players and coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future."
There was no sign of Kean's decision to step down on the club's official website, with the lead story one of him talking of a "positive week".
When contacted by Press Association Sport, managing director Derek Shaw said: "I have been travelling down to London and this is the first I have heard of it."
Kean was appointed as Rovers boss in December 2010, replacing Sam Allardyce who was relieved of his duties despite saving the club from relegation in his first season in charge.
Kean's contract was upgraded a month later and, although he Kept them up that campaign, it was clear he was not a terrace favourite.
As Rovers struggled at the start of the 2011-12 season, the calls for Kean to stand down became stronger, but despite that, he was again given an improved deal in the November.
Regular protests reached their most vicious when Blackburn lost a six-point relegation battle at home to Bolton but Venky's remained nerveless, though, standing by their man despite a seemingly inevitable relegation being confirmed when they lost at home to Wigan in May.
Even the most loyal Blackburn fans expected Kean might be relieved of his duties over the summer, but the faith remained in the boardroom, despite disparaging public comments from director of football Shebby Singh, who had to apologise for stating Kean would be sacked if he lost three games in a row.
Kean was heavily backed in the transfer market, signing Huddersfield's Jordan Rhodes for £8million, but despite only losing their first league game of the season last Friday, he remained under heavy pressure.
Singh did little to douse the fires this week when he said the situation was getting worse "day by day", with those comments coming three days before Kean's decision to stand down.
STEVE KEAN FACTFILE
- 1967: Born September 30, in Glasgow.
- 1985: Joins Celtic on leaving school but is unable to break into the first-team squad.
- 1987: Moves to Swansea on loan before a brief stint at Alloa sees him make a single appearance.
- 1994: Starts a six-year spell in Portugal, seeing out his playing career with Academica Coimbra.
- 2001: Joins Reading's coaching staff.
- 2000: Moves to Fulham to work with the club's academy.
- 2003: Becomes assistant manager to former Swansea team-mate Chris Coleman at Fulham.
- 2007: Follows Coleman to Real Sociedad after the Welshman was sacked by Fulham.
- 2008: February - Again moves alongside Coleman as his assistant coach, this time to Coventry.
- June - Linked to a coaching role at Chelsea with Luiz Felipe Scolari, with his fluency in Portuguese believed to be a key reason for the Blues' interest.
- 2009: August - Appointed first-team coach at Blackburn by then manager Sam Allardyce.
- 2010: December 13 - Installed as caretaker manager at Blackburn after Allardyce is sacked by new owners Venky's.
- December 22 - Appointed Blackburn manager until the end of the season.
- 2011: January 4 - Anuradha Desai, chairperson of Venky's, reveals Kean is to be offered a new long-term contract to manage the club.
- January 20 - Kean signs a new contract until June 2013.
- November - Despite months of protests by fans calling for Kean to be sacked, he signs a revised contract.
- December 20 - Fan pressure increases on Kean following a 2-1 home defeat to Bolton that left Rovers bottom of the Premier League, but Venky's continue to support their manager.
- December 31 - Kean secures an eye-catching result to temporarily silence the doubters as Rovers defeat Manchester United 3-2 at Old Trafford.
- 2012: May 7 - Kean vows to fight on after his side are relegated following a 1-0 loss to Wigan at Ewood Park.
- August 11 - Blackburn's director of football Shebby Singh says Kean will be sacked if he loses three games in a row early on in the new Championship season. Singh later apologises for his comments.
- August 18 - Despite a summer of speculation over his future, Kean begins the new season still in charge at Rovers, the club opening with a 1-1 draw at Ipswich.
- September 22 - Owners Venky's enter into talks about Kean's future after a 2-1 loss against Middlesbrough leaves Rovers two short of the 16-point haul they targeted from their first seven games.
- September 28 - Despite earlier claiming to have had "positive and constructive" talks with Venky's, Kean resigns as Blackburn manager, saying his position at the club had become "untenable".