EWOOD Park officials were last night ready to unveil Gary Bowyer as Blackburn Rovers’ manager after finalising a deal with their caretaker boss.
Rovers chiefs were waiting for the final green light from owners Venky’s to make an official announcement after talks were completed for Bowyer to become manager on a full-time basis. Formal negotiations commenced this week after the 41-year-old returned late on Friday following a week-long holiday.
Bowyer has been backed for the job by managing director Derek Shaw, operations director Paul Agnew and global advisor Shebby Singh after helping Rovers avoid relegation to League One at the end of the season.
He held positive talks with the owners following the final game of the campaign on May 4, although Rovers have been waiting for the final go-ahead from Venky’s on the appointment.
Other possible candidates are understood to have been recommended to the owners in recent weeks, as was the case when Michael Appleton was installed as boss in January.
It is suggested that may have caused a certain amount of confusion within the Rao family over the best way forward, but officials at Ewood have pressed ahead with talks over the Bowyer deal.
They were last night ready to confirm the appointment, waiting only for the nod from Venky’s. Terry McPhillips and Tony Grant would be likely to continue supporting Bowyer as part of the first team backroom staff.
All three made the step up from their youth roles at the club when Appleton was sacked as manager in March.
The delays over the managerial appointment, which had originally been expected to happen at the end of last week, have also seen the club put back confirmation of details on season ticket prices for next season.
Rovers have been keen to get the managerial situation resolved before confirming prices shortly afterwards, something they hope they can do this week.
Tim Sherwood – the former Rovers captain who is now working as technical co-ordinator at Tottenham - had been linked with the Ewood job in recent days.
There were even suggestions even that Spurs had been contacted about the 44-year-old but staff at both clubs were left puzzled by those reports, unaware of any such events.
Sherwood stressed publicly that he was happy in his role at White Hart Lane – even though he admitted he may consider moving into management one day.
“Possibly,” he said. “At the moment I’m enjoying what I do, I’m at a great football club and it’s helped me develop.
“I’ve worked under some great managers here, it’s about learning and actually taking that step when it arises.
“If the opportunity arises and it’s something that’s attractive to me and I’ve lost love for what I’m doing at the place I’m at now then I’d consider it. But at the moment I’m happy in what I do.”
Rovers duo Jordan Rhodes and Grant Hanley have been named in the Scotland squad for a World Cup qualifier in Croatia on June 7.
Tim Payne has been confirmed in the New Zealand squad for the Under 20s World Cup in Turkey, which starts on June 21.
- Former Rovers defender Zurab Khizanishvili, who has been playing for Turkish side Kayserispor, has been linked with a return to England with Leeds.