Football: Unpopular Blackburn boss Steve Kean refused today to discuss claims that the club’s deputy chief executive Paul Hunt has been sacked.
Widespread reports suggested that Hunt — the man who in a letter leaked to the media yesterday had called for Kean’s sacking — has left his position at the club.
Speaking at a press conference, Kean gave his “100 per cent” backing to the club’s owners Venky’s and would not be moved on questions of Hunt’s demise.
“I am aware of the speculation but I can’t at this moment confirm it,” said the Scot, whose Rovers side were relegated from the Premier League following defeat to Wigan on Monday night.
“That is all I want to say on that matter. I just want to talk about the Chelsea game (on Sunday).”
There has been no official word from the club on Hunt, whose letter to Venky’s, which was written after Blackburn lost to Bolton last December, warned of growing financial problems and urged the removal of Kean.
Hunt, who has been the most senior official at the club since the departure of chairman John Williams more than a year ago, wrote of Kean: “He has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening’s game has lost the dressing room as well — the players no longer want to play for him.
“It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club.”
It is unknown whether Venky’s ever responded to Hunt, but few of his recommendations were acted upon.
Kean, who appears to be the only one at Blackburn who has a regular line of communication with the Indian-based owners, said that he had spoken with his paymasters since their relegation to the Championship was confirmed.
He said: “Their reaction was the same as ours — they were devastated.
“We are very numb. We have taken a step backwards, but we now have to prepare a squad and the process has already started.
“I have spoken at great lengths with the owners and now we have to assemble a squad that is a very competitive squad.”
Kean has been subjected to fierce protests from the club’s fans for much of the season, but he maintains that he is the right man for the job and has not lost the dressing room. “I’m here for the long-term and the owners are here for the long-term,” he insisted.
“We have taken a massive backward step but we have to look forward and make sure we can get back at the first time of asking.
“The owners are not going anywhere. I’m not going anywhere.”
When asked if Venky’s were the right owners for the club, he said: “100 per cent.”
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