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[Archived] News Article -> Comment: Venky's Managerial Appointment Farce

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It has now been over four weeks since Steve Kean resigned on 28 September and, at long last, it appears that Rovers are now only a few days away from finding a replacement, with an announcement expected by the middle of this week. For outside observers looking in, the delays may appear merely farcical, but it comes as no surprise to the Rovers faithful, who have watched in horror as a once steady ship has been rocked by incompetence and mismanagement during the two years of Venky's ownership.

When Kean left, Venky's had a golden opportunity to show that they had learnt from previous mistakes and were now willing to appoint an experienced manager who could guide the side back to the Premier League, but their hesitancy has shown that they are still completely unaware of the proper way to run a football club.

All reports suggest that, despite relegation and incompetent ownership, the managerial position at Rovers is still a desired post. This may in part be a result of the fact that there have so far been few openings in top positions, both in this country and around Europe, but even a ready-made shortlist of top names was not enough to kick Venky's and Shebby Singh into action.

Instead of acting decisively as near-neighbours Bolton did, both in sacking Owen Coyle and by appointing Dougie Freedman as his replacement, Rovers have gone down the farcical path of internal bickering and hanging out dirty laundry in public. Over the past month there have been strong links to Sherwood, Holloway, Shearer, Redknapp, McKinlay and several others and yet the club have only just reached the interview stage of the process in the past few days. It is difficult to believe that it could have taken so long to draw up a final shortlist, and Rovers supporters will be disheartened by the fact that Kean leaving has changed little surrounding the club.

Each potential appointee has his drawbacks, but that is to be expected. In the past month supporters have had a significant change of tune. Previously the thought process was "anyone but Kean", but now they appear to be far more selective. Perhaps this is only natural, but supporters also need to accept that, with the exception of the likes of Ferguson or Mourinho, every manager comes with some sort of blot on their copybook.

That point needs to be made clearly to Shebby Singh, the serial crowd pleaser who appears to be more concerned with his public image than he is with making sure that the day-to-day running of the club is going as it should. His appointment was met with a mixture of hope and scepticism, but again, much like Venky's, he has missed the opportunity to capitalise on Kean's departure by showing that he is capable of being part of a professional club and has instead shown himself to be a media pundit struggling to adapt to a role that requires more than public appearances and hypothesising.

What is needed is someone willing to stand up and run the club in their own way. Kean's incompetence was a sight to behold, but he was also hampered by the fact that he was little more than a yes-man. If progress is to be made, then the next man in charge needs to be one capable of actually taking control.

This is a poorly run club. Relegation, losing key players and the entire Kean fiasco aside, the greatest shame of the past two years has been watching a well-run club so quickly turned into a laughing-stock. We can all hope that a new appointment will bring a change in fortunes and perhaps a strong voice to talk some sense into the owners and the senior management, but at the moment that seems a very distant hope.

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