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Steve Kean: The Manager Who Can't Be Moved

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Very few managers in world football have the privilege of appearing to be unsackable. In England Sir Alex Ferguson is allowed to work with that pleasure, along with Arsene Wenger, probably David Moyes... and Steve Kean.

When Kean was handed the Blackburn Rovers job in December 2010, the side were thirteenth in the Premier League and were showing little sign of finishing anywhere near the relegation zone. The new manager went on to oversee a shocking set of results that saw the club cling on to their Premier League status on the last day of the season.

Less than two years on from his appointment, the 1994/95 Premier League winners sit in the second tier of English football, attendances continue to dwindle as exasperated supporters have turned to protesting with their feet and Kean unbelievably continues to survive as manager.

According to reports, the manager was on the verge of the sack after defeat to Middlesbrough on Friday evening but the much-maligned boss appears to have survived the axe once again - much to the dismay of Blackburn's bewildered fans.

When Venky's appointed Kean, the owners had discovered a man with no managerial experience at any level and his promotion was one of many astounding decisions that have led to the capitulation of the club. The side's followers have been in uproar ever since and the well-documented protests that have accompanied his spell as manager have seen exhausted Blackburn fans heavily criticised by the media.

Blackburn supporters will rightfully feel that they have been unfairly mauled and patronised by the press over the course of Kean's reign and some so-called experts have let down the fans on a massive scale. The sympathy afforded to Kean amidst dissent over the last two seasons has clouded the judgement of many and there is no getting away from his abysmal record in the dugout.

Thirteen victories in 59 Premier League matches saw Kean finish Blackburn's life in the top flight with a win ratio of just 22% and Venky's unhealthy appetite for the bizarre has seen the manager keep hold of his job, despite a number of calls for his removal.

Blackburn Rovers' deputy CEO, Paul Hunt, was forced out of the club after he warned owners of relegation and financial turmoil under the reign of Steve Kean and chairman John Williams, managing director Tom Finn and finance director Martin Goodman have all left the club whilst the manager continues to cut a forlorn figure on the touchline. The Lancashire Evening Telegraph has called for his dismissal and even local MP Jack Straw has joined supporters in asking for his removal.

At times last season, few would deny that it was uncomfortable witnessing the anger pour out of the stands at Ewood Park, but Blackburn supporters will argue there was no other way of getting through to their owners. When Rovers were relegated at home to Wigan earlier in the year, the Venky's hierarchy were nowhere to be seen and a haunted Kean was the subject of a barrage of abuse that stemmed from eighteen months of built up frustration.

When Kean was appointed, Venky's had found a yes-man and though his bizarre rise through the ranks was questioned by many, nobody could blame him for jumping at the chance to prove himself after over 27 years working in the industry. His self-confidence is admirable, but it is clear he has fallen well short of the task and his defence of a disastrous spell in charge is almost as absurd as the regime that employed him.

A crowd of just 13,405 saw Friday's match and many supporters are adamant they will not return until Kean is dismissed. A number of high-profile pundits will undoubtedly say that sacking any manager that sits second in the table is unfair, but Kean should be judged on the plight of the club since he took charge from Sam Allardyce.

In the past Kean has talked of European nights at Ewood Park and Champions League football had been a vision he shared with his disillusioned owners. Now you suspect that even if that mystifying dream became a reality it might not be enough to convince Blackburn's tortured supporters.

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