On 28th September 2012, Steve Kean’s tenure as manager of Blackburn Rovers was brought to an end. At the time, the club were in third position in the Championship table, 2/1 to earn promotion to the Premier League and 13/2 to win the title.
But while Kean’s Blackburn were in contention to return to the top flight at the first time of asking, his departure was not lamented by fans: after all, this was a man who replaced a popular manager controversially sacked (Sam Allardyce), was at the helm for the entirety of Rovers’ doomed fight against relegation last season and lost exactly half of the games he oversaw as boss.
So even if the Lancashire club had plenty of scope to fall down the league table, it was – at the time – hard to envisage that things could get worse for Blackburn before they got better.
For while unpopular owners Venky’s still held the keys to Ewood Park, the departure of the equally-divisive Kean at least provided hope for the future – even if the Rovers Trust suggested it would only prove a “brief moment of optimism” if Venky’s failed to engage with fans.
Yet fast-forward just three months and Blackburn are not only yet to start a meaningful dialogue with the fans, but they are searching for yet another manager following the sacking of Henning Berg.
The Norwegian was appointed after a lengthy search for Kean’s successor but lasted only ten games – six of which his team lost.
As a result, Blackburn have slipped to 17th position in the Championship, are eight points off the play-offs – albeit with a game in hand – and are now 66/1 outsiders for the title.
What seems clear here is that changing the manager at Ewood Park represents an attempt to plug a gaping would with a small plaster. Until there is more significant upheaval at the club, Blackburn’s promotion chances look doomed – even if, with over 20 games still to go, there is plenty of time for them to get back into the play-off hunt.
And with this in mind, the promotion chances of teams like Cardiff, Hull, Middlesbrough and Leicester have surely been enhanced thanks to the ineptitude of a team who, on paper, should be challenging at the top of the table.