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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sports News: Kean abuse unacceptable

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has received the full backing of the League Managers' Association, who have released a strongly-worded statement condemning the unprecedented attacks on the Scot from his own fans at Ewood Park on Tuesday night.

A large section of the Rovers support have been agitating against Kean for some time and the ill-feeling spilled over completely once Mark Davies had scored Bolton's opener in Tuesday's defeat. It continued throughout the game and long after the final whistle as hundreds attended a demonstration outside the stadium calling for immediate action.

"When results continue to be bad on the field fans who give up their hard-earned money to support their club have a right to voice their opinion," said the LMA. "However, the aggression and abuse levelled at Steve over recent weeks has stepped well beyond the mark and is as unacceptable in football as it would be in any other profession."

The statement continued: "It is to Steve's significant credit that he has shouldered this continued onslaught with dignity and professionalism and has continued to work with his players to try and improve results on the pitch."

The club's controversial Indian owners, Venky's, were still digesting the latest downturn in a sorry season on Wednesday afternoon. Their absence from Ewood Park on Tuesday night was noted with some alarm and Kean himself rejected talk of a board meeting, insisting he would be "100% shocked" if he was sacked.

Former Rovers striker Kevin Gallacher is among those who believe the visual absence of a figurehead at Blackburn since the departure of former chief executive John Williams has contributed to the ire being directed at Kean.

And it seems the LMA share those sentiments.

"It is very sad to witness the continued demonstrations by Rovers fans towards their manager," said the organisation.

"Blackburn Rovers is one of the country's oldest clubs. It was a founding member of the Football League and is rightly proud of its long-standing history and tradition. It has been and continues to be a central part of a close-knit Lancastrian community.

"However, owners of clubs such as Blackburn Rovers rely on the support and the relationships they build with their fans and their local community. As new owners, the Venky's should build relationships, develop trust with their fans and communicate their vision on a regular basis in an open and visible way."

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