Steve Kean: ‘I’m delighted that we’re moving forward again’
Despite overseeing Rovers’ relegation from the Barclays Premier League last season amid significant supporter unrest, Kean remains in position after a summer of change behind the scenes at Ewood Park.
Former Preston chairman Derek Shaw was confirmed as the club’s new managing director this week, while former press officer Paul Agnew moved from the post of general manager to operational director.
One-time Malaysian defender and television pundit Shebby Singh is Rovers’ new director of football but, despite the upheaval, Kean insists his position has never been under threat as he unveiled maiden summer signing, Danny Murphy.
Asked whether he had to fight for his job during summer meetings with controversial Indian owners Venky’s, the Scot said: “No. We had some great open conversations and I’m delighted that we’re moving forward again.
“I gave an assessment of where I felt last year there were a few things we could have done better. Obviously there were some games that could have gone our way and they didn’t for whatever reason.
“We had as open a conversation as we always do – it’s always the same format. That was carried on to another meeting in India and another meeting in Zurich and that brings us to where we are – in a positive position with a fantastic signing.”
Ex-Liverpool and England midfielder Murphy, who has ended a successful five-year stint with Fulham to move back to the north west, was pragmatic in his assessment of Blackburn’s previous campaign, where the club at times appeared to lurch from one controversy to another.
“It’s hard for me to comment because I don’t know much about it, so it would be ill-informed opinion really,” he said.
“I think football clubs go through good and bad cycles.
“I’ve been involved in clubs before where it’s gone down and then back up – not down as in relegation, but down in terms of turmoil and trouble.
“I think when new owners and a new manager takes over, there’s going to be problems and there’s going to be things that arise.
“Ultimately the results on the football pitch are what determines the fans’ state of mind.”
In some quarters Kean is doing little to improve that mindset, but Murphy maintains the 44-year-old’s coaching vision was a key factor in persuading him to drop down a division.
“Steve was a big factor because he likes to play football the way I like to play – obviously because he wouldn’t have gone for a player like me otherwise,” added Murphy, who has penned a two-year deal.
“There was enthusiasm when he spoke about what he wants to do this season – bounce back and give the supporters something to cheer about this year rather than the negativity of last year.”