Allardyce shocked by sudden exit
Sam Allardyce tonight described himself "very shocked and disappointed" to have been sacked by Blackburn.
New owners the Venky's Group today announced that they have dispensed with the former Bolton boss' services despite Rovers sitting relatively comfortably in 13th in the Barclays Premier League. "I am very shocked and disappointed to be leaving Blackburn Rovers," Allardyce said in a statement released by the League Managers Association.
"I am extremely proud to have managed this club and I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the players, my staff and the supporters during my time in charge," he went on. "I now wish them and the football club every success for the future".
The full statement from Rovers said: "The Venky's Group, owners of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, has today confirmed the departure of manager Sam Allardyce and assistant manager Neil McDonald with immediate effect. First team coaching duties will be taken on by Steve Keane (currently first team coach) for the immediate future. We have taken this decision as part of our wider plans and ambitions for the club. We would like to put on record our thanks to Mr Allardyce for his contribution to Blackburn Rovers Football Club."
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan lamented the news, with Allardyce falling victim to a takeover for the second time having lost his job under Mike Ashley's regime at Newcastle in 2008. "When new owners take over a club, sadly, the manager's position often hangs by a thread," he said. "To Sam's great misfortune this has now happened twice and, on both occasions, it has been extremely difficult to understand the thinking behind the dismissal. It will not be long before Sam, with his exceptional management experience, is back in a managerial post."
Blackburn lost 2-1 away to local rivals Bolton yesterday, with their opponents down to 10 men. However, that defeat left them still five points clear of the bottom three and in no obvious danger.
Blackburn striker Jason Roberts was taken aback by the dismissal. "I just heard it now and couldn't believe it," he said. "I don't think anybody saw it coming. I'm shocked and disappointed for the manager."
Roberts speculated that Blackburn's direct style of play under Allardyce may have been a factor in the dismissal, saying: "It is polarising the way we play. Some people are turned off by our tactics. Even though we never got on, I would never have wished him to get the sack."