Next Blackburn Manager: Souness leads betting (By


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Dec 2, 2008
Next Blackburn Manager: Souness leads betting as Rovers look for quick appointment


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After Paul Ince was "relieved of his duties," the Betfair markets reckon a certain moustachioed Scot is set to return to East Lancashire.
Paul Ince became the fifth Premier League managerial casualty of the season this morning when his short reign as Blackburn Rovers manager was brought to an end.
The former England captain endured a torrid time at Ewood Park, winning only three games out of 17 - a run which has seen Rovers slip to 19th in the table and four points from safety.
Fans turned on Ince, who joined Blackburn after winning the League Two title with Milton Keynes Dons last season, during the lack-lustre League Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester United and Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic was the final straw.
The Betfair markets have seen the writing on the wall for some weeks with Ince leading the managerial change market after Roy Keane's departure from Sunderland and only trading at a high of 2.2.
Chairman John Williams was initially keen to grant time to Ince but his colleagues on the Rovers' board - in particular the trustees of the Jack Walker estate - felt that the financial consequences of relegation would be catastrophic for a club already in debt.
With crucial Christmas fixtures coming up for Rovers the Next Blackburn Manager Market is likely be settled quickly as Williams aims to appoint a new boss in time for Saturday's crunch home fixture against Stoke City.
Graeme Souness, the early market leader at 3.8, has been out of football since his sacking by Newcastle in 2006. He managed Rovers from 2000-2004, winning promotion from the first division and establishing the club as a robust Premier League outfit. However, his acrimonious departure, the parlous league position he left Blackburn in and his tendency to alienate players will make some board members and fans uneasy about a return. Despite this, he is available and keen to get back into the game and his authoritarian approach and experience may offer a refreshing contrast to Ince's naivety.
Sam Allardyce, who follows Souness in the betting at 5.1, demonstrated during his reign at Bolton that he knows how to build and energise a team on limited resources. He undoubtedly has the stomach for a relegation scrap but it is well known that his preferred destination is Sunderland. Blackburn fans would not welcome the appointment, having petitioned against him when he was a leading candidate for the job in the summer. There is a strong antipathy towards Allardyce in East Lancashire due to comments he made about Rovers not being worth watching while manager of Bolton.
Of the rest, Alan Curbishley is available at 14.5 but there are doubts about whether such a London-centric figure possesses sufficient understanding of football in the North West or whether he would want the job. Alan Shearer is available at 27.0 but while it may suit the Rovers legend to begin his managerial career away from the glare of the North East, it is unlikely that Williams will be prepared to appoint another novice or risk losing another manager to Newcastle a la Souness.
As a member of the 1995 Premier League winning team Mike Newell 65.0 is fondly remembered by fans and currently doing an impressive job at Grimsby. The board, though, will be wary of recruiting another manager from two divisions down and if a sentimental appointment really was on the cards, Kenny Dalgliesh's price would be a lot lower than 150.0.

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