Time factor pressure in Blackburn Rovers’ managerial search


A month has now passed since the end of the Championship season, and four weeks on from the official confirmation that Tony Mowbray would be leaving at the end of his contract.

Whether it be a case that Rovers are taking their time knowing the importance of their first managerial appointment in five years, new names have come into the fold, main targets have gone elsewhere, or a lack of clarity of the direction the club wants to take , the time taken is adding to the intrigue, but also building tension.

While the manager wouldn’t take an active role in next week’s pre-season testing, there is equally no lead fitness coach at the club following the departure of Liam Mason to Newcastle United.

And it would do no harm, not least in the quest to keep hold of players weighing up their futures, should a new man be at the helm sooner rather than later.

The current head of recruitment, John Park, is out of contract at the end of the month, so while planning will have been done for the transfer window, that will not be as joined up as would be ideal given the wait for a manager , and also the incoming sporting director.

That appointment was expected to follow that of a new head coach, and while no bad thing, if anything the right way around, it does show that time has ticked on for the most important appointment, that of Mowbray’s replacement.

Everything is left feeling on hold, until that appointment is made, and may well have impacted on supporters too in terms of season ticket sales.

As well as the search of their own side, Rovers supporters will have half an eye on the managerial moves of two of their Lancashire rivals.

Blackpool, whose managerial vacancy came much more as a shock than that of Mowbray, look well on their search, with permission granted from Cheltenham Town to speak with their boss Michael Duff about the vacancy.

Burnley have been without a manager since April, following the dismissal of Sean Dyche, but appear to be only red tape away from concluding a deal for Vincent Kompany following his departure from Anderlecht.

Then QPR, in a similar position to Rovers as their manager Mark Warburton left at the end of his contract, having appointed Michael Beale as their new boss last week, which in turn saw Neil Critchley replace him as Aston Villa No.2 to create the vacancy at Bloomfield Road.


So Rovers could soon be the only side in the division searching for a new manager, a significant factor in itself.

While not as short a summer break as 2020, the World Cup in Qatar this winter requiring for a break from Championship matches for a month has seen the start date brought forward by a week to July 30.

As a result of that, and a hope to be in the best possible shape for the return to pre-season training, some Rovers players will be back at Brockhall almost two weeks earlier than usual.

Rovers are opting against commenting on their managerial search in the same way they did when Mowbray began speaking openly about his future.

Neither has helped alleviate concerns, or provide assurance, but the club could take the view that the little they would be able to divulge would do little to appease or satisfy that.

Patience has turned to restlessness and in some quarters concern, and even with a managerial appointment that could still remain. Indeed, any appointment comes with a level of risk.

But the clarity is what is key, providing a position from which Rovers can move forward.


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