A CONTROVERSIAL AND STRANGE APPOINTMENT




When Owen Coyle was appointed Blackburn Rovers manager on 2nd June 2016, to succeed the hapless Paul Lambert, who had succeeded in dividing the club and causing general mayhem , there was not possibly one Rovers supporter who thought the appointment a good one. Social media went into meltdown in protest, at what appeared ,such a crass appointment. After the turmoil of Lambert and the brutal and unnecessary sacking of Gary Bowyer, it was not the appointment Rovers fans were looking for. Whilst the likes of Gary Monk went to Leeds, Jaap Stam to Reading, Alan Stubbs to Rotherham, Nigel Pearson to Derby, Dimatteo to Viila, Benitez to Newcastle, Russell Slade to Charlton , Gary Bowyer to Blackpool and Ryan Giggs future in limbo, to name but a few. Rovers fans were given the failed Owen Coyle. To say they were not happy is an understatement. The sale of season tickets came to a shuddering halt, the Ewood Park switchboard was put into meltdown by furious fans venting their anger , some vowing never to set foot inside Ewood again . Even the national press and radio picked up on the supporters anger, whilst club secretary Ian Silvester and Director Mike Cheston were men under siege. After over a month of drawing up a , so called short list, of possible suitable candidates and conducting interviews, the appointment of Coyle came swift and sudden. According to Coyle, approached on Monday 30th May and appointed on Thursday 2nd June. Rovers fans and the football world were stunned. What happened to the short list ? What happened to the candidates interviewed ? The general consensus of opinion was that the club had been turned down by their preferred choices, although it was never made public who had been interviewed . Maybe the poison spread by Lambert about the clubs owners, the lack of ambition, the lack of funds, had an effect on prospective candidates. Maybe , unlike Coyle , they were not prepared to work under such restrictive guidelines. Now almost a month has passed since Coyle( pic above) was appointed, and opinions are slowly changing. Coye, against the odds, has signed fans favourite, Danny Graham, from Sunderland on a free transfer on a 3 year contract. But Graham will not have come cheap. A signing on fee will have had to have been paid, possibly in the region of £1.5m . His wages will be high, but not in the region of the £32 ,000 pw he earned at Sunderland. Coyle has also signed striker Antony Stokes from Celtic on free transfer. Again a signing on fee will have had to have been paid, how much ? who knows ? But with 135 appearances and 58 goals for Celtic, plus 54 appearances and 27 goals for Hibs, Stokes will not have come cheap, his wages, like Grahams , will have stretched the club. Add to those two the further free transfer signings of Stephen Hendrie , Liam Feeney and Jack Byrne, the mood to Coyle is softening a little. Although the real test will be performances and results. If they do not go well for him the crowd will very quickly turn on him, for this is not a popular appointment by any means. But Coyle's activity in the transfer market begs a question. Given that both Graham and Stokes are, in the long term, expensive and costly acquisitions , were does that leave Lamberts claims that the owners were not prepared to spend any substantial money on the team ? Me thinks there is more to Lamberts departure than meets the eye. Unless Coyle has to recoup the expense by selling one of our assets for big money. Bye, bye Hanley , maybe ? Time will tell.

Reg

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