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Premier League Forgotten Managers: Steve Kean

Welcome to this brand-new series exploring former Premier League managers who have seemingly slipped off the face of the earth. We’ve all been down the pub having casual footy chat with our mates, when a manager’s name pops up and you wonder: What on earth are they doing now? Or sometimes, how earth were they ever allowed to manage Premiership club……

First up is former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean, who spent two years in charge of the Lancashire side.

Pre-Managerial Career

Kean was born in the Scottish city of Glasgow and spent his formative years in and around the city. He joined Glasgow Celtic’s academy as a young lad, but never managed to make an appearance for the revered Hoops. Following his release, he signed for Swansea City, where he first met Chris Coleman. After a spell in Portugal with Académica, the Glaswegian turned his hand to coaching after finishing his playing career with non-league Newbury Town.

Kean was reunited with Chris Coleman at Fulham, were he served as his assistant manager. He followed the Welshman to Real Sociedad and Coventry City, before flying the nest and taking steps into management.

Time in the Premier League

Steve Kean’s tenure at Blackburn Rovers was marred by controversy, dodgy dealings, and backstabbing. Having originally been appointed as Sam Allardyce’s right hand man, Kean was supposedly instrumental in the sacking of Big Sam, being recorded in a bar calling the former England manager a ‘crook’.

Initially appointed as caretaker of the Rovers, Kean was eventually given the role on a permanent basis. This was again blemished by controversy, as Kean’s agent was involved in advising the Venky’s during their takeover of Blackburn, drawing certain conclusions from fans and pundits alike.

There was also furore over the relationship between Kean’s wife and the wife of one of Venky’s owners. This led to accusations of cronyism and was raised as an issue by local MP and Rovers fan Graham Jones. Further controversy emerged after he was caught drink-driving in 2011, on the night of a surprise draw against Manchester United. Kean claimed he had been spiked, but the defence was thrown out and he was banned from driving for 18 months.

With regard to actual football, Kean’s premiership of Blackburn Rovers was relatively poor. In 74 matches he achieved just 21 wins, giving him a win rate of just 28.4%. Kean oversaw the relegation of the Lancashire side to the Championship and resigned in December 2012 citing the position had become ‘untenable’.

Life After the Prem

Following his resignation, Kean took a brief hiatus before travelling east to the Kingdom of Brunei. In Asia, Kean became manager of Duli Pengiran Muda Mahkota Football Club (DPMM FC). The club played domestic football in the Singaporean S.League, where Kean led the side to second place in 2014 and won the title in 2015.

Kean left DPMM in 2017, and was most recently quoted in the Daily Mail as backing Steven Gerrard to succeed in his role as Rangers manager.

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