Blackburn’s deputy CEO Paul Hunt wanted manager Steve Kean removed last December, a leaked letter he sent to the club’s owners has revealed.
Hunt’s letter, obtained by Sporting Intelligence, also details financial turmoil and the supporter unrest which has manifested itself at Ewood Park since the Venky’s takeover of November 2010.
Hunt, writing after a stormy loss to Bolton last December, also warned of the danger of relegation from the Premier League – a fear which came true after defeat by Wigan last night.
Hunt was highly concerned about the direction of the club under the distant ownership of Indian firm Venky’s and asks chairperson Anuradha Desai to allow him greater control.
Hunt has been the most senior official at Ewood since the departure of former chairman John Williams more than a year ago.
He began the 2,500-word document by writing: “I have been your senior officer at the club for six months now and I feel that I must now write to you to ask you to make some significant changes to save the club, perhaps from relegation but also perhaps from administration.
“In 20 years of the Premier League there has been only one side that was bottom of the league at Christmas that has survived relegation at the end of the season.
“With the bank closing in, I fear that they will look to foreclose and have the potential to implement financial restrictions upon the club that could (as a worst-case scenario) enforce administration.
“I have kept quiet for a time now out of utmost respect and I trust that you realise that I am only emailing you now as I want what is only the best for Blackburn Rovers and the owners.
“I am very much of the opinion that we can save the club and I have always been very supportive and positive towards the owners.
“Therefore I hope you know that what I am saying is considered, honest, constructive and from the heart.”
Hunt then detailed a 10-point plan he felt could turn around the direction of the struggling club.
One of the points concerned Kean’s position. The Scot has been hugely unpopular since being appointed to succeed the sacked Sam Allardyce soon after the takeover.
Hunt wrote: “Publicly I have been asked to support the manager and I always have as I personally like Steve.
“I have supported him from the start and have been desperate for him to do well. However, I am now of the opinion that it isn’t working and he is ready to go.
“He has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening’s game has lost the dressing room as well – the players no longer want to play for him.
“It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club. The board should be asked their opinion in who should be the new manager.”
On financial matters, Hunt urges Venky’s to invest.
He wrote: “As you are aware Barclays have asked for the owners to put £10m into the business.
“This needs to happen and I am confident that this could only be a loan as we would increase the value of the club significantly.
“With all the speculation in the press the playing staff value and overall club value is depreciating on a daily basis.
“By putting an end to this the owners would be protecting their investment, putting their trust in the executive team and the club. The position with the finances is a cause for grave concern.
“Auditors KPMG have put as many obstacles as they can in the way of signing off the accounts due to their concerns.”
Hunt asks to be promoted to chief executive and for Venky’s to “give the executive team at Ewood Park, the latitude and authority to run the club.”
There are other points concerning PR strategy, the need for more regular visits by the owners to Ewood and officials to India and fears over loss of fans.
“We are losing fans/customers at an alarming rate,” Hunt added. “I am very concerned that fans are voting with their feet and not attending, not purchasing and not engaging with the club.”
The club were contacted this afternoon concerning the letter but had no comment to make.