- The Championship
Blackburn deny Bollywood appointment
Blackburn Rovers have denied reports that an untried manager who was the subject of a Bollywood film is set to become their next boss.
Judan Ali, whose attempts to earn a playing career formed the basis of the 2007 film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, was at training on Friday, the day after the Championship club sacked Henning Berg.
Berg was sacked after a 57-day reign in which he only won one of his 10 games in charge and assistant manager Eric Black, first-team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms were also fired.
But Rovers say it was a coincidence that Ali, a former Arsenal trainee who has led India's Under-15 team, led a community youth project in Dagenham and managed Accrington Stanley Bowles, was at the club's Brockhall training complex the day after Berg's departure.
"He was a guest of the club and has been here for about a week or 10 days. His visit has been planned for months," said Rovers' global advisor Shebby Singh. "He seems to have got caught up in the crossfire."
Singh hopes to appoint a new manager "imminently" as Rovers, who have slipped to 17th in the Championship, seek to change their fortunes and offered a glowing assessment of reserve team boss Gary Bowyer and his staff to the Press Association.
"We've got capable people,'' he said. "This club is well run, we've got proper people. Gary Bowyer has been reserve team and Under-21 manager for two years, he's been at the club for eight years.
"Terry McPhillips, Tony Grant (both youth coaches) - these are great guys. They've been working so hard behind the scenes and people don't realise all the good work that they've put in. So nothing of that sort (Singh and Ali taking training), it's been business as usual.''
Quotes attributed to Balaji Rao, managing director of the Venky's group that owns Blackburn, emerged earlier on Friday stating that a manager with "Premier League experience'' would be appointed after the Barnsley game - something else Singh insists is wide of the mark.
He added: "I can safely say that is not true because I was on the phone with him. I've been on the phone with him all morning and no, it's not true. Someone's just decided to be mischievous about it so, no, it's not true.''
Former Rovers player and manager Mark Hughes is the fans' favourite to succeed Berg but it is questionable if the Welshman, sacked by QPR in November, wants to work in the Championship.