It appears that the club have made a decision over who to appoint as their next manager. Blackburn chairman John Williams has conducted a string of interviews with the likes of Sam Allardyce, Steve McClaren and Michael Laudrup, although it seems he and the board have decided to plump for an up-and-coming candidate instead of someone more experienced. Step forward Paul Ince!
The Times report that he’s very much the number one choice to take over at Ewood Park, although the Premier League will have to ratify this choice due to Ince’s lack of qualifications.
They will demand to know why the former England captain has failed to secure any of the necessary coaching qualifications and why he dropped out of a management course at Warwick University.
Under Premier League regulations, managers in the top division are required to hold the Uefa Pro Licence qualification – or at least to be in the process of trying to obtain it – but it is understood that Ince, the Milton Keynes Dons manager, does not have the Uefa A Licence, which is one level below the Pro Licence, and it is not even clear that he has the Uefa B Licence. In recent years, the Premier League has permitted the appointments of Avram Grant at Chelsea, Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough and Glenn Roeder at Newcastle United, even though they did not hold the Uefa Pro Licence, but the expected appointment of Ince at Blackburn will require the body to turn a blind eye to its own rulebook.
If a spanner is thrown in the works due to the Premier League putting their foot down, will it be a blessing in disguise for Rovers, who are surely taking a massive punt on a manager who has only coached at League Two level up to now? While Ince is not short of confidence and did well with MK Dons, how does his record stand up to Sam Allardyce or Henk Ten Cate, who have both coached or managed at the top level?
Blackburn fans, is your chairman playing a high-risk game here?