Venky's has a big decision to get right after Henning Berg became the third Rovers manager to be sacked in 24 months
Taken in isolation, Thursday's sacking of Henning Berg does not rank among the poorer decisions taken by the Indian owners of Blackburn Rovers.
Berg had the status of a much-celebrated former player but little else at the time of his appointment by Blackburn, just 57 days before his exit was confirmed. His previous coaching position was at another club he played for, Lillestrom in his native Norway, and from where he was also sacked.
Venky's, which owns Blackburn, could legitimately point to a need to bring supporters back on side by appointing a former player to succeed Steve Kean, particularly a member of their Premier League winning side in 1995. Beyond that, others had cause to privately wonder just what Berg had done to merit the post.
Berg himself infamously stated "there are no real managers with credibility who would accept a job like that", before signing a three-year contract to mark his return to Blackburn. The Norwegian duly presided over a single win, against relegation-threatened Peterborough United, during 10 matches in charge of Rovers. While the lack of patience shown by directors towards managers is an unfortunate aspect of modern football, it is also blunt reality.
Venky's has received plenty criticism for its style of club ownership. The Blackburn support, while acknowledging Berg's weaknesses, are again focusing on those who appointed him, however. Mark Fish, the secretary of the Rovers Action Group, said: "He was a fantastic player for the club, but for whatever reason it just didn't work out for him here. He just couldn't get the team playing, he couldn't get them fighting. But someone needs to come out now and hold their hands up.
"There were a lot of people involved in the [recruitment] process. A lot of good, better candidates were overlooked for this position. But they seemed determined to bring in an ex-Blackburn player and it just hasn't worked out the way they had hoped."
An indication of trouble brewing at Ewood Park appeared before the festive period, with the bizarre story of the 43-year-old Berg storming out of the club's Christmas party. It was claimed he had taken umbrage at being forced to don a stocking and a Michael Jackson wig while dancing. "I was asked to do things which were not the right things for me to do as the manager, considering our league position and form," the former defender who was capped 100 times by Norway explained.
Berg had shown no hint of turning fortunes around and while promotion is not yet an unattainable dream, his successor's first task will be to ensure this under-performing Blackburn squad are not sucked into a relegation fight.
Heading into the new year, they sit 17th in the Championship. The end of season 2009-10, when Rovers finished 10th in the top flight under Sam Allardyce, must feel like an eternity ago to their fans. Even when Kean departed in September, Blackburn were third in the Championship.
It will not be lost on anybody that Venky's showed a marked unwillingness to dispense with Berg's predecessor in the face of intense and concerted discontent from the stands. This time, intriguingly, those in charge of Blackburn have opted for decisive action immediately before the transfer window is due to reopen next month. Whether of his own or the board's volition, Berg had not even brought in his own team of coaching staff.
In December 2010, within a month of Venky's takeover, Allardyce had departed from the manager's post. Kean was never fully embraced as his replacement, a matter which turned increasingly toxic as Blackburn began to struggle on the pitch. Against that backdrop, one senior Venky's figure described Kean as "unsackable". Stated plans to recruit high-profile players, such as Ronaldinho, never came to fruition.
Off the field, too, there has been recurring friction over the long-term financial future. John Williams, their respected chairman of 14 years, resigned in February 2011. A letter from Williams and two of his fellow board members at the time, written to Venky's a month earlier, subsequently appeared. Included among the trio's stated concerns was: "We now find the board are not even being consulted on some of the most fundamental decisions this or any other football club ever makes.
"This includes the termination of the manager's employment [Sam Allardyce] and the appointment of a new manager [Steve Kean]."
Another appointment, that of Shebby Singh as Blackburn's "global adviser" in the summer was significant. Singh will play a crucial role in the arrival of a new coaching team – Venky's can hardly afford another wrong decision.