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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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By ESPN Staff

Kean quiet over Hunt reports

Blackburn manager Steve Kean has refused to discuss reports claiming the club's deputy chief executive Paul Hunt has been sacked.

There have been widespread reports that Hunt has left his position at Ewood Park a day after a letter in which he told owners Venky's that Kean should be removed surfaced in the media.

Kean, speaking at a press conference, said: "I am aware of the speculation but I can't, at this moment, confirm it. That is all I want to say on that matter. I just want to talk about the Chelsea game.''

Confusion surrounds the situation with nobody else at the club able to comment on reports. The Rovers press department have been unable to obtain information, further highlighting the difficulties in communication between Ewood Park and the distant Indian owners.

Hunt has been the most senior official at the club since the departure of chairman John Williams more than a year ago. His letter to Venky's, written after a damaging loss to Bolton, last December, warned of growing financial difficulties and the threat of relegation from the Premier League.

The only regular line of communication the club appears to have with Venky's is through Kean, who is hugely unpopular with supporters but says he has spoken extensively with officials in India since demotion to the Championship was confirmed on Monday night.

He said: "Their reaction was the same as ours, they were devastated. We are very numb. We have taken a step backwards but we now have to prepare a squad and the process has already started. I have spoken at great lengths with the owners and now we have to assemble a squad that is a very competitive squad.''

Kean and Venky's have been the subject of vitriolic abuse from supporters throughout the season. But the Scot remains convinced of his ability to turn the situation around and of Venky's credentials.

He said: "Moving forward it is going to be an exciting time for the club. We have taken a massive backward step but we have to look forward and make sure we can get back at the first time of asking. The owners are not going anywhere, I'm not going anywhere.''

When asked if Venky's were the right owners for the club, he said: "100%.''

Kean also deflected questions on the barracking he received throughout Monday's tortuous loss and the clear hatred towards him from supporters.

He said: "Most of the time, at home, the fans were more supportive. They are disappointed, the same as everyone. We are all disappointed we are not going to be in the league but we gave it a really good go.''

When asked if fans deserved an apology for Rovers' sorry season, he said: "You would have to ask each individual fan. When I met the fans in and around this village [Brockhall, location of Rovers' training base], all they do is say we are with you and we support you. I don't get anybody coming up to me and saying they deserve an apology.''

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