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Apr 29, 2013

Berg wins Blackburn pay-out

Blackburn Rovers have been ordered to pay £2.25 million in compensation to a manager who won just one game and lasted only 57 days at Ewood Park.

Henning Berg was appointed in October and sacked in December 2012 but a High Court judge ruled that Rovers had to pay up the remainder of his two-and-a-half year contract.

Rovers have already given the Norwegian £560,000 net, meaning they owe him another £843,000 after Judge Mark Pilling said their case was not "realistically arguable".

The Championship club were also told to pay £20,000 in costs for the hearing at Manchester Civil Justice Centre. Rovers' lawyers asked permission to appeal the decision and could now take it to the Court of Appeal.

Blackburn's owners, Venky's, had claimed the club's managing director, Derek Shaw, was not authorised to give Berg such lucrative terms, rather than the pay-off of one-year's salary that they had thought would be incorporated into his contract.

Last week, Rovers' own lawyers admitted in court that the club is "out of control", with Venky's powerless to stop Shaw running the club, and said the owners had been guilty of "incompetence".

Earlier in the hearing, presiding Judge Pilling had said their way of operating was "utterly unforgiveable" after they had agreed to pay Berg the full sum only to then go back on that decision.

Berg, a former Blackburn defender who was part of their title-winning team in 1995, is one of five men to manage Rovers this season.

He replaced Steve Kean, following a spell under caretaker manager Eric Black, and was replaced by Michael Appleton, who lasted 67 days in charge before reserve-team manager Gary Bowyer took over for a second time as caretaker.

Berg released a statement through the League Managers' Association on Monday evening wishing the club well.

It read: "Being appointed manager of Blackburn Rovers was a great opportunity for me. The club has always had (and continues to have) a special place in my heart.

"I was very disappointed to be dismissed after only eight weeks in charge without being able to make the changes I felt were necessary to take the club towards the Barclays Premier League.

"When the club refused to honour its obligations I had no option but to take legal action. Fortunately, with the backing of the League Managers' Association and my fantastic legal team, led by Paul Gilroy QC and Martin Price of Slater & Gordon, Solicitors, the court has upheld my claim, which I always expected it would.

"I now wish to place all of these events behind me and move on in my coaching career. I wish the club's players and loyal and committed supporters all the best for the future."

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