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11 December 2023

Blackburn bid for Blackpool boss Appleton


Indian-owned English club Blackburn Rovers confirmed Wednesday they were trying to appoint Michael Appleton, currently in charge of local rivals Blackpool, as their new manager.

Second-tier Rovers, owned by Indian poultry firm Venky's, have been without a full-time manager since sacking Henning Berg in December after the former Manchester United defender had been in charge for just 57 days.

"I can confirm that we have made an official approach to Blackpool FC about our interest in speaking to Michael Appleton," said Rovers managing director Derek Shaw in a statement.

"This is the only candidate we have approached for the manager's job".

Appleton, who started the season as manager of cash-strapped League One side Portsmouth, has taken 14th placed Blackpool to within a point of fellow north-west club Blackburn in the Championship - the division below the elite Premier League from which Rovers were relegated last season.

Appleton has won two and drawn two of 12 games since taking charge at Bloomfield Road. His most recent victory was a 2-0 home triumph over Blackburn on December 15.

That result was Rovers' fourth defeat in five matches and a 2-0 loss in their next fixture at Middlesbrough cost Berg his job after 10 games as manager.

Blackpool, in response to Rovers' move, said: "Blackpool FC can confirm that on Wednesday evening Blackburn Rovers FC did make a formal approach to speak to Michael Appleton.

"The club will be making no further comment at this stage."