Blackburn Rovers spent much of last term providing their adversaries some comic relief from the stresses and strains of the most unpredictable division in the business, but with some encouraging developments during the off-season they may represent a decent wager for promotion this term at 7/1.
The Independent understands that Shebby Singh – the self-styled “global advisor” who has acted as the ring-leader at the Ewood Park circus top for the last year – is likely to be dismissed from his duties at the club in the near future.
Singh’s impending departure is thought to represent the dawning of a new understanding from the club’s owners Venkys that they must turn to those experienced within the business of football to help run the club in future.
It may also be pleasing for Rovers fans to know that the paper believes Singh – who saw off no less than three permanent managers during his time at the club – to have had no influence over current boss Gary Bowyer’s plans for the coming campaign.
Bowyer had two spells in caretaker charge of Rovers last term, the first an unbeaten four-game run in which the club posted three consecutive wins and the second an eight-game sequence in which three wins and as many draws ensured their survival in the division.
Given a 12-month rolling contract in May, Bowyer has already began shaping the squad to his own requirements with senior (citizen) pros Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes moved on and Jay Spearing looking likely to follow Matt Kilgallon into the club.
Kilgallon will bring a mixture of Premier League smarts and Championship experience to the side, whilst the hi-energy Spearing was a big-performer on loan at Bolton last season and had been wanted by top flight sides including Newcastle.
However, perhaps the biggest boon for the new boss is the news that last season’s 29-goal top-scorer Jordan Rhodes has no intention of leaving the club for greener pastures this summer.
Committing his future to the club, Rhodes seemed very positive ahead of the new campaign, telling BBC Lancashire “we’re going to have a really good team spirit this year and it’s something I want to be a part of”.
A combination of greater stability and some useful additions to compliment the quality players – ex-England stopper Paul Robinson and one-time Arsenal target Scott Dann for example – already incumbent should see Rovers enjoy a far more profitable campaign this time around and a play-off push is far from out of the question.