June 14, 2023

The Rise and Fall of Steve Kean: Insights into the Former Blackburn Rovers Manager’s Turbulent Career

Steve Kean is a name that sparks mixed reactions among football fans. Some see him as one of the most promising young managers in the game, while others see him as the embodiment of all that’s wrong with modern football. This post aims to provide a comprehensive look at Kean’s career in football management, including his rise to fame and his eventual downfall.


Steve Kean first made a name for himself in the world of football as an assistant manager to Chris Coleman at Fulham. He went on to become Coleman’s assistant at Coventry City before joining Blackburn Rovers as a coach. Kean was appointed as Blackburn’s caretaker manager after the departure of Sam Allardyce in December 2010. He was soon given the permanent job and tasked with keeping the club in the Premier League, which he accomplished in his first season in charge. However, Kean’s time at Blackburn was tumultuous, and he was eventually sacked after a string of poor results.

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Section 1: The Early Years

Kean was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1967. He began his playing career as a striker for Celtic, but was forced to retire at the age of 23 due to a knee injury. Kean went on to coach at various Scottish clubs before moving to England to work as an assistant manager. His early years in management were marked by success, and he quickly gained a reputation as a promising young coach.

Section 2: The Blackburn Years

Kean’s time at Blackburn Rovers was marked by controversy and division. He was despised by many of the club’s fans, who blamed him for Blackburn’s poor performances on the pitch. Kean’s relationship with club owners Venky’s was also strained, with many feeling that the Indian owners had money invested in other ventures than their beloved Rovers. Despite this, Kean managed to keep the team in the Premier League for one season. However, Blackburn was eventually relegated, causing Kean’s position to become untenable.

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Section 3: Kean’s Positive Attributes

While Kean’s time at Blackburn was seen as a failure by many, it’s important to acknowledge his positive attributes. Kean was known for his tactical acumen and his ability to work with young players. He was also praised for his dedication to the game and his willingness to put in the hard work required to succeed in football management.

Section 4: Kean’s Downfall

Kean’s downfall can largely be attributed to his poor relationship with Blackburn’s fans and owners. His unwillingness to engage with fans and his perceived defiance of the club’s owners made him deeply unpopular. Additionally, Blackburn’s on-pitch performances under Kean were poor, with the team struggling to win games. This combination of factors eventually led to Kean’s sacking in September 2012.

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Section 5: After Blackburn

Following his departure from Blackburn, Kean briefly managed Brunei DPMM in the Singaporean league. He then returned to England to take up a coaching role at Fulham. However, Kean was soon back in management, taking charge of Indian Super League team, Atlético de Kolkata. Kean ultimately failed to make a lasting impact on Indian football, with his team finishing 4th in the league.

Section 6: Kean’s Legacy

Kean’s legacy is a contentious issue. While some view him as a talented coach who was unfairly treated at Blackburn, others see him as a symbol of all that is wrong with modern football management. The truth is likely somewhere in between, with Kean’s career being marked by both successes and failures.

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Section 7: FAQs

Q1. What clubs did Steve Kean manage?
Steve Kean managed Blackburn Rovers and Indian Super League team, Atlético de Kolkata.

Q2. Did Steve Kean ever play professional football?
Yes, Kean played as a striker for Celtic before retiring due to injury.

Q3. Why was Steve Kean sacked from Blackburn Rovers?
Kean was sacked due to a string of poor performances and falling out with both the fans as well as the club’s owners.

Q4. What is Steve Kean known for?
Kean is known for his tactical acumen and his ability to work with young players.

Q5. Did Steve Kean ever win a trophy as a manager?
No, Kean did not win any trophies during his time as a manager.

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Q6. What is Steve Kean doing now?
Kean is currently coaching at Melbourne Victory FC, an Australian professional football club.

Q7. Who has Steve Kean managed with the most success?
Kean’s most successful period of management was his time as an assistant manager to Chris Coleman at Fulham.


Steve Kean’s career in football management was marked by both successes and failures. While his time at Blackburn Rovers was largely seen as a failure, it’s important to acknowledge his positive attributes and his early successes in the game. Kean’s legacy is a contentious issue, and it’s likely that opinions on him will remain divided for some time to come. Nonetheless, his story remains an interesting one, and his career provides an insight into the highs and lows of football management.

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