Blackburn Rovers' deputy CEO Paul Hunt sacked after leak

Blackburn's deputy chief executive Paul Hunt has been sacked after calling for Steve Kean's dismissal as manager.

According to a leaked letter seen by the Sporting Intelligence website,external-link Hunt told the club's owners in December that it was time for Kean, 44, to leave.

However, Sporting Intelligence editor Nick Harris told the BBC the leak did not come from Hunt.

Rovers confirmed that Hunt had left Ewood Park on Thursday but Kean says he is at the club "for the long term".

Kean also told a news conference on Wednesday afternoon that he still has control of the dressing room, and that owners Venky's are "100%" right for the club.

He refused to comment on Hunt.

In the leaked letter, Hunt expressed the view that Kean's tenure "isn't working" and "is ready to go".

His departure comes days after the club were relegated from the Premier League following a 1-0 home defeat by Wigan.

Harris said Hunt was not responsible for his website obtaining the letter.

"Normally journalists don't reveal their sources but on this occasion I would like to say, unequivocally, that I didn't receive that letter from Paul Hunt," he said.

"If they sack him for leaking that letter to me, they have got the wrong man."

Kean's reign has been a troubled one, with many Blackburn fans unhappy with the way he has managed the team.

The Scot took over as manager in December 2010 following the sacking of Sam Allardyce.

Venky's, Rovers' Indian owners, have also come in for heavy criticism for their running of the Lancashire club.

Hunt's letter indicates he had serious concerns about the Premier League side's direction before Christmas.

"He [Kean] has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening's game [2-1 loss to Bolton on 20 December] has lost the dressing room as well - the players no longer want to play for him," wrote Hunt.

"It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club. The board should be asked their opinion on who should be the new manager."

Hunt insisted he had the best interests of the club at heart and also detailed worries about finances.

"I have been your senior officer at the club for six months now and I feel that I must now write to you to ask you to make some significant changes to save the club, perhaps from relegation but also perhaps from administration," said Hunt.

"We are losing fans/customers at an alarming rate. I am very concerned that fans are voting with their feet and not attending, not purchasing and not engaging with the club."

Blackburn play their final league game of the season against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.