Sam Allardyce was shown the door as new owners Venky’s made their mark at Blackburn 13 years ago.
Despite Rovers sitting relatively comfortably in 13th place in the Premier League table, the Indian owners made the decision to sack Allardyce on December 13, 2010, a month after taking over.
“We have taken this decision as part of our wider plans and ambitions for the club,” they said in a statement.
Allardyce, who had been in charge for two years and guided the team to a 10th-placed finish in the 2009-10 season, was as surprised as anyone, saying: “I am very shocked and disappointed to be leaving Blackburn.
“I am extremely proud to have managed this club and I enjoyed a fantastic relationship with the players, my staff and the supporters during my time in charge.”
Club captain Ryan Nelsen also reacted with shock and praised the job done by Allardyce, who made his name in management at nearby Bolton.
“We were in massive trouble with no money,” said Nelsen. “He solidified us and put us into a top-10 position, and again he did it on a shoestring.
“We’ve got to get over it but at the moment I want to say, and I can speak for nearly all the players I’m sure, that they will be devastated. He was a very likeable character.”
It was the beginning of a tumultuous period at Ewood Park, with Steve Kean initially placed in temporary charge but then given a permanent contract.
Kean stayed in his post despite Rovers slipping down the table and there were repeated protests by fans against Venky’s, including a chicken clad in a Blackburn flag being released onto the pitch as they were relegated in May 2012.
The club slipped down to Sky Bet League One in 2017, but immediately rebounded and have remained in the second tier since, still under the ownership of Venky’s, with Jon Dahl Tomasson the current boss.
Allardyce returned to management with West Ham the following summer, went on to subsequent jobs that included briefly being England boss and most recently had a short stint in charge of Leeds at the end of last season.