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Steve Kean has resigned as manager of Blackburn Rovers, calling his position at the club 'untenable'.
Kean's two-year tenure at Ewood Park was marred by supporter unrest and anger at new owners Venky's, whose takeover preceded the club's relegation from the Premier League.
Calls for Kean's resignation from fan groups and local media, coupled with Venky's refusal to clarify his position, left the 44-year-old in a situation he described as 'untenable'.
"For reasons I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager with immediate effect due to my position as team manager becoming untenable," said Kean.
"I wish to thank all the players and coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future."
Currently third in the Championship after four wins from seven games, Rovers were relegated from the Premier League last season, with Kean remaining as manager for the new campaign.
Director of football Shebby Singh, who had previously said Kean's time at the club could come to a premature end, has expressed concern about dwindling attendances, which are affecting the club's revenue.
The Venky's will now hope that appointing a new manager, with former players Tim Sherwood and Alan Shearer both in the frame, will win over Rovers fans and spark a push for promotion back to the top flight.
Assistant boss Eric Black will take charge for the game against Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
Rovers managing director Derek Shaw said: "It was completely unexpected. He travelled down with the team ahead of our game at Charlton but he must have been giving it an awful lot of thought owing to the pressure he's been under.
"I have spoken with [Blackburn chairwoman] Anuradha Desai and she is very disappointed as she was close with Steve."