Blackburn Rovers owners, Venky's, is "very disappointed" Steve Kean has resigned as manager, according to the club's managing director Derek Shaw.
Kean walked away from his post at
The decision came at the end of a week which has seen more intense speculation that the axe was set to fall on the 44-year-old Scot, who has been a much-derided figure throughout his time in charge of the club.
He oversaw its relegation to the Championship in May, which only inflamed the tensions between manager and supporters.
Despite terrace unrest, though, Venky's remained faithfully loyal to Kean, giving him two contract extensions after handing him
The news of his resignation came as a surprise to all at the club, with Shaw initially telling Press Association Sport: "I have been travelling down to London and this is the first I have heard of it."
But when later contacted, he said: "Steve has, after a great deal of thought, resigned. It was completely unexpected. He travelled down with the team ahead of our game at Charlton tomorrow, but he must have been giving it an awful lot of thought owing to the pressure he's been under.
"With the things that have gone on, over weeks and months, he's decided it's in the best interests of himself and the club that it's time to move on.
"I have spoken with spoken with
On Kean's claim that he was forced to stand down, Shaw added: "I can't comment on that. He's decided tonight to call it a day, and the thoughts on why are with Steve.
"As everybody knows, every day of the week we're waking up to a fresh
Kean, whose assistant
At a time when Rovers' official website was carrying a story of the former Fulham assistant boss talking of a positive week, he said: "For reasons that 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 of
"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."
While there was no further comment from Kean, Black or the club's operations manager,
Claiming "liberation", the
"The supporters are liberated and free of
"He has treated the supporters with contempt. We've got 8,000, 9,000 boycotting and empty seats are one thing he can't mask.
"I have longed for this."
The action group, who have regularly protested against Kean's employment throughout his reign, issued a more formal statement in which they said: "Today will go down as the day when Blackburn Rovers was liberated from the man who has brought a whole club's supporter base to their knees with tears.
"They have had thoughts of helplessness and pure anguish at what they have seen unfold at Blackburn Rovers since that ill-fated day he was appointed in
"Never in the club's history has one man brought so much despair to the terraces and survived against all odds like
Having gone through last season with little dissent from his boardroom, Kean found newly-installed director of football
He initially told Kean he would be sacked if he lost three games in a row, while earlier this week said the situation was getting "worse by the day".