London: Relegated Blackburn Rovers confirmed on Thursday that deputy chief executive Paul Hunt had left the club, a day after reports first emerged that he had been dismissed.
The BBC and Sky News both reported on Wednesday that Hunt had been sacked, amid claims he wrote to the club's Indian owners Venky's, a poultry firm, calling for the dismissal of manager Steve Kean, in a bid to help stave off relegation from the lucrative English Premier League.
Blackburn - with Scotsman Kean still in charge - were relegated following Monday's 1-0 defeat to Wigan at Ewood Park.
Rovers, in a terse statement on their website on Thursday, gave no reason for Hunt's departure, saying only: "Blackburn Rovers Football Club can confirm that deputy chief executive Paul Hunt has left the club."
Hunt's letter, written after a home defeat by local rivals Bolton in December, also revealed concerns about Rovers' financial position and the growing mood of supporter unrest at Ewood Park following Venky's takeover in November 2010.
The letter, made public by the Sporting Intelligence website, said of Kean: "Publicly I have been asked to support the manager and I always have as I personally like Steve.
"However, I am now of the opinion that it isn't working and he is ready to go. He has lost the crowd and as a result of this evening's game has lost the dressing room as well - the players no longer want to play for him.
"It is a shame and disappointing but we must act now to save the club."
Sporting Intelligence editor Nick Harris took the unusual step on Wednesday of insisting Hunt was not the source of the leak.
"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," Harris told the BBC.
"If they sack him for leaking that letter to me, they have got the wrong man."
An angry fan released a chicken wrapped in a Blackburn flag onto the pitch during the Wigan match with a one-word message for the owners: "Out."