London: Steve Kean quit as Blackburn Rovers manager on Friday, saying he'd been "forced to resign" with immediate effect due to his position becoming "untenable".
The Scot had faced constant criticism from Rovers fans throughout his two-year spell in charge at Ewood Park after the club's owners Venky's, an Indian-based poultry firm, controversially brought him in to replace the experienced Sam Allardyce.
Kean, however, carried on despite the club's relegation from the elite English Premier League in May.
Yet despite Rovers currently lying a promising third in the second division Championship, Kean walked out of the north-west club ahead of Saturday's match away to Charlton.
"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 Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable," Kean said in a statement released by his lawyers.
"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."
Before this season started the 44-year-old faced fresh pressure when Rovers' Malaysian global adviser Shebby Singh said Kean would be sacked if the team lost three successive games.
As things stand, however, Rovers have just lost once in seven league games this term -- a 2-1 home defeat by Middlesbrough last Friday.
Kean's position was further undermined by press reports this week that Tim Sherwood, Rovers captain when they won the Premier League title in 1995, would take over from him as manager in a bid to boost attendances at Ewood Park.
Kean's abrupt exit appeared to take the club's English officials completely by surprise, with no announcement on Rovers' official website where he was still being quoted Friday speaking about a "positive week".
Blackburn managing director Derek Shaw appeared as stunned as anyone, telling Britain's Press Association: "I have been travelling down to London and this is the first I have heard of it."
It is understood Venky's held talks with Kean after the Middlesbrough defeat yet they had sufficient confidence in the manager to allow him to sign Huddersfield striker Jordan Rhodes for £8 million in the last transfer window.
However, calls for Kean to quit continued and Singh stoked the speculation by saing this week the situation at Ewood Park was worsening "day by day".