Premiership: Souness signs new deal

Blackburn Rovers have agreed a new four-year contract with manager Graeme Souness.

The former Rangers, Liverpool and Galatasaray boss is now under contract at Ewood Park until June 2006.

Rovers chief executive John Williams told the club's official website "It is our most important signing of the summer and we are delighted that Graeme is to stay with us over the long term.

"Both parties were keen to commit and Graeme and I shook hands on the deal before the team set off for the pre-season tour."

Souness added: "Coming to Rovers has proved an excellent move for me and I have enjoyed every minute. This is a first-class club with a really bright future and the place I want to be. I had no hesitation in agreeing to sign a new contract."

Souness guided Rovers to promotion from Division One in his first full season and followed it up with a Worthington Cup triumph last term to earn the club a route back into Europe.

"We have made great strides to re-establish Blackburn Rovers as a Premiership club and the aim is for that to continue," added Mr Williams.

"To achieve our goals we need good management on and off the field, prudent financial planning and a strategy that encourages growth in our fan base.

"The football manager is key in all areas and we believe we have the right man in place.

"We have an excellent working relationship and when we sat down with Graeme to discuss a new extended contract it was clear that both parties wanted it to happen.

"But signing the contract is the easy part, the main thing is to continue to work in harness to make sure we see it through and deliver what is right for Blackburn Rovers.

"There will be ups and downs, probably may of both, but in years to come we hope that people will look back at the 'Souness era' as one of the most successful spells in the club's history."

Souness joined Rovers in March 2000 and has already enjoyed great success with the club, winning promotion back to the Premiership in 2001 and the Worthington Cup last season.


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