The 37-year-old has left Blackpool to take over the vacant managerial post at Ewood Park following Henning Berg's 57-day stint – the shortest in the club's history.

The Blackburn move signals Appleton's third club of this campaign after his move from Portsmouth to Blackpool on November 7 – just 64 days ago.

Appleton's first-team coach at Bloomfield Road, Ashley Westwood, has also made the switch, taking up an assistant manager role by signing a two-and-a-half year deal.

In a statement on the club's website, Appleton said the lure of Blackburn could not be ignored.

"I am delighted to be joining such an historic club. This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I am excited about the challenge we have ahead of us," he said.

"I can't wait to start working with what is a very talented group of players.
"I'd like to thank everyone at Blackpool for their efforts during my time there and the chairman for allowing me to come here. I wish them all the best for the future."

Blackburn's managing director Derek Shaw cited the pair's 'drive and ambition' as key to their appointment.

"We are delighted to welcome both Michael and Ashley to the football club," he said.

"They are both highly regarded within the game and we are confident that they have the drive and ambition to take this club forward.

"We will do everything in our powers to support them in our quest to make an instant return to the Premier League."
The club also confirmed that reserve-team coach Gary Bowyer, along with Terry McPhillips, will take charge of Friday's clash against Wolves, with Appleton starting in his new role next week.