Premier League - West Ham sack Avram Grant

Mon, 16 May 03:27:00 2011

West Ham United manager Avram Grant paid the price for a dismal season when the club announced the Israeli's departure soon after they were relegated from the Premier League.

Match Highlights: Wigan 3

West Ham, set to move to the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games, will start next season in the second tier of English football after a last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic left them marooned at the foot of the table.

"The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United," read a Hammers statement.

West Ham said first-team coach Kevin Keen will take charge of their final match of the season at home to Sunderland on Sunday.

The Londoners have won just seven league games in accumulating 33 points from 37 matches and now face the prospect of losing top players like Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Thomas Hitzlsperger.

"It's a very sad day, for me personally... sorry for the supporters, who were amazing, and a great club," Grant told Sky Sports soon after the Wigan defeat, unaware of his impending departure.

"I came here with a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of passion... I came here knowing about the financial problems, that the team fought against relegation last year.

"We believed that we could do something good this weekend but I'm sad we couldn't do it, not just for me but also the other people around the club... I'm very sorry for them."

Former Chelsea, Portsmouth and Israel boss Grant was appointed West Ham manager on a four-year contract in June last year, replacing Gianfranco Zola who was sacked after two seasons in the job.

Grant, who resigned as Portsmouth manager in May last year following their Premier League relegation, faced an uphill battle with West Ham right from the start, his new side losing their first four league games.

Co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan reaffirmed their commitment to Grant in January after intense media speculation surrounding his future and West Ham rallied briefly from mid-February to mid-March.

They picked up eight points from 12, including home wins over Liverpool and Stoke City and draws with West Bromwich Albion and Tottenham Hotspur, but then five successive defeats, followed by a home draw with relegation-threatened Blackburn and defeat by Wigan meant there was no way back.

Reuters

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