West Ham parts company with Grant after relegation

BY foxsports • May 15, 2011

West Ham needs a new manager to lead next season's promotion challenge after it parted company with Avram Grant in the immediate aftermath of Sunday's relegation from the Premier League.

The club issued a brief statement an hour after West Ham's 3-2 defeat at Wigan, which left it six points from safety with one game remaining.

The east London club did not say whether Grant had quit or been fired, but the latter seemed most likely since the Israeli coach had previously said he did not plan on leaving if the Hammers were relegated.

Grant had served just one year of a four-year contract.

''The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United,'' the club said on its website, adding only that first-team coach Kevin Keen will lead the team for next weekend's final game of the season - at home to Sunderland.

Grant, who led Chelsea to its only Champions League final, took over at West Ham in June after a creditable half season in charge of Portsmouth in which he led the relegation-bound club to the FA Cup final.

But he couldn't prevent the club sliding out of the top flight after a six-year stay.

A demoralizing season culminated in Sunday's loss at Wigan, which came after West Ham had taken a 2-0 lead at halftime.

To complete the misery, a plane, apparently hired by fans of West Ham's fierce rival Millwall, flew over the DW Stadium during the game, trailing a banner reading ''Avram Grant - Millwall Legend.''

Speaking after the game, a downcast Grant said he did not want to discuss his future.

''It's a very sad day for me, the amazing supporters, the club,'' Grant said. ''I believed that we could do something good. I'm very, very sorry for the supporters.

''My future is not important now.''

It is Grant's second Premier League relegation in a row after Portsmouth went down last season. The 56-year-old Israeli led Chelsea to the Champions League final in 2008, losing on penalties to Manchester United, but he was fired and replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.


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