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Hammers sack boss Grant

Sullivan and Gold pull the trigger on manager following relegation

Last Updated: 16/05/11 2:40pm

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West Ham United have sacked Avram Grant in the immediate aftermath of their relegation to the Championship following defeat at Wigan.

The Hammers looked to have earned a stay of execution when they went two goals up at the DW Stadium, only for Wigan to score three second-half goals to condemn the East End outfit to the drop.

It is understand West Ham owners David Sullivan and David Gold asked Wigan counterpart Dave Whelan to borrow a room at the DW Stadium in order to inform Grant of their decision.

Grant spoke to the press after the game before learning of his fate just minutes after fulfilling his media commitments.

"The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United," the London side said in a brief statement on their official website.

"First-team coach Kevin Keen will take charge of the team for the final home match of the season against Sunderland on Sunday 22 May."

Grant also suffered relegation last season when he was in charge of Portsmouth.

Having resigned at Pompey, he took over at Upton Park last summer, signing a four-year deal, but lasted less than 12 months.

"At 2-2 we had big chances to score and maybe this is the story of our season," the Israeli, speaking before his sacking, told Sky Sports.

"The fans were great. I feel so sorry we couldn't do the job we wanted to."

Wigan could yet avoid the drop if they get a draw or better against Stoke and other results go their way.

Stadium move

West Ham are due to move to the Olympic Stadium once it is revamped as a combined football and athletics venue after the 2012 London Games.

The club's owners, Gold and Sullivan, appointed former Chelsea manager Grant in the hope he could establish West Ham as a Premier League force.

Players including Germany international Thomas Hitzlsperger, Frederic Piquionne and Demba Ba were acquired, while the club backed Grant in the loan market by allowing him to bring in Robbie Keane, Wayne Bridge and Victor Obinna.

However the season began poorly and results have continued to be mostly dismal, despite fresh arrivals.

There was a short-lived revival when West Ham won three of five Premier League games from 2nd February to 5th March, including a memorable 3-1 home victory over Liverpool.

However, Sunday's defeat was a sixth in seven league matches for the London side, with relegation persuading the owners the time is right for a change as the Championship beckons.

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