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Oct 29, 2009

Brown hasn't got long, so back Souness

How long has Phil Brown got at Hull? Well, not very long, I would say. They say there is no smoke without fire and there is much more of the latter coming out of the Tigers at the moment.

• Chairman Duffen resigns
• Brown: Players are behind me

So far, the chairman, Paul Duffen, has been fired. Or to be precise he has resigned, rather than the manager being fired. Given the horrific nature of the club's accounts and their unfavourable long-term implications which finally came to light on Wednesday, it was hardly surprising that Duffen was the first victim. Will he be the last? I doubt it.

My spies tell me there has been some frantic action inside the corridors of power regarding Brown and his imminent future, as well as the position of Duffen. One rumour was that Brown had offered to resign in support of Duffen. But my source told me that Brown had not done so nor had he been sacked. That information came my way just moments before Hull issued their official statement that Brown remained at the club.

Perhaps it was the information that Adam Pearson, the man who appointed Brown to Hull in the first place, was quitting Derby County to head back to Hull that persuaded Brown not to resign. Surely that has bought Brown some more time. But the intrigue continues as the bookies are refusing to lift their suspension on betting that he will be the first Premier League boss to be sacked.

Now the bookies are claiming that former boss Jan Molby might be in the frame to replace Brown, though that is surely the case of an ex-manager being linked with an improbable return. One bookie also told me: "We are going to wait and see what happens at the weekend when Hull are at Burnley. If you're going to get out of trouble in the bottom three, then this has to be a game in which you need to win, or at least gain a point. You have got to think that there needs to be points picked up in games such as this. If you're hammered in this type of game, than there cannot be much hope left for the manager."

Not for a manager who has won just three games in a calendar year. That is a sacking statistic by any stretch of the imagination. But the bookies are reluctant to pick a name as a red-hot favourite to replace Brown.

My bet? Well, why not go for someone like Graeme Souness, who is hungry to be a manager again, without anyone willing to take a risk on him. But Souness still looks lean and mean, and if he just walked into the Hull dressing room with an air of authority and menace, he wouldn't need to give them a lecture out on the pitch. The trouble is the directors might be just as afraid as the players, but it might stop the rot on the pitch, where it counts.

The bookies also think Souness might have an outside chance, and he would be worth a bet at 12-1.

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