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West Ham sack Avram Grant

West Ham have sacked manager Avram Grant after their relegation from the Premier League was confirmed with a dramatic defeat at Wigan.

•  Martinez: Wigan showed bottle
• Jolly: Grant had nowhere to hide

The club acted swiftly, dismissing Grant a little over an hour after the Hammers dropped down to the Championship. Charles N'Zogbia's late winner settled a pulsating contest 3-2 in the home side's favour.

A statement on the club's website read: "The club can confirm that Avram Grant is no longer the manager of West Ham United.

"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."

West Ham have been languishing at the bottom of the table the entire season and nearly replaced Grant with former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill in January after a poor run of form.

The club's board stuck with him and there was a short-lived revival when West Ham won three of five Premier League games from February 2 to March 5, including a memorable 3-1 home victory over Liverpool.

But the defeat at Wigan was a sixth in seven league matches for the London side, with relegation persuading the owners the time is right for a change as they contemplate life in the Championship.

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.

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 and the club confirmed before the defeat at Wigan that their move would not be affected by relegation.

In his post-match press conference, Grant had accepted responsibility for West Ham's plight and apologised to the club's fans.

"I will not speak too much about the unbelievable problems we have had this year and other things because it is a game of results,'' Grant said. "My job was to keep the team in the league and I didn't do it.

"Many things were good, but at the end of the day, football is a game of results and the results are my responsibility. Today so many supporters came - it was great, unbelievable, and they have been good to me all season. I wanted so much for them that we could do better. I am very sorry about this.''

West Ham co-owner David Gold detailed his disappointment after the club he and David Sullivan took over midway through the 2009-10 season took a fall into the second tier.

Gold wrote on Twitter: "I honestly believed with the players we brought in in Jan + the imminent return of [Thomas] Hitzlsperger, we had done enough to pull clear of danger.

"I know that Scotty Parker shared that belief with me and we both had confidence that we would retain our Premiership status. This is undoubtedly the worst moment in all the years I've been supporting West Ham & of course I wish I'd done things differently.''


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