Grant axed as Hammers are relegated

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West Ham last night parted company with manager Avram Grant in the wake of the club’s relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The Hammers went down after squandering a 2-0 lead to lose 3-2 at fellow strugglers Wigan.

And just over an hour later, a statement on the West Ham website confirmed the club had parted company with the Israeli.

It 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.”

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.

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

Players including Germany captain 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.

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish chose not to publicly criticise referee Howard Webb after his side’s 2-0 defeat at Anfield but claimed officials “get away scot-free” by not having to explain their decisions.

Spurs were leading through Rafael van der Vaart’s ninth-minute volley but the Reds had fought their way back into the game until just after half-time when Luka Modric’s controversial penalty put paid to their chances of a comeback.

Defender John Flanagan tangled with Steven Pienaar and Webb pointed to the spot despite the challenge appearing to be outside the area and seemingly in the teenage full-back’s favour.

Dalglish, conscious of the punishments dished out to the likes of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in recent weeks, would not directly voice his concerns over Webb’s display, which included a series of odd decisions.

“I’m not here to sponsor the FA,” said the Scot.

“It is unhelpful to everyone that we cannot express our true thoughts and it is even more disappointing that the officials get away scot-free without having to come in and explain their decisions.”