Leeds axe Venables, appoint Reid as caretaker manager

LONDON: English Premiership side Leeds United sacked manager Terry Venables yesterday after just eight months in charge and made former Sunderland boss Peter Reid caretaker manager. 

The former England coach had an angry showdown with chairman Peter Ridsdale on Thursday after a poor run of results that has seen the club slump to 15th in the table – only seven points above the relegation zone. 

Ridsdale made Venables the scapegoat yesterday in an official announcement to the Stock Exchange when he said the 60-year-old Venables had left the club and an interim manager would be appointed for the rest of the season. 

Reid was sacked after seven years at Sunderland last October. 

Reid's first game in charge will be at Liverpool tomorrow. 

A new manager will be appointed in the summer and already Celtic boss Martin O'Neill and former Leeds player Paul Hart, now managing Nottingham Forest, have been mentioned. 

Venables had a two-year contract with both parties having an option to review the deal after his first year in charge. So his sacking will prove expensive. 

Leeds have lost four games in a row, including an embarrassing FA Cup defeat to Yorkshire neighbours Sheffield United, who also knocked them out of the League Cup.  

Venables took over from Irishman David O'Leary in July 2002, tempted at the prospect of working with a squad which reached the Champions League semi-finals in 2000. 

But he was unable to prevent his board selling a batch of first-team players in an attempt to solve the club's financial crisis that saw their debts rise to £78 million (US$120 million). 

“This appointment will go down like a lead balloon,” said John Boocock, chairman of the Leeds United Supporters' Trust. “The fans just don't like him. This is just going from the frying pan into the fire.  

“The club should have gone with Eddie Gray and Brian Kidd.” 

Simon Jose, co-founder of the Leeds United Independent Fans' Association, called the situation a “big joke”. 

“O'Leary is appointed and then sacked as results aren't good enough; Venables is hailed as a savior and now he has been sacked. Now they bring in Peter Reid, who was sacked by Sunderland ...” – Agencies 

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