Curbishley resigns from West Ham
'Breach of trust and confidence' led to the manager's resignation.
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2008 17:13 GMT

Curbishley reportedly clashed with captain Lucas Neill after Saturday's Blackburn game [AFP]
Alan Curbishley has become the first English Premier League manager to leave his job this season after resigning as West Ham manager.

His resignation was accepted by the club's Icelandic owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson

Alan Curbishley said that a "breach of trust and confidence" led to his resignation after less than two years at Upton Park.

Curbishley, 50, who also played for West Ham in the 1970s, succeeded Alan Pardew as coach in December 2006, but explained in a statement released through the League Managers' Association (LMA) that his position had become untenable.

"I have been incredibly proud to manage such a great club and my decision to resign has been very tough," he said.

"The selection of players is critical to the job of the manager and I had an agreement with the club that I alone would determine the composition of the squad.

It was made quite clear that I had the final say.

"However, the club continued to make significant player decisions without involving me. In the end such a breach of trust and confidence meant that I had no option but to leave."

Tough decision

In an interview with Sky Sports News he added: "On Sunday morning I went into a meeting at Upton Park and was hoping to bring some loan (signings) in and I was told that I would not be in that position unless someone left the club and said 'well let's all go home then' because I don't want anyone to leave because I was happy with the way things were.

"I was quite happy to stick with the squad if I could not improve it, but that was not the case."

He had already made it known he was upset about the sale of Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland last week and the sale of defender George McCartney, also to Sunderland, just before the close of Monday's transfer window was the final straw.

"I could not just sit around and be silent about it," he said.

Fraught season

Curbishley endured a fraught spell at the club after saving it from relegation midway through the 2006-07 season, reportedly being denied funds for recent transfers and arguing with players.

West Ham had seemingly prepared for Curbishley's departure by releasing a statement in which it justified the sale of defenders Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney during the transfer window.

"We can confirm that we have accepted Alan Curbishley's resignation as we feel it is in the best interests of both parties," West Ham said.

"A shortlist of candidates is being drawn up and an announcement will be made in due course about the new West Ham United manager."

Curbishley enjoyed initial success at West Ham and, with financial backing from the club's Icelandic owners, brought in players including Lucas Neill, Matthew Upson, Scott Parker, Julian Faubert, Craig Bellamy, Fredrik Ljungberg and Kieron Dyer.

Slaven Bilic is widely rumoured in the press to replace Curbishley [GALLO/GETTY]
Fans reacted

But a combination of injuries and poor form led to the club stagnating in 10th place the following year and Curbishley, whose teams at Charlton were similarly known for fading in the second half of the campaign, was jeered at the start of this season.

Reports surfaced that Curbishley was annoyed by the club's failure to invest in new players and its attempts to reduce the wage bill by canceling Ljungberg's contract and selling Ferdinand and McCartney without having signed replacements.

"The transfers of Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney along with the
release of Freddie Ljungberg were right for the club and decisions had to be
taken based on our best long-term interests," West Ham said.

"In the past week, agreement could not be reached with Ferdinand on a new
contract to replace his original deal that had just two years left to run,
while McCartney handed in a formal written transfer request after failing to
resolve his personal reasons for wanting a move away."

Common goal

Gudmundsson told the West Ham website "I can assure our loyal supporters that we are working hard to bring sustained success to West Ham United.

Everyone, including the CEO and Board, is committed to this common goal."

West Ham have won two of their opening three Premier League games this season and have scored eight goals in their last two matches; a 4-1 win over Macclesfield Town in the League Cup and a 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in Curbishley's last match in charge.

West Ham's next manager will be their fifth in the last seven years since Harry Redknapp left in 2001, a stark contrast to the six managers they had in an 88-year period from 1902 to 1990.

British media reports are widely tipping Slaven Bilic, the Croatia coach and former West Ham player to take over as manager.

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