Sacked! Burley pays the price

GEORGE Burley was sacked by Ipswich Town today.The Town boss paid the ultimate price after the club's disastrous start to the First Division campaign.

By Paul Geater

GEORGE Burley was sacked by Ipswich Town today.

The Town boss paid the ultimate price after the club's disastrous start to the First Division campaign.

The club called a hastily-arranged press conference today to announce that Burley – manager of the year just 18 months ago – had left the club.

Chairman David Sheepshanks acted ruthlessly following the club's appalling display at second from bottom Grimsby on Tuesday evening.

First team coach Tony Mowbray will be in charge for the crucial match with fellow-strugglers Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow.

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But the indications from Portman Road today were that a successor to Burley has already been identified by the board – and that they have talked to him.

While the sacking was not a shock, given the poor start to a season which was approached with such optimism, the timing is a surprise coming just 24 hours before a crucial match.

Rumours about Burley's departure started circulating last night.

Initial reports suggested that they were wide of the mark, but the news was confirmed by the club at 10.30 this morning.

The sacking came too late to be reflected in the programme for tomorrow's match.

In his notes Burley says: "The fans have been great. They've kept behind me and the team. It's been a difficult time, but they have been absolutely fantastic and we are determined to keep working to get it right."

David Sheepshanks' notes reflected the disappointment at the Grimsby match and, significantly, have no message of support for the management team.

"We must all hope for a much-improved performance today, as the home fans most certainly deserve one!" he wrote.

Now the fans will hope that a new management team is soon in place to lead the team forward.

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