Burley sets sights on Rams job
FORMER Ipswich boss George Burley is poised for a return to management.Burley, axed by Town in October, is a firm favourite to take over the hot seat at Derby County.
By Mel Henderson
FORMER Ipswich boss George Burley is poised for a return to management.
Burley, axed by Town in October, is a firm favourite to take over the hot seat at Derby County.
The Rams today confirmed John Gregory's dismissal after he failed with an appeal against the recent decision to axe him.
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That paves the way for Burley to end his seven-month exile and take permanent charge at Pride Park.
Burley took over as interim boss following the suspension of Gregory and supervised team affairs for the last seven games of the season.
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His brief was to ensure the club preserved its First Division status after a miserable run towards the end of Gregory's reign saw them slip uncomfortably close to the drop zone.
Burley started with a 2-1 home win over Norwich that dented the Canaries' play-off hopes and claimed three wins from his first four games at the helm.
And despite Derby losing their last three fixtures – they slumped to a 4-1 defeat by Ipswich at Pride Park on the last day of the season – the former Portman Road chief has always looked destined to land the job.
The Rams are unlikely to delay the appointment of a full-time successor to Gregory after chairman Lionel Pickering issued a statement today.
Pickering and his fellow directors considered submissions by Gregory and his legal representatives at a hearing last night.
And today Pickering announced: "As a consequence the decision to dismiss John Gregory from his role as Derby County manager stands. The club will not discuss this matter in any further detail."
Gregory was relieved of his duties on March 21 in the wake of "serious allegations' made against him, with Burley's temporary appointment confirmed ten days later.
Gregory took over at Pride Park in January last year shortly after resigning as Aston Villa boss but was hampered by the financial problems at the club and saw his side win just 16 of his 55 matches in charge.
His ill-fated reign was beset by off-the-field problems, not least the public falling out with Craig Burley, nephew of the manager in waiting.
The midfielder and former skipper claimed Gregory had interfered with treatment he was receiving for injuries, excluded him from the first team after he failed to agree a contract termination and then turned down a loan move to Middlesbrough.