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Last Updated: Friday, 9 May, 2003, 09:25 GMT 10:25 UK
Derby sack Gregory
Derby manager John Gregory
Former Aston Villa manager Gregory was suspended nearly two months ago
Derby County have sacked their manager John Gregory.

The cash-strapped First Division club suspended the former Aston Villa boss on 21 March in the wake of "serious allegations" made against him.

On Friday it was confirmed that Gregory had been dismissed - and that he had immediately appealed against the sacking.

"Derby County Football Club have announced that John Gregory has been dismissed from his role as manager," read a statement released by the Rams.

The statement went on: "Mr Gregory has a right of appeal which he has chosen to exercise.

"The appeal will be heard by the chairman as soon as is practicable.

"The club will have nothing more to say on this matter until the result of the appeal is known."

George Burley has been in temporary charge since Gregory was suspended and the ex-Ipswich chief steered the Rams away from the relegation zone.

He will now be favourite to land the job full-time - although former Derby striker Dean Saunders is also in the frame to succeed him.

Burley is highly regarded for the job he did at Ipswich, guiding them into the Premiership and the Uefa Cup before being sacked at the start of the season.

George Burley - Derby's interim manager
Burley is favourite to land the job

Saunders, a former Wales international, has been coaching the strikers at Blackburn Rovers.

Along with Gregory, the Rams also suspended coach Ross MacLaren and physiotherapist Stuart Walker following allegations made against them.

Billy McEwan was reinstated as first-team coach following a successful appeal against his sacking under Gregory which was deemed to be "unmerited".

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.

The Rams finished 18th in Division One this season, six points above the relegation zone.

Derby press officer Damon Parkin
"The chairman will hear Mr Gregory's appeal as soon as is practicable"

BBC Sport's Andy Swiss
"George Burley and Dean Saunders are favourites to replace Gregory"


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