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Last Updated: Friday, 21 March, 2003, 16:35 GMT
Gregory suspended by Derby
Derby manager John Gregory
Is Gregory on his way out at Derby?

Derby County have suspended their manager John Gregory, fuelling rumours he is about to be sacked.

BBC Radio Derby reported that the Rams have taken action in light of recent allegations made against the Rams manager.

After a week of intense speculation suggesting Gregory was about to be fired, Derby issued a statement saying certain allegations had a "major adverse effect on the club".

The struggling First Division club are now undertaking an internal investigation which they insist will be "thorough, fair and objective".

It is the first time a Derby County manager has been suspended while on active duty.

These allegations have had a major adverse effect on the club
Derby County statement

Reserve team coach Mark Lillis will take temporary charge of first team affairs, starting tomorrow at Sheffield United.

An official statement from the club read: "As has been widely reported recently, serious allegations have been made against John Gregory.

"These allegations have had a major adverse effect on the club and, in the light of these and in order to expedite a thorough, fair and objective investigation, the club has decided to suspend John Gregory while the investigation is undertaken.

"Reserve team coach Mark Lillis will take immediate temporary responsibility for first team affairs.

"No further comment will be made by Derby County at this stage."

Gregory was appointed at Pride Park in January 2002 shortly after he left Midlands club Aston Villa.

The former QPR and England midfielder was earlier this week given a five-match touchline ban and fined 7,500 for abusing an official.


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