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Hull City relieve manager Phil Brown of his duties

Phil Brown
Brown took Hull into the top flight for the first time in 2008

Hull City manager Phil Brown has been relieved of his duties at the KC Stadium and put on gardening leave.

Assistant boss Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will take charge of the Tigers' first-team until further notice.

After Saturday's last-gasp defeat by Arsenal, Hull are second from bottom of the Premier League and three points adrift of safety, with nine games left.

Chairman Adam Pearson says he hopes to appoint a new manager before Saturday's crunch game against Portsmouth.

Pearson told BBC Radio Humberside that former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley is one of the men on Hull's shortlist.

In a statement on the Tigers' website explaining Brown's departure, Pearson said: "Retention of Premier League status is paramount and the board believes that a change in managerial direction is the correct option at this time.

Phil McNulty

"The club will keep supporters completely up-to-date in respect of any managerial appointment but, in the meantime, Brian Horton and Steve Parkin will prepare the team for our important game at Portsmouth."

Brown, 50, took charge at Hull in December 2006 and led the Tigers into the top flight for the first time in their history in 2008.

They made an impressive start to life in the Premier League but a poor run of results in the second half of the season - after Brown's infamous on-pitch, half-time team talk during a Boxing Day defeat by Manchester City - meant they did not secure their survival until the last day of the campaign.

Windass not surprised by Brown exit

This season has proved just as tough and the weekend defeat by the Gunners means Hull are deep in relegation trouble after losing their last four games.

Brown told the League Managers Association: "I am obviously very disappointed with the club's decision and the fact that I will now not have the opportunity to secure Hull City's status in the Premier League for a third consecutive season.

"Although I am extremely sad to be leaving Hull City, I am very proud of my achievements during my time as manager, especially having led the team into the top flight of football for the first time in the club's 104-year history and ahead of schedule."

Brown's departure from the club came just a few days after he was forced to apologise on behalf of Hull midfielders Jimmy Bullard and Nicky Barmby. The pair had an altercation during a warm-down session on the Humber Bridge, with the incident witnessed by members of the local Women's Institute.

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see also
Dowie & Hughes top Hull shortlist
16 Mar 10 |  Hull
Archive - Brown gives half-time team talk on pitch
26 Dec 08 |  Match of the Day
Hull 1-2 Arsenal
13 Mar 10 |  Premier League
Brown sorry for Hull duo's fracas
12 Mar 10 |  Hull
Survival is worth 100m - Pearson
26 Feb 10 |  Hull

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