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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 September 2006, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Manager Blackwell sacked by Leeds
Kevin Blackwell
Leeds have just two league wins under Blackwell this season
Leeds United have sacked manager Kevin Blackwell after the club's uncertain start to the Championship season.

The 47-year-old Blackwell, who has been manager since May 2004, took Leeds to the play-off final last season, but the club are now second from bottom.

The pressure increased on Blackwell, 47, after Leeds lost successive home games to Wolverhampton and Sunderland.

Blackwell's sacking comes a day after his side did manage a victory - the 3-1 Carling Cup win over Barnet.

In March Blackwell had agreed a new three-year contract with the Yorkshire club.

He was assistant boss at Sheffield United before becoming Leeds' head coach under Peter Reid in 2003.

Blackwell succeeded Eddie Gray as manager in May 2004 after spending 12 months as coach.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Kevin for the work he has put in over the past three-and-a-half years, the past two and a half of which were as manager," said a Leeds statement.

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There was no comment from Blackwell.

During Blackwell's tenure as manager Leeds were crippled by huge debts.

Earlier this month Blackwell told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "It is only 18 months since the club was relegated and in 121m worth of debt."

As a result of their financial problems Leeds were forced to sell many of their biggest players. Robbie Fowler, Harry Kewell, Jonathan Woodgate, Aaron Lennon, Paul Robinson, Danny Mills and Olivier Dacourt are just some who departed.

Not all of those who left the club left the payroll.

Fowler and Nicky Barmby were being paid by Leeds up until this summer.

And BBC Sport understands that Mills and Paul Okon are still receiving a salary - and will do so until the end of this season.

According to Blackwell there are more than half a dozen ex-Leeds players still drawing money from the club.

During his career as a goalkeeper Blackwell played for Boston, Scarborough, Notts County, Huddersfield and Plymouth, before he took on coaching duties under Neil Warnock at Home Park.



SEE ALSO
Lorimer gives Blackwell backing
15 Sep 06 |  Leeds United
Blackwell agrees new Leeds deal
07 Mar 06 |  Leeds United
Leeds appoint Blackwell
26 May 04 |  Leeds United
Leeds may be debt-free in a year
10 Sep 06 |  Leeds United


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