Football: Heath resigns as Blades' manager

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The Independent Online
ADRIAN HEATH resigned as Sheffield United's manager last night after his side was beaten 3-1 at Bramall Lane by Port Vale, leaving them rooted in the First Division relegation zone. Heath, who blamed boardroom unrest for his decision, had been in the job for only five months. Mike McDonald resigned as the Plc's chairman earlier in the day, pitching the club into a crisis.

Heath said: "It was not an easy decision especially in this uncertain time. I think the majority of supporters who saw me come in with McDonald will not be satisfied. The board has been good as gold about this. The decision is entirely mine and I think it's the right one at this time."

The Blades were beaten by goals from Richard Eyre, Allen Tankard and Anthony Gardner and the only black spot for Vale was the late sending off of Dave Brammer for abusive language, possibly of similar strength to some of the abuse that has recently been directed at McDonald by fans who have seen leading players leave the club in the last two seasons.

At the last home game, a 2-1 defeat by Bolton, a group of fans chanted "Sack the Board" and "Where's the Money Gone?", while attendances have dropped dramatically. Fewer than 9,000 turned up last night.

Huddersfield's defeat at Walsall allowed Charlton to move into second place with a 2-1 win at the bottom club, Swindon. Stung by their home defeat by the leaders, Manchester City, on Saturday, Charlton went ahead through Jon Robinson and Shaun Newton. Michael Carrick pulled a goal back for Swindon just before the interval.

Birmingham appear to be overcoming their injury problems. Martin Grainger put Blues ahead against Tranmere in only the second minute from the penalty spot and they never looked back with Marcelo and Graham Hyde completing a 3-1 win in which Rovers had Clint Hill sent off for violent conduct.

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