A solitary point from a possible 12, Manchester United's return to the top of the league and the appointment of John Maddock, a former journalist, as general manager foreshadowed Reid's exit.
It was Maddock's recommendation, just a week into his new job, that Reid be dismissed from his three-year contract which he signed only last season. It was accepted unanimously by the chairman, Peter Swales, and his directors. The assistant manager, Sam Ellis, was also sacked and Tony Book is in charge for tonight's game with Coventry as caretaker manager. That is something of old news, as Book is stepping into the breach for the fifth time.
Supporters demoralised by Tuesday's home defeat by Blackburn had demanded changes but they would have preferred the clear-out to involve Swales, who in October will reach the 20th anniversary of his accession to the chair. He is now seeking his 11th manager in that time.
'It may be seen as a panic measure so early into the season but we need to do something to sustain the club's future,' Maddock said. Steve Coppell, the former Crystal Palace manager, Joe Royle, the Oldham boss who has turned Swales down in the past, Rodney Marsh, once the hero of the Kippax End and Terry Venables, who Swales has admitted wanting to take to the club in the summer, are among the candidates to succeed Reid.
The former England midfielder said he was 'half expecting' the news in view of 'all the speculation and the disappointing start'. He added: 'I don't blame the players, they gave me 100 per cent. At times like this you see yourself as a failure but it's part and parcel of the game and I will bounce back as I always bounced back as a player.'
The promise of a final position of fifth in both Reid's first two seasons was not fulfilled last year and attempts to strengthen the side in the close season - Andy Townsend and Paul Stewart were two prominent targets - foundered on Swales's refusal to pay more than what he considered a fair price for players.
Tottenham and Everton were unhappy with the valuations set by a tribunal yesterday for the transfers of Jason Dozzell from Ipswich and Graham Stuart from Chelsea. The Dozzell fee was pounds 1.75m, rising to pounds 1.9m after 60 appearances, while Everton must pay Chelsea pounds 850,000 for Stuart with further payments of pounds 50,000 after 40 appearances and 60 appearances. Southampton have failed in their attempt to sign Tim Breacker and Ian Bishop, who have both decided to accept new three-year contracts with West Ham.
The Wales manager, Terry Yorath, has named a full- strength squad for the World Cup qualifying tie with the RCS in Cardiff a week on Wednesday, which he says is the most important in the group so far. Jeremy Goss, who has scored for Norwich in successive games, returns and Yorath is hopeful that Barry Horne, Paul Bodin and Clayton Blackmore will all recover from injury in time.
WALES SQUAD (World Cup qualifier v RCS, Cardiff Arms Park, 8 September): Southall (Everton), Roberts (QPR), Bowen (Norwich), Phillips (Nottingham Forest), Bodin (Swindon), Aizlewood (Bristol City), Young (Crystal Palace), Melville (Sunderland), Symons (Portsmouth), Speed (Leeds), Hughes (Manchester United), Horne (Everton), Pembridge (Derby), Saunders (Aston Villa), Rush (Liverpool), Giggs, Blackmore (Manchester United), Goss (Norwich).
WALES UNDER-21 SQUAD (European
U-21 qualifier, v RCS, Ebbw Vale, 7 September): Margetson (Manchester City), D Coyne (Tranmere), Neilson (Newcastle), Searle (Cardiff), Chapple (Swansea), Davies (Hereford), McCarthy, Ready (QPR), Bowen (Swansea), Edwards (Bristol City), Powell (Southampton), Meaker (QPR), Blake (Cardiff), Jones (Liverpool), Hughes (Bury), Robinson (Charlton).
Pavel Srnicek, the Newcastle United goalkeeper, was suspended for one match yesterday after his sending-off for a foul on Coventry's Roy Wegerle last week. The Czech will miss his team's match against Sheffield Wednesday on 13 September. There was more good news for Kevin Keegan, the Newcastle manager, when he announced that the midfielder Scott Sellars should be available for Sunday's game against Blackburn Rovers.
John Barnes lasted just 10 minutes of a reserve match at Bolton yesterday. The Liverpool and England winger broke down in his first attempt to reach full pace and immediately left the field with a thigh strain.Reuse content