Brown given one match to avoid the sack at Hull

Manager told he will be sacked next week barring dramatic improvement against Burnley

Phil Brown will be sacked by Hull City early next week unless he can engineer a comprehensive victory for his side in tomorrow's league match at Burnley.

The manager's future at the struggling club was a subject the man himself was reluctant to discuss yesterday, instead preferring to deal with on-field matters but it looks increasingly like the match at Turf Moor will be his last in charge. Adam Pearson is due to return as chairman on Monday after Paul Duffen stood down yesterday and his first job is set to be the removal of Brown, in the belief the manager has taken the club as far as he can. Duffen, walked away from Hull City at the request of Russell Bartlett, the club's owner.

Bartlett held a meeting with Brown on Wednesday to tell him he would be in charge at Turf Moor but also expressed his concerns and left his manager in little doubt that the future looks bleak should he not oversee an immediate upturn in results.

Defeat at Burnley, where Hull have lost on five of their last six visits, will herald a change in manager in an effort to halt a lingering decline that has set in since the club sat third in the Premier League 12 months ago.

Despite insisting that his players are "a million per cent" behind him, Brown appears to be fighting a losing battle in the wake of Duffen's hasty exit. The departed chairman, who was part of the consortium including Bartlett that bought the club from Pearson in 2007, was a powerful ally to Brown and, despite the club winning just three times in the League in 2009, had backed his close friend.

That faith is understood to have been reiterated to Bartlett earlier this week, but it now means little, Duffen having paid the price for the club's poor form and financial difficulties. According to accountants Deloitte, relegation would see Hull, who are third from bottom in the Premier League, needing to generate in the region of £23m just to meet existing liabilities.

Brown, appointed in January 2007 under Pearson's previous regime, could earn a brief stay of execution should Hull achieve a positive result on Saturday, although as the club have taken just one point from five away games this season, the portents do not look good.

Duffen's departure has left Brown exposed, with Paul Jewell favourite to succeed the manager after bookmakers suspended betting on the 50-year-old being relieved of his duties. Asked whether his fate rested on the 11 players he sends out on Saturday, Brown said: "A manager always relies on results and we've got four points from the last three games. If we can get something from the Burnley game that will be a good return for October. It's been a big month and so far it's been fairly successful. The players are one million per cent behind me and, hopefully, that will show on Saturday."

Brown insisted that Duffen's departure was sealed by matters off the field, rather than on it, and added: "The support of Paul Duffen was there for everybody to see, but that's gone. What is around the corner you can only guess, and only time will tell who his replacement is. I don't think it was on results, I think it was on the business side. It's difficult to separate the two, but you do tend to run a business as well as a football club."

Brown said Duffen's departure took him by surprise: "The game is about change. Nobody saw Paul's resignation coming, but it's happened. Whenever you pick up a newspaper, it's speculation about my position, Paul's position, or Hull City in general, but I keep looking at that table and we're still in the Premier League. I've responded to every challenge that's been thrown at me and I'll continue to do that."

Pearson's return after the 45-year-old parted company with Derby County is expected be sealed today.

"The buck has to stop somewhere," Duffen said. "It was my responsibility to oversee transfers. Results have been disappointing. I had talks with my fellow directors and we decided that to give the club the best chance it was a good idea for me to step aside."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea