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."

PROMOTED VIDEO
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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect