West Ham sack Pardew

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Alan Pardew has been sacked as West Ham manager after a string of defeats.

The decision was taken this morning by Hammers new chairman Eggert Magnusson and the club will seek to appoint a successor before the January transfer window.

West Ham said in a statement: "West Ham United have today announced the departure from the club of Alan Pardew.

"Alan has made an important contribution since joining as manager in September 2003 but this season's results have been disappointing and have left the club in a very difficult position.

"The chairman, Mr Eggert Magnusson, and the board have been concerned by the performances of recent weeks and feel that it is the right time to make a change in the best interests of the club.

"Mr Magnusson and the board would like to place on the record their thanks to Alan Pardew for his hard work and commitment and to wish him well for the future.

"The search for a successor is now under way in order that a new manager can be in place ahead of the January transfer window.

"First-team coach Kevin Keen will take temporary charge of team affairs until a new appointment has been made. No further statements on this matter will be made by the club before that time."

The Hammers have lost five out of their last six Premiership matches including both games since Magnusson became chairman - a 4-0 at Bolton on Saturday which followed a 2-0 home defeat against Wigan.

Magnusson had promised to keep faith with Pardew, and the pair had held meetings about possible targets for the January transfer window, but the club's slide into the bottom three caused alarm bells to ring.

The chairman and Icelandic banking mogul Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, who provided most of the cash for the £85million takeover, were both present at the defeat by Bolton.

The new owners have made contingency plans in the event of relegation but the consortium's business plan was very much targeted to West Ham remaining in the top flight and taking advantage of the bumper new Premier League TV rights deal which comes on stream next season.