Leeds United have confirmed that Peter Reid has finally been sacked from his post at Elland Road after his side’s embarrassing 6-1 defeat at the hands of Premiership new-boys Pompey.
Former Leeds star Eddie Gray has been installed as caretaker manager until a permanent replacement is found.
LUFC’s statement said “It has been mutually agreed that Peter steps down as First Team Manager with immediate effect.
“While the board acknowledges that Peter did a sterling job for the club towards the end of last season in keeping United in the FA Premier League, it believes it must not allow this season to reach a point beyond which the Club’s Premiership status comes under serious threat. The recent run of results has clearly been unacceptable. The board therefore concluded that it has a duty to act now.
“With effect from tomorrow morning, Eddie Gray will take over the duties of the First Team Manager on a caretaker basis, assisted by Kevin Blackwell, the Chief Coach.
“The board appreciates and thanks Peter for his efforts and recognises that he has always worked in the best interests of the Club. But we have got to move forward and are overwhelmingly focused first and foremost on retaining our Premier League status and ultimately bringing success on and off the field back to this great club.”
The news comes only hours after the Yorkshire Evening Post ran a headline story today saying Reid had been told of his fate this morning.
The newspaper reported that Reid did not appear for first-team training as usual this morning amidst speculation that his job was once again in danger – only weeks after he narrowly survived the push, and then only due to the views of Leeds supporters groups who wanted him to stay.
The news comes barely a year after the former England player was removed from his post at Sunderland in similar circumstances.
Reid told reporters after the Portsmouth defeat that he had no intention of resigning, but the decision seems to have been taken out of his hands, with many of the club’s supporters calling for his head over the weekend.
Leeds are rock bottom of the Premiership with a massive 20 point negative goal difference, and struggling to see where their next win could possibly come from. One of the club’s perceived star players, Mark Viduka, was dropped by Reid for the trip to Portsmouth after yet another training ground spat, and many LUFC supporters seem to have had enough of his fallings-out and seemingly unfathomable team selections.
Reid’s rolling one year contract means that he stands to receive an estimated £850,000 by way of compensation.
Howard Wilkinson meanwhile – the former Leeds manager who replaced Reidy at Sunderland only to be sacked himself after only five months in charge, says the Reid should be given longer.
“It is very important that there is stability at a time like this in the football club,” he said.
Emphasising that he thinks Leeds need to be taking a long-term view, he continued “They’ve got to have a plan for dealing with this for the next two or three years.
“Leeds’ problems will not be put right overnight and certainly what happens on the pitch in the next two or three weeks – if it all goes well – that’s not going to solve their problems either.”