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Fulham to face managerless Everton

last updated Wednesday 13th March 2002, 8:15 AM
Fulham opponenent's sack manager Smith
Everton sack their Manager just before Fulham come to visit
Fulham go to Goodison Park on Saturday with Everton in turmoil. Their manager since 1998 Walter Smith was last night and the Toffee's have launched an immediate move to install Preston's David Moyes or Wolves Davis Jones as their new manager.

As Smith's four- year reign was brought to an end after a run of results that has left Everton just one point clear of relegation territory, owner Bill Kenwright was drawing up plans to entice Moyes away from Deepdale in time for Saturday's home game with Fulham.

Moyes has already turned down overtures from West Ham and Southampton over the past year, and rejected the chance to move in as Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United earlier this season.

Kenwright spent 48 hours agonising over his options in the wake of a sorry FA Cup surrender to Middlesbrough on Sunday, torn between handing Smith one last chance to stave off the growing threat of relegation and ruling that his time was up, despite the 54-year old having constantly to raise more money in the transfer market than he could spend.

But he ultimately conceded that it was time to heed a growing clamour for the Scot to be replaced after angry fans daubed 'Smith Out' slogans on the walls of Everton's Bellefield training ground and besieged the Goodison Park switchboard with protest calls.

Everton's majority shareholder, ever mindful of opinion among the club's support, took their views on board and delivered the sentence he had been dreading yesterday when he informed Smith that his days at Goodison were over.

With 15 months remaining on his contract, the former Rangers boss will leave with a £1million pay-off and is unlikely to bear any resentment after admitting that he could understand the frustration of fans who called for his head at the Riverside.
Source Soccernet by John Edwards
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