Football: Floundering Hammers fire Bilic, turn to Moyes

Manager Slaven Bilic led West Ham to seventh and 11th place respectively in the league in his first two seasons at the club.
Manager Slaven Bilic led West Ham to seventh and 11th place respectively in the league in his first two seasons at the club.

LONDON • West Ham yesterday sacked Slaven Bilic as manager and are set to appoint David Moyes on an initial six-month contract.

The club are in the relegation zone following Saturday's 4-1 defeat by Liverpool and barring a breakdown in negotiations, Moyes will take over. West Ham are offering him a deal until the end of the season, at which point his future would be reviewed.

"West Ham can confirm that Slaven Bilic has today left his position with the club," the club said in a statement on their website.

The club hierarchy "believe a change is now necessary in order for the club to move forward positively and in line with their ambition", the statement added.

The Croatian was appointed in June 2015 on a three-year contract and finished seventh in his first campaign, then 11th last season.

His team have managed only two wins from their first 11 league games and the rout by Liverpool followed a 0-3 loss to Brighton in their previous home match.

Bilic's assistants Nikola Jurcevic, Edin Terzic, Julian Dicks and Miljenko Rak have also left the club with immediate effect.

Bilic, who also played for West Ham as a defender, is the fourth managerial casualty of the season following the departures of Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer, Leicester manager Craig Shakespeare and Everton's Ronald Koeman.

Speaking to reporters as he left West Ham's training ground yesterday, Bilic said: "I expected it. There are no hard feelings.

"We didn't start this crucial season well. As in many clubs across Europe, the manager is the one who pays the price. It's a very logical move. The fans were brilliant to me from the start until the end."

West Ham are languishing in 18th place in the table, above just bottom club Crystal Palace and Swansea. The only bright spot this term was a notable victory against Tottenham at Wembley in the League Cup, when they came back from two goals down to win 3-2.

Moyes is out of work after finishing bottom of the league with Sunderland last season. He has also managed in England's top flight with Everton and Manchester United and had an unsuccessful spell with Real Sociedad in 2014-15.

West Ham's co-chairmen, David Gold and David Sullivan, said the decision to sack Bilic had been made with "heavy hearts".

In a statement, they said: "We have not seen enough indication of the required improvement to give us the encouragement that things would change."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2017, with the headline 'Floundering Hammers fire Bilic, turn to Moyes'. Print Edition | Subscribe