The Associated PressWest Ham fired manager Slaven Bilic on Monday following the team’s slide into the English Premier League relegation zone and was set to hand David Moyes an opportunity to rebuild his coaching reputation as the successor.
Bilic was under pressure for weeks and acknowledged it was a “very logical move” to remove him after West Ham’s latest big loss, 4-1 at home to Liverpool on Saturday.
“Disappointed, but not in the club. I expected it,” Bilic said outside the West Ham training ground after meeting with members of the club’s board.
The West Ham co-chairmen said they wanted a new manager to “inject fresh ideas, organization and enthusiasm” into the team and seem to have settled on Moyes, who has been out of work since May, when he quit Sunderland following its relegation from the Premier League.
A success at Everton from 2002-13, Moyes lasted only 10 months as Alex Ferguson’s hand-picked replacement at Manchester United before getting fired, the job proving far too big for him.
He was fired by Spanish team Real Socieded after a year in charge before a chastening 10-month spell at Sunderland, which he failed to keep in England’s lucrative top division.
Moyes was 1-20 with British bookmakers to fill the vacancy at West Ham, with British media reporting he will be hired on Tuesday.
“I’ve always said I want to go back into club management,” Moyes said in an interview with TV channel Bein Sports on Sunday, when speculation was rife about Bilic’s imminent departure. “If the right opportunity comes around, I’ll be interested.”
West Ham has won only two of its 11 matches in the Premier League and is in third-to-last place heading into the two-week international break.
Co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan have a track record of mostly standing by their managers, and Sullivan said last month he wanted to honor Bilic’s contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season, “unless things are desperate.”
Since then, West Ham has lost in embarrassing fashion at home to Brighton (3-0) and Liverpool.
The team has been prone to collapsing after going behind — it has already lost by at least a three-goal margin on four occasions this season — and lacked any real identity under Bilic.
FIFA unveils player-friendly rules
GENEVA (AP) — Players are getting more power from FIFA to leave soccer clubs who delay paying salaries or mistreat them.
New rules announced Monday will soon let players cancel their contract and sign for another club if they go unpaid for two months, or if employers abuse them with tactics such as orders to train alone.
The changes were confirmed by FIFA and FIFPro, the global group of player unions, as they signed a six-year working agreement.
The Netherlands-based FIFPro, which represents more than 60,000 players worldwide, also agreed to withdraw a complaint about the transfer system it filed to the European Commission in September 2015.
“While clubs in the richest leagues invariably treat players well, there are other leagues in which the employment rights of footballers are routinely ignored,” FIFPro President Philippe Piat said in a statement.
In some cases, players have been tied to clubs that fell months behind in paying salaries, and have been harassed with tactics designed to intimidate them into leaving or signing contracts on less favorable terms.Speech