25 Nov 2009

Portsmouth manager first to go this season English premiership

7:19 pm on 25 November 2009

Portsmouth's Paul Hart's become the first English Premier League football manager to lose his job this season after he was relieved of his duties at the bottom placed club.

Portsmouth have won just twice in the league this term, are three points adrift at the bottom of the table and have the daunting task of hosting champions Manchester United this weekend.

Portsmouth say they plan to announce a replacement soon.

Meanwhile the Premier League imposed a transfer ban on Portsmouth because of concerns regarding unpaid fees to other clubs.

Last month, chief executive Peter Storrie was charged with tax evasion.

Hart won only nine of his 29 games in charge at Fratton Park after replacing Tony Adams in February but was widely seen as having done a fine job in maintaining the 2008 FA Cup winners' top-flight status.

But the uncertainty surrounding the club's ownership meant he was unable to bring in new players pre-season to replace several high-profile departures, including England striker Peter Crouch and Croatia midfielder Niko Kranjcar, who both joined 2008 Pompey Cup-winning boss Harry Redknapp at Tottenham.

This season saw Portsmouth lose their first seven league games - the worst start by any club in English football's top division for 79 years.