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Scott Parker led player rebellion over Grant sacking

Filed: Tuesday, 25th October 2016
By: Staff Writer

Scott Parker led a players' rebellion on the day Avram Grant was fired as West Ham boss, according to a former team mate.

Danny Gabbidon has revealed how Grant was told to find his own way home having been fired by Karren Brady in the tunnel immediately after the final whistle in West Ham's 3-2 defeat at Wigan in May 2011 - a result that condemned the club to relegation from the Premier League.

And the former Welsh international also revealed how Scott Parker subsequently instigated a revolt amongst the players, who were unanimously disgusted with the manager's treatment, upon hearing the news.

"What the board did to Avram was really poor," Gabbidon, speaking in the latest episode of the KUMB West Ham Podcast said. "They basically told him to find his own way home from the ground.

"The players were really angry about that which is why Scotty said 'that's unacceptable; If you've sacked him, fine, but he's still our manager and he travels back with the team'.

"So that's how we managed to get him back on the coach. It was just embarrassing really, that wasn't the way to conduct your business. We felt it was the right thing to do - which is why Scotty did it."

Central defender Gabbidon, who spent six years at West Ham between 2005 and 2011 maintained that Grant was a dead man walking just a matter of months into his sole season as Hammers boss in 2010/11, having lost the support of the Board.

"There was stuff going on behind the scenes and they were doing things without his input," he added. "He wasn't happy with what was going on so I think when he finally got sacked, it was a bit of relief for him as well. He didn't really stand a chance in the end.

"In the final few weeks of the season the training ground wasn't a good place to be around. During the games it was difficult too as the fans were unhappy. There were even one or two players who didn't want to play in the last home game of the season [against Sunderland] because they didn't want to deal with the crowd and the atmosphere."

The 37-year-old, who retired as a professional last year also revealed how he had his own issues with the club's Board as a direct result of their poor relationship with Grant.

"I hadn't been playing and Cardiff had made an enquiry, so I'd gone to David Sullivan and said 'what are the chances of leaving, because I'm coming to the end of my contract and I need to be playing'," he recalled.

"Karren Brady had said I could go but Avram Grant didn't know anything about it. When he found out he said he didn't want me to leave, so she had to retract her original statement and tell me I couldn't go as she shouldn't have said that behind the manager's back.

"They just didn't get on and were doing things behind his back, so I ended up staying for the rest of that season."

* To listen to the full, exclusive 80-minute interview with Danny Gabbidon, visit the KUMB Podcast home page.

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