PRESTON manager Phil Brown was yesterday sacked by new chairman Peter Ridsdale.
Brown joined North End in January this year but failed to keep them in the Championship.
The club hoped they would be returning at the first possible attempt but are languishing in 10th, five points from the play-offs, having only won one of their previous 11 outings.
Brown’s assistant Brian Horton has also left the club with Graham Alexander and David Unsworth being put in temporary charge by Ridsdale, the former Leeds and Barnsley chairman, who took over last week.
Brown – a former manager at Hull City and Derby County – becomes the 11th Football League manager to depart this season.
In a statement released by the League Managers’ Association, Brown said: “I am very disappointed to have received the news regarding my employment and that I will not be allowed the opportunity to achieve the ambition of promotion back to the Championship.”
The 52-year-old continued: “While I acknowledge that recent results have been disappointing, I was particularly pleased with how we started this season when we were second after a run of seven consecutive league wins, especially following a number of key departures from the playing staff over the summer and a large number of injuries to significant players in the limited squad.
“We are just five points off the play-offs and I firmly believed that the club would be in contention for promotion come the end of the season.
“In order to be successful, more time was needed to achieve our objectives and it is with regret I have been given less than one year in charge of Preston North End.
“I appear to have been dismissed on the basis of the last 10 matches rather than the overall picture.
“I enjoyed my time at Preston and I will always be extremely grateful for the opportunity given to me. I would like to wish the club, the board, the players and the supporters all the very best.”
Brown guided the Tigers to the Premier League via the play-offs at the end of the 2007-08 season, and kept them in the top flight 12 months later.
Relations with Hull turned sour when he was put on gardening leave in March 2010 and his exit was confirmed three months later.
Aug 25: Peter Jackson (Bradford)
Sep 18: Peter Reid (Plymouth)
Sep 23: Sean O’Driscoll (Doncaster)
Oct 2: Steve McClaren (Nottm Forest)
Oct 3: Keith Millen (Bristol City)
Oct 14: Steve Cotterill (Portsmouth)
Oct 24: Sven Goran Eriksson (Leicester)
Nov 14: Gary Johnson (Northampton)
Nov 15: Nigel Pearson (Hull)
Nov 30: Steve Bruce (Sunderland)
Dec 6: Mick Wadsworth (Hartlepool)
Dec 14: Phil Brown (Preston)