Altidore's Hull City fires manager

[ENGLAND] Phil Brown, who led Hull City to the English Premier League for the first time in 2008 and kept the Tigers up on the last day of the 2009 season, was fired on Monday. Hull, whose forward line includes American Jozy Altidore, is three points inside the relegation zone with nine games to play and is heavily in debt.

Hull City was in the League Two (fourth division) only six years ago but climbed to the top after Brown took over, first as interim manager in 2006 and then as its manager in early 2007.

The Tigers earned promotion to the EPL in 2008 and won six of their first nine games in the top flight, including a 2-1 victory at Arsenal for only the Gunners' second ever loss at the Emirates Stadium.

This season has been more of a struggle Brown's tenure ended following Saturday's 2-1 loss to Arsenal that came on a goal in the third minute of stoppage time.

Hull City faces debts of more than $33 million if it doesn't stay up.

Given the uncertainty over Hull's future, veteran managers Mark Hughes and Alan Curbishley are believed to have turned down the Tigers' managerial job.

"Promotion to the Premier League in 2008 and retention of our status on the last day of the 2009 season are unique events in the history of Hull City," Hull City said in a statement on its Web site, "and both were achieved under Phil's stewardship during a period which will never be forgotten by all connected with the club. However, the retention of Premier League status is paramount and the board believes that a change in managerial direction is the correct option at this time."

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