West Ham relegated, Grant gone
No doubt there are many West Ham fans scratching their (hungover) heads this morning over quite how their club slipped so tamely out of the Premier League.
Yesterday's 3-2 defeat at Wigan sealed the Irons relegation from the top flight after a six year stay, and saw manager Avram Grant promptly sacked.
Co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan have admitted they will now have to find upwards of £40million to keep the club afloat, with relegation costing the Hammers millions of pounds in lost TV and sponsorship revenue, as well as prize money.
Grant will not be the only person heading for the Upton Park exit. England quartet Rob Green, Matthew Upson, Carlton Cole and Scott Parker all look set to leave, and are likely to be followed by the likes of Thomas Hitzlsperger and Pablo Barrera, while loanees Robbie Keane and Wayne Bridge will return to their parent clubs.
Relegation has been looming all season, with Grant apparently unable to inspire his players - who have mustered just seven wins all campaign. The search for his successor is already underway, with Sam Allardyce and Chris Hughton among the front runners.
It must be all the more galling for supporters that Grant looked set to leave in January - with Martin O'Neill tipped for the job - only for him to stay on to take the Hammers down.
The only crumb of comfort for Irons fans is they will be one of the stronger teams in the Championship - despite the likely mass exodus - and if they can hang on to the likes of Jack Collison, Mark Noble and James Tomkins they will fancy their chances of bouncing straight back.
But for the moment, next Sunday's clash with Sunderland will be the last Premier League action at Upton Park for at least a year.