SIMON Grayson has been axed as Leeds boss - three years after quitting Blackpool to take over at Elland Road.
Grayson, 42, walked out on the Seasiders in December 2008 to take what he described as his “dream job”.
He led Leeds into the Championship and narrowly missed out on a play-off place last season.
Despite not having much money to play with, Grayson’s team was again challenging for promotion this season - 10th in the table, just three points behind the Seasiders in sixth.
But Leeds have suffered some heavy defeats this season, hammered by Blackpool and Barnsley, and beaten 4-1 at Elland Road last night by Birmingham. They have won two of their last eight games.
Chairman Ken Bates has lost patience and today sacked Grayson and his coaching staff, including first team coach Ian Miller - number two at Pool during Colin Hendry’s reign.
Leeds chief executive Shaun Harvey said: “We have 18 games to go this season and are still within touching distance of the play-offs.
“But we felt with the transfer window now closed, we needed to make the change at this time in the belief that a new managerial team will be able to get more out of the existing squad of players and make the difference.”
In 169 games as Leeds boss, Grayson won 84, drew 40 and lost 45.
It was better than his record at Blackpool, where in 160 games between November 2005 and December 2008, Grayson won 59 games.
Grayson had spoken about how much he was looking forward to bringing Leeds to Bloomfield Road, in a match scheduled for Tuesday April 17.
Youth team manager Neil Redfearn will take temporary charge until a new manager is appointed, with former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce among the early front-runners.