Crisis club York City have sacked manager Alan Little.

Alan Little: final visit to the Bootham Crescent ground today

The axe fell on the club's third longest-serving manager after a run of ten games without a win pitched City into the relegation battle in the Nationwide League Second Division.

Now the chase is on for a successor to Little, who led the Minstermen for precisely six years until the repercussion of Saturday's 4-2 crash away to Notts County.

Club directors, led by chairman Douglas Craig, were today starting discussions over whether they would advertise the post of manager, having just 11 games left in which to register the five wins needed to ensure a seventh successive season in Division Two.

There is a chance that City might promote from within in the short-term and that may open the door to player-manager Neil Thompson.

The defender was the lone management representative at last night's fans' forum which opened with the bombshell of Little's sacking.

Thompson hinted broadly he would be interested in the vacancy should the opportunity present itself, though he admitted it might be too "early for him".

Should City want a new man in to steady the club over the last two months of the season then former Port Vale manager John Rudge, and one-time Sheffield United and Lincoln City boss Steve Thompson, might enter the equation.

Craig confirmed that all the alternatives would be discussed between himself and fellow directors John Quickfall, Barry Swallow and Colin Webb over the next two days.

The City chairman also told the Evening Press the dismissal of Little had been one of the hardest decisions of his time at the head of the club.

He labelled Little, who has been on the City payroll for more than a decade, as one of football's 'good guys', adding however that the game did not always ensure such a breed succeeded.

Little refused to comment on his sacking as he made his final trip to Bootham Crescent today to say goodbye to players and staff.

Supporters digesting the shock development - many expected Little to be kept on in the job until the end of the season - were hoping that the dramatic decision would provide the springboard for the Minstermen to haul themselves free of relegation danger.

Ryedale MP John Greenway, the president of York City FC, said: "The directors have not taken the decision lightly and I am sure will want to wish him well in the future.

"Alan Little has been a first-class manager for the club over the years but we have not been getting the results on the pitch recently.

"The time is right for a fresh face at the helm to ensure the club stays in the second division."

Mr Greenway's position as president is an entirely honorary one and he has no executive power.

Jim Race, Chief Executive of York Rugby League Football Club, said: "Over the years he has done a reasonable job with limited resources, but the timing was right and the club have made a wise decision."

see SPORT 'You can do it'

see COMMENT 'Farewell to a man of honour'

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