Alan Curbishley’s successor at Charlton Athletic lasted less than 6 months, reports the Times’ Gary Jacob.

Charlton Athletic parted company with Iain Dowie (above) last night. A fractious relationship with some players and anxiety among board members combined to make his position untenable. The club have been bottom of the Barclays Premiership since the end of September, having won only twice in the league this season, prompting Dowie to assert publicly that he would not step down.

However, Charlton™s 3-2 defeat away to Wigan Athletic on Saturday proved to be the final straw for some of the directors, who are thought to have met yesterday and decided that the team were in increasing danger of relegation unless action was taken. A sloppy defence has contributed to the team conceding 18 goals ” the most in the top flight.

Pressure began to mount on Dowie after the team lost five consecutive league matches from mid-September, but things appeared to have eased when he was backed publicly and the team showed signs of improvement with a run of five matches without defeat. That included reaching the last eight of the Carling Cup with victory on penalties away to Chesterfield, of Coca-Cola League One, last week. They have a good chance of reaching the semi-finals after being drawn at home to Wycombe Wanderers, of League Two.

Not every player took to Dowie’s distinctive ideas, which included using sleds loaded with weights and hauling them up grassy slopes, and one member of the backroom staff was persuaded by the board not to offer his resignation because of his unhappiness with Dowie. A long injury list has not helped, but there have been question marks about some of the signings and their transfer values.

Dowie signed a three-year contract in May, but his appointment a couple of weeks after leaving Crystal Palace proved controversial. He begins a court case next month, defending a writ served on him by Simon Jordan, the Palace chairman, for œfraudulent misrepresentation in obtaining a release from a contract. Jordan claims that he released his former manager from his contract because Dowie said it was a strain being separated from his family in the North West. Jordan agreed to waive a compensation clause of £1 million, but Dowie took up a new post only 12 miles nearer to Bolton.

It is not clear if Charlton will continue to support Dowie, who denies the allegations. Jordan had some sympathy for his former manager. œI think Charlton haven™t really given him a chance, he said last night.

Radio Five Live is reporting this morning that supernatural expert / former pop idol Glenn Hoddle is a prime candidate for the vacancy at The Valley.