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Football: Under-fire Anelka to step aside.

CLAUDE ANELKA is on the verge of quitting as boss of struggling Raith Rovers and moving upstairs.

The Frenchman, who put his money into the club over the summer and promised to have them in the SPL in two years, has not been a success in the hotseat.

He could now become director of football, leaving the way clear for recently-appointed assistant, former Chelsea boss John Hollins to take over the team.

Anelka,who has been manager since previous boss Antonio Calderon refused to work under him, said: 'Maybe I will move to a new role upstairs. If it can help the team, I will do it.

'When I first came here I was to be a director of football, not the manager. I understand the fans and everyone.I will do what is best for the club.'

The licensed coach, who quit playing prematurely due to a knee injury, has cut an increasingly lonely figure in the past few weeks, with pressure from fans mounting.

Raith are already five points adrift at the foot of the First Division and have only one point from a possible 21.

A power struggle between Anelka and Hollins has developed over fundamental footballing philosophy, players and tactics.

With fans considering boycotts and sponsors threatening to withdraw support, it is clear the situation has reached a critical point.

An announcement is expected before Saturday's home game with Queen of the South.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Sep 23, 2004
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