British boyband Take That have axed their longstanding manager because they have no use for him in their forthcoming comeback tour.

NIGEL MARTIN-SMITH, who propelled the pop outfit to fame in the early nineties, will now take a back seat in the band.

The RELIGHT MY FIRE hitmakers, who reunited last month (NOV05) without former member Robbie Williams, have reportedly hired new management for next year's (06) 31-date reunion tour and forthcoming album.

Member Mark Owen confirms, "Nigel set up the first set of tour dates but the band have always driven the shows, so there isn't really a role for him now."

Smith was particularly disliked by Williams - who left the chart-toppers in 1995 - and his sudden departure has sparked rumours the ANGELS hitmaker may join rejoin the band on their tour.