Everton have parted company with Sam Allardyce despite the former England manager having another year left to run on his contract at Goodison Park.
Allardyce was appointed as successor to Ronald Koeman on and 18-month deal last November, with an immediate brief of guiding Everton away from relegation danger.
That was accomplished soon enough, but a significant section of the Merseyside club’s fanbase have become disgruntled with a perceived negative style of football under the 63-year-old former England boss.
Despite leading Everton to an eighth-place finish, Allardyce’s widely anticipated departure was confirmed on Wednesday.
Everton chief executive professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “On behalf of the chairman, board of directors and [Everton owner Farhad] Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months.
“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.
“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.
“Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”
Marco Silva is thought to be the frontrunner for the Everton post once more, despite their approach for the then-Watford boss last year causing acrimony between the two clubs and preceding the Portuguese coach’s departure from Vicarage Road.
Everton announced a major restructuring of their board on Tuesday, including Barrett-Baxendale’s appointment to succeed Robert Elstone.
Speaking to the Mirror at the League Managers Association annual awards, Allardyce made his anger at not being informed of those decisions known and suggested the writing was on the wall regarding his own future.
“I’m shocked, disappointed and disgusted that the football club didn’t have the decency to tell me, my director of football and my staff about the changes,” he said.
“They must have been in the pipeline for a considerable time but no-one thought to tell me and my staff. I’m pretty disgusted.
“I came into the football club with the team struggling and we have finished eighth in the table. I’m more than happy with what myself, my staff and the players have achieved from when I came in.
“I will be meeting Farhad on Wednesday morning to discuss what happens next but I’m not expecting a long meeting.”