Leeds United have confirmed that manager Terry Venables has left the club.
His departure was revealed in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.
“Leeds United would like to place on record its thanks to Terry for his contribution in difficult circumstances and to wish him success in the future,” the statement said.
The club also confirmed that a permanent appointment will not be made until the summer, but former manager Eddie Gray is expected to take control of first team affairs until the end of the season.
Former England coach Venables appears to have paid the price for a poor run of results in the last few weeks, including the disappointing FA Cup exit at the handsof First Division Sheffield United. He is understoood to have been involved in an angry showdown with chairman Peter Ridsdale over recent form, after which his role became untenable.
Venables replaced the sacked David O’Leary in July 2002, but he has seen several of the club’s high profile players sold to held reduce crippling dents at Elland Road. Since his arrival, Venables has been powerless to stop the departure of Rio Ferdinand, Jonathan Woodgate, Robbie Fowler, Lee Bowyer, Robbie Keane and Olivier Dacourt.
Venables made it clear that he was unhappy with the exodus of talent and Woodgate’s departure to Newcastle in January, put a strain on his working relationshipwith the club’s board, which made his departure inevitable.
Top of Leeds list of replacements will be Paul Hart, manager of Nottingham Forest, a former Leeds player. Hart also ran the club’s youth academy, overseeing the development of the likes of Woodgate and Kewell. He has proven record of developing young talent and perhaps more importantly given Leeds current financial position, has a reputation for working within a tight budget.