Newcastle United have sacked manager Steve McClaren just nine months after appointing the former England coach.
McClaren won just six of 28 Premier League games in charge with Newcastle, who are just one place off the foot of the table.
The final straw for McClaren was Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Bournemouth – their third successive league defeat – after which the players were booed off the pitch by disgruntled supporters.
The club issued a statement explaing their reasons for firing McClaren:
“After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday, the club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren’s employment with the club will end with immediate effect.
“We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise.
“However, we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the club at heart.”
Lee Charnley, the club’s managing director, added: “I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United.
“He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.
“Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United.
“He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.
“We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.
“A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course.”
Former Valencia, Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter boss Rafael Benitez has been tipped to take over.
Benitez, who was sacked by Real Madrid in January, has reportedly been told that he will be able bring his own backroom staff to the club.