Frank Lampard was sacked as manager of Everton on Monday after managing the struggling Premier League club for less than a year.
Lampard was hired by Everton to replace Rafael Benitez in January 2022, but the former Chelsea boss is leaving and the team is languishing in 19th place in the table.
Everton suffered a crushing 2-0 defeat to relegation rivals West Ham on Saturday, their ninth defeat in their last 12 Premier League matches, bringing them level on points with the bottom half of Southampton.
Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has previously offered public support for Lampard.
But the resigned capitulation at West Ham was the last straw for Moshiri, who attended the game for the first time in 14 months to watch Everton.
After hours of reports of Lampard’s sacking, Everton finally confirmed the 44-year-old’s departure on Monday night.
“Everton Football Club can confirm that Frank Lampard has stepped down as senior men’s first team coach today,” the club said in a statement.
“Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their hard work during this challenging 12 months.
“The commitment and dedication of Frank and his team has been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and current league position meant this was a difficult decision to make.
“We wish Frank and all his behind-the-scenes team all the best for their future in the game.
“The club has begun the process of looking for a new manager and will provide an update on the appointment in due course.”
Paul Tate and Leighton Baines will train until a new manager is appointed, with Everton’s next game against Premier League leaders Arsenal on 4 February.
Everton felt compelled to act for Lampard’s future as they fight for the first time since 1954 not to play outside the top flight.
Lampard arrived at Everton 12 months ago with the team languishing in 16th place and the former Chelsea and England midfielder appeared astute at first in helping the Merseyside club avoid relegation.
– Fan Rage –
Thanks to the enthusiastic support of their fans at Goodison Park, the Toffees have come through the slump by winning three of their last six league matches, including a dramatic 3-2 win against Crystal Palace which has maintained their top tier status.
But Everton are now looking for their eighth permanent manager in less than seven years after Lampard failed to build momentum from that successful end to a deadline.
In a sign of the unrest that has gripped Everton, earlier this month club directors were ordered to stay away from Goodison Park due to perceived security threats.
Lampard has won only 12 of his 44 appearances for Everton in all competitions.
Potential candidates to replace Lampard include former Burnley coach Sean Dyche, former Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa and former West Ham Everton coach David Moyes, according to bookmakers.
Al-Ittihad boss Nuno Espirito Santo, formerly of the Wolves, and former Everton striker Wayne Rooney, now in charge of DC United’s MLS side, were also considered possible contenders.
The sale of Brazilian striker Richarlison to Tottenham at the end of the season saw Everton only manage three wins in 20 league games this season amid mounting fan rage.
In recent games there have been massive protests against the board and Lampard.
Fans staged a sit-in following the recent defeat to Southampton when Everton defender Yerry Mina and teammate Anthony Gordon clashed with fans as they left Goodison Park in their cars.
In response to Lampard’s sacking, the Everton fan group NSNOW called on Moshiri to “stop the rot”.
“Nothing says more about Everton’s mismanagement under the current owner and board than the fact that we now need to appoint our eighth ‘permanent’ manager since 2016,” the statement said.
“The chaos and dysfunction in Everton’s leadership has brought us to this position. The owner must take urgent and drastic measures to stop the decay. Or sell it to whoever does it.”