West Bromwich Albion boss, Steve Clark, has lost his job following a fourth straight defeat.
The ‘Baggies’ released a statement after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Cardiff, which happened to be the 50-year-old’s last game in charge, that the Scotsman has been placed on gardening leave with immediate effect, along with his other assistant, Kevin Keen.
Joint-assistant head coach Keith Downing will take charge of the first-team in the meantime while the search for a new head coach begins.
“We have reluctantly come to the decision to relieve Steve of his duties after very careful consideration,” West Brom sporting and technical director Richard Garlick said.
Albion have won only seven of their 34 Premier League games in 2013.
They finished eighth last season- their best ever in the English top division- but has struggled to regain their winning mentality this season.
“It has been well documented that we have not had the rub of the green in certain games this season but that does not cloud the generally disappointing points return during this calendar year, culminating in today’s fourth-successive defeat at Cardiff,” Garlick added.
“This Club’s track record proves we do not take such decisions lightly, having only enforced a change in this position three times in approximately 14 years.
“But with key games coming thick and fast, we felt it was important we acted now to give the Club the best possible chance of a successful outcome this season.
“Our player wage bill is the highest in the Club’s history and we feel we have built a squad capable of being very competitive in the Premier League.
The loss of last season’s prolific goalscorer, Romelu Lukaku, who was on loan from Chelsea, really overshadowed the arrival of club record signing Stephanie Sessegnon and Victor Anichebe, who has had to deal with injuries since his deadline day switch.
Clarke took over the managerial reins at the Hawthorn in June 2012 and was out of contract at the end of the season. He joins Paolo Di Canio, Ian Holloway and Martin Jol on the growing list of Premier League coaches to have gotten the boots.
West Brom are 16th on the league standing, two points above the drop zone.