Everton have confirmed that they have sacked Frank Lampard after the ex-Chelsea boss endured a “challenging 12 months” at the Premier League strugglers.
The 44-year-old has been sacked after less than a year in charge of the Premier League outfit. They are currently involved in a relegation battle for a second successive season.
News of Lampard’s fate was widely reported in the afternoon but was not officially announced by the club until just after 8pm on Monday.
A statement read: “Everton Football Club can confirm that Frank Lampard has left his post as senior men’s first-team manager today.
“Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months.”
Lampard leaves Goodison Park with the club 19th in the Premier League after a run of nine defeats in 12 games. He won just nine and lost 21 of his 38 Premier League matches and his sacking comes eight days before the first anniversary of his appointment.
The statement added: “Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken. We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game.
“The club has started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.”
Backroom staff members Joe Edwards, Paul Clement, Ashley Cole and Chris Jones have also left, but Alan Kelly will remain as goalkeeping coach.
Paul Tait and Leighton Baines will oversee training until a new manager is appointed.
Everton brought in former Chelsea and Derby boss Lampard as successor to Rafael Benitez, who had lasted just 200 days in the post. His departure means the Toffees are now looking for their eighth permanent manager since owner Farhad Moshiri took over the club in February 2016.
Moshiri offered public backing to Lampard as recently as January 13, but hugely damaging defeats to fellow strugglers Southampton and West Ham have forced a change.
Everton have scored just 15 goals in 20 Premier League games this term and have only managed to find the net more than once in a game twice this season.
With a first relegation since 1951 looming large, Lampard’s exit adds to the current turmoil surrounding the club.
There has been widespread fan unrest and numerous demonstrations against the club board in recent weeks. Board members did not attend the recent game against Southampton due to security concerns.
The club’s delay in confirming Lampard’s removal, when it had already been widely reported for several hours, is only likely to have added to supporter frustration.
However, while fans had largely backed Lampard, former Everton striker Kevin Campbell felt the club had no choice but to make the change.
He told Sky Sports News: “The inevitable has happened. It hasn’t gone according to plan and the club have pulled the trigger.
“I backed Frank Lampard, but ultimately it’s about results and I think the club had to make the move.
“The club’s a bit toxic at the moment, so they’ve got to do something to address the slide.”
The club now have to move fast to find Lampard’s replacement, with eight days remaining of the transfer window as events mirror those of 12 months ago.
Then Lampard was not appointed until deadline day – more than two weeks after Benitez’s departure – and was followed through the door by the last-minute arrivals of Dele Alli and Donny Van de Beek, on loan from Manchester United.
A loan deal for Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma has been agreed and is likely to be announced in the next 24 hours, but further reinforcements are required to help steer the club away from safety.
Former Burnley manager Sean Dyche, himself sacked last April after a decade with the Clarets as he failed to keep them in the Premier League, is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Lampard.
The odds on former Everton striker Duncan Ferguson, who left the club’s coaching staff in the summer to pursue managerial opportunities but has yet to find a job, have shortened. He has already done the caretaker role for the Toffees on two previous short-lived occasions after the exits of Marco Silva in 2019 and Benitez last year.
Another ex-Toffees favourite, Wayne Rooney, currently in charge at Major League Soccer side DC United, has also been touted as a successor, as has former Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Former Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, who was in consideration before Lampard was given the job last year but was still employed by Saints, is another option, as is Nuno Espirito Santo.
Everton’s director of football Kevin Thelwell has previously worked under Nuno at Wolves but the Portuguese is currently in charge at Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad and has a reported £8million buy-out clause.
READ MORE: Frank Lampard sacked by Everton? We’re supposed to believe Pep Guardiola could do no better