Everton have sacked manager Roberto Martinez after three years in charge.
Martinez, who had overseen a run of just one win in the last 10 matches, was relieved of his duties to spare him the ordeal of taking charge of the final match of the campaign against Norwich.
The Catalan promised Champions League football when appointed in June 2013 after winning the FA Cup with Wigan but lost Everton’s supporters after finishing the season below the top half of the table twice in a row and the appetite for a change of manager among the fan base was overwhelming.
A banner saying “Time to go Roberto” was flown over Goodison during the 2-1 win over Bournemouth on 30 April, while some Everton fans remained inside the ground for more than an hour after the match to protest against Martinez and chairman Bill Kenwright. A 4-0 loss to Liverpool and semi final defeat in the F.A Cup by Manchester United at Wembley came within four days of each other. Martinez had previously stated that they would be “defining” fixtures for his side.
Frank de Boer is the early favourite to succeed him after leaving Ajax while his fellow Dutchman Ronald Koeman, in charge of Southampton, is also fancied.David Unsworth, the Everton Under 21s manager, will take charge of the side against Norwich.The club are expected to make an official announcement imminently to confirm their decision.