EVERTON manager Roberto Martinez has been sacked after three years in charge of the People's Club.
It comes at the end of a dismal Premier League season for the Blues which has seen them win just five games at home all season, finishing with their lowest points score since the introduction of three points for a win in 1981.
Dismayed fans have seen the team's fortunes on the pitch plummet, being beaten 3-1 by Leicester on Saturday and losing 3-0 to Sunderland on Wednesday: defeats which, in turn, enabled one opponent to win the Championship title and the other to avoid relegation.
The Toffees, finishing 12th in the Prem, lost in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and League Cup this season and were humilated in an excruciating 4-0 derby tie last month at Anfield.
Sources say that either David Unsworth or Blues hero Duncan Ferguson could lead the squad out on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Frank De Boer emerged as a strong long term favourite to take over the reins after he stepped down as Ajax boss today with one year remaining on his contract. However David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini are also in the frame
Martinez, who took over at Goodison from Wigan Athletic three years ago, was due to attend Everton’s end of season awards dinner tonight at St George's Hall, which has now been cancelled. Fans had planned to protest outside.
Everton Football Club regrets to announce that Roberto Martinez has left his position as First Team Manager with immediate effect.
The Chairman and the Board of Directors would like to place on record their thanks for the dedication and commitment Roberto has shown during his three seasons with the Club.
Roberto has been a great ambassador for the Club, conducting himself, at all times, with the utmost integrity and dignity.
He secured the Club its highest ever Premier League points total, a place in the last 16 of the Europa League and appearances in both domestic cup semi-finals.
He has also played a key role in the development of several young players, managing their progression to the Everton First Team and International honours.