Relegation-threatened Burnley have sacked manager Sean Dyche with eight games remaining to salvage their Premier League status.
Dyche, 50, had been the longest-serving manager at any Premier League club and took charge in October 2012, but was shown the door with his team ranked 18th in the Premier League and four points from safety after winning just four games all season.
A statement said: “Burnley Football Club can confirm that the club have parted ways with manager Sean Dyche, assistant manager Ian Woan, first team manager Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer.”
Burnley Football Club can confirm that the club has parted ways with manager Sean Dyche, assistant manager Ian Woan, first team manager Steve Stone and goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer. — Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) April 15, 2022
The surprise decision ends a reign in which Dyche twice won promotion from the Championship and regularly outperformed on a small budget, including a seventh-place finish in 2018 that earned him a place in the Europa League play-offs.
By September, Dyche had signed a new contract, which was to run until the summer of 2025. Such was his popularity at Burnley that a pub across the street from Turf Moor was named after him.
Alan Pace’s ALK Capital, who took over the club in December 2020, had indicated that securing Dyche’s future was key to their long-term vision for the club, but they have now dispensed with him as they believe the move can save their season.
Pace said: “Firstly we would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sean and his staff for their achievements at the club over the last decade.
“During his time at Turf Moor, Sean has been a credit both on and off the pitch, respected by players, staff, supporters and the wider football community.
“However, results this season have been disappointing and while this was an incredibly difficult decision, with eight crucial games remaining in the campaign, we believe a change is needed to give the team the best possible chance of retaining its status. of the Premier League”.
Burnley breathed life into their bid for survival with a 3-2 comeback victory over Everton last week, only to squander any chance of building momentum with a 2-0 loss to bottom side Norwich days later.
Given that the defeat was five days ago, the timing of the announcement, just over 48 hours before Sunday’s game at West Ham, is surprising.
Although Dyche’s side have conceded the second-fewest goals in the lower half of the Premier League, they have only scored 25 times in 30 league games this season.
Summer signing Maxwel Cornet, who missed a glorious opportunity when Burnley trailed 1-0 at Carrow Road, has struggled with fitness at times, while Wout Weghorst, brought in to cover Chris Wood’s unexpected loss to Newcastle in January, He has only one goal in 12 appearances.
In his statement, Pace said club captain Ben Mee, 32, will be part of the coaching staff for Sunday’s trip to West Ham.
“U23 coach Mike Jackson, assisted by academy director Paul Jenkins, U23 goalkeeping coach Connor King and club captain Ben Mee have been asked to take charge of the team for Sunday’s game against West Ham United,” Pace said.
“Sean’s replacement process has begun and further announcements will be made to fans in due course.”
A news conference scheduled for Friday for a preview of the West Ham match has been cancelled.