London (AFP) – Sam Allardyce was on Wednesday sacked as manager of Premier League side Everton after just six months and despite guiding them away from trouble to an eighth-placed finish, the club announced.
The 63-year-old had come under fire from fans over the route one style of play and former England and Manchester United star Wayne Rooney was rumoured to want to move if Allardyce stayed.
“We have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer,” said club director Denise Barrett-Baxendale.
“On behalf of the Chairman, Board of Directors and Mr Moshiri, I’d like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months.
“Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.”
The favourite to replace Allardyce, who had a year remaining on his contract, is believed to be former Hull and Watford boss Marco Silva.
The 40-year-old Portuguese was owner Farhad Moshiri’s first choice when he dismissed Dutchman Ronald Koeman after a disastrous start to the campaign.
However, their pursuit proved fruitless and only prompted Watford’s form to fall away and led to Silva being sacked himself in January with Watford citing an “unwarranted approach by a Premier League rival”.
If Silva is the chosen one, his appointment will have to be rubber-stamped by new director of football Marcel Brands.
Hired from PSV Eindhoven, where he spent eight years carving out a reputation for signing talented young players at bargain prices, Brands has replaced Steve Walsh as the link between Everton’s manager and the club’s hierarchy.
“The fantastic passion of the fans for their club, the magnificent history of the club over the years and the ambition and purpose we have as people tasked with driving the club forward all mean that we need to be competing for honours against the Premier League elite,” Brands said.
“It is no straightforward challenge but this must be our motivation each and every day.
“Now we will look to build something really strong and lasting here at Everton.”
The writing seemed to be on the wall for Allardyce even last month when he dismissed a survey sent to fans asking them to grade his performance out of 10 as a mistake on the part of the club’s marketing director, who he said does not “understand” how football works.