Thursday 12 May 2016 22:50, UK
Roberto Martinez has been sacked as Everton manager after a disappointing Premier League campaign.
The Toffees have picked up only four points in the Premier League since March 5 and the 3-0 loss to Sunderland on Wednesday stretched their dismal run of form to just one win in 10 matches in all competitions.
Martinez, who had three years remaining on his contract, led Everton to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and Capital One Cup this season, but their poor league form has ultimately proved his undoing and he leaves after nearly three years at the club.
David Unsworth and Joe Royle will be in charge for Sunday's final game of the season against Norwich.
The club's end-of-season award ceremony, which was due to take place on Thursday evening, has been cancelled.
A statement on the club official website said: "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."
A "Martinez out" banner was visible at the Stadium of Light, even prior to kick-off, and has been seen in recent weeks at home matches, including when some fans held a protest against the Spaniard following the 2-1 victory over Bournemouth on April 30.
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Another protest was planned to go ahead on Thursday night outside St George's Hall, where Everton were due to hold their end-of-season awards dinner.
Martinez had vowed to bring the "winning feeling back" to Everton following their defeat to Sunderland - their fourth loss in their last five matches - but he will not have the chance to do so against Norwich.
He was appointed as David Moyes' successor in June 2013 and guided Everton to their best Premier League points tally - 72 - and a fifth-place finish in his first season in charge.
Martinez smashed the club's transfer record with the £28m signing of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea in the summer of 2014, but failed to build on the success of his debut campaign at the club, finishing in 11th.
The 2015-16 season has been another disappointing campaign for Martinez and Everton, who have won only five times at Goodison Park - only relegated Aston Villa have fewer home victories.
Everton currently sit in 12th spot and, with only one match remaining, they are guaranteed to finish in the bottom half of the Premier League for a second successive year.