Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has quit after almost four years in charge at Fir Park,
His departure was announced by the club on Sunday night - two days after Motherwell suffered their fifth defeat in a row when they went down 2-1 to St Johnstone at Perth.
McCall took ’Well to the Scottish Cup Final in his first season and his side have finished runners-up to Celtic for the past two seasons.
But this season they have struggled and currently sit second bottom, with only Ross County below them, having lost nine of their 12 games so far.
McCall, who was appointed in December 2010 and was the second longest serving manager in Scottish senior football, informed the board of his decision late on Sunday afternoon.
A club statement praised the 40-times capped former Scotland midfielder for overseeing a period of incredible success at Fir Park, including taking Motherwell into the Scottish Cup Final in 2011, then three ‘Best of the Rest’ finishes in the Scottish top flight.
As manager, he smashed a number of long-standing records, including for games won, goals scored, clean sheets and points accumulated; the 50-year old also led Motherwell into the UEFA Champions League for the first and only time back in 2012.
But they admitted that, in contrast, the current season hadn’t started well.
Speaking on behalf of the Board, Derek Weir, who was instrumental in McCall’s appointment, said: “Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to sincerely thank Stuart for his contribution to the club, which will go down as one of the most successful managerial tenures in our 128-year history.
“We have been acutely aware of results this season, but everyone at Fir Park was confident in his, and the team’s, ability to turn things around.
“However, following a long conversation this afternoon, Stuart felt it better for all concerned if he stepped down with immediate effect and we respect that.
“Assistant manager Kenny Black will take charge of first-team team affairs in a caretaker role to allow the board to start the process of recruiting a new manager, which will begin right away.”