Everton Axe Big Sam

Sam Allardyce

Everton have confirmed the departure of manager Sam Allardyce (Big Sam) after less than a season at Goodison Park, with Marco Silva and Paulo Fonseca among the early favourites to replace him.

Allardyce took over at Goodison Park in November and had a further 12 months left on his contract, but Everton have relieved the former England boss of his duties on Merseyside amid high levels of fan discontent.

In a club statement, CEO, Professor Denise Barrett-Baxendale said: “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.

“However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately. Again, we’d like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future.”

Allardyce, 63, took charge of Everton when they were 13th on the Premier League, five points clear of the relegation zone, as he became the permanent successor to Ronald Koeman, who left the club in 18th by the time of his sacking in October.

Everton managed an eighth-placed finish in the league this season, but Allardyce’s style of play and form away from home failed to win support from the fan-base.