Allardyce leaves Newcastle

Newcastle United have parted company with manager Sam Allardyce with immediate effect and by mutual agreement, the English Premier League side announced on Wednesday.

Newcastle chairman Chris Mort said in a statement on behalf of himself and owner Mike Ashley: "Mike and I would like to place on record our thanks for Sam's efforts and wish him well for the future."

He added: "A new manager has not yet been appointed at Newcastle United. We will make a further announcement on the managerial position when appropriate."

Allardyce, who only took charge on May 15 on a three-year deal, left with Newcastle 11th in the Premier League table.

He won eight, drew six and lost 10 of his 24 games with the north-east side after replacing Glenn Roeder.

Although Newcastle did not appear in danger of relegation, that wasn't enough to prevent Allardyce becoming the eighth Premier League manager this season to lose his job.

A run of three straight league defeats and last weekend's goalless FA Cup draw with Championship side Stoke City appear to have eroded any confidence Ashley, who inherited the 53-year-old former Bolton boss from previous Newcastle chief Freddie Shepherd, had in Allardyce.

"I am disappointed to be leaving Newcastle United, but I wish the club all the best for the remainder of the season and for the future," said Allardyce.

First team coach Nigel Pearson will take charge for Saturday's game away to champions Manchester United.

Allardyce, who had spoken of formulating a long-term plan for Newcastle's success which could take three to five years to implement, took training earlier Wednesday seemingly oblivious to his impending exit.

A hard run
Barely a fortnight ago Mort said reports Allardyce was set to be replaced were wrong. "All this makes me laugh and I find all this speculation tedious. There is a different name every week and there is just no truth in it."

But the manager's style of football, which some fans deemed insufficiently attacking, alienated sections of the 'Toon Army' who began calling for former Newcastle and England striker Alan Shearer to replace Allardyce.

Even though Shearer has no managerial experience he was installed as the 4/6 favourite to replace Allardyce by leading British bookmaker Ladbrokes.

For all they are one of English football's best-supported clubs, Newcastle have not won a major trophy since lifting the Fairs Cup, the forerunner of the UEFA Cup, back in 1969.

Newcastle's last domestic trophy was the 1955 FA Cup while they haven't been champions of England since 1927.

In their quest for success Newcastle have now got through six managers since Kevin Keegan, who twice guided them to runners-up spot in the Premier League, left St James' Park in 1997.

By contrast Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986.