Everton have sacked manager Marco Silva after 18 months, with the club in the Premier League relegation zone after their Merseyside derby humiliation.
Wednesday’s 5-2 defeat by Liverpool at Anfield was their ninth of the season and leaves them 18th in the Premier League after three successive losses.
Silva, who took charge in May 2018, won 24 and lost 24 of his 60 games.
Former striker Duncan Ferguson has been put in temporary charge and will manage the side against Chelsea on Saturday.
The club said they aim to appoint a new manager “as swiftly as possible”.
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Everton are now searching for their fourth permanent boss since Roberto Martinez was sacked in May 2016.
Former Everton manager David Moyes has been considered as a potential interim successor, but the suggestion has sparked a largely negative reaction from supporters and it remains to be seen whether majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and his boardroom colleagues ignore that and invite the 56-year-old Scot to return.
Moyes spent 11 years as Everton manager, and his return has been seen by fans as a retrograde step given his lack of success since leaving for Manchester United in 2013.
He was sacked at United and Real Socieded and was in charge of Sunderland when they were relegated from the Premier League before having a short spell at West Ham.
It has been suggested that if Moyes does return he could bring another Everton old boy, Tim Cahill, back as his assistant.
Portuguese Silva, 42, is the fifth managerial dismissal in the Premier League this season, after the departures of Javi Gracia – who had replaced Silva at Vicarage Road – and Quique Sanchez Flores from Watford, as well as Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Arsenal’s Unai Emery.
Former Hull City boss Silva succeeded Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park. He was brought in with the hope of his side playing more attractive football and backed with almost £90m of signings in the summer of 2018.
Everton finished eighth in Silva’s first campaign but, after spending more than £100m on players in the summer, they have won just four league games this season.
The Toffees face a tricky run of league fixtures over the next month when they face Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City, and also Leicester in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
After Martinez was dismissed in 2016, Ronald Koeman led Everton into the Europa League in his first season in charge, but was sacked after the club fell into the relegation zone following a poor start to his second campaign.
David Unsworth then lost five of eight games as interim boss, while Allardyce made way following an eighth-placed finish after fans frequently expressed their displeasure at the lack of attacking flair under the former England coach.