Aston Villa have sacked manager Steven Gerrard following their 3-0 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage this evening.
Speculation over the 42-year-old’s position had been intensifying over recent days, with some reports suggesting that the club’s owners had made the decision to sack him before their trip to West London this evening.
Villa dismissed those rumours, but have now confirmed that Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect.
The club broke the news with a short 39-word statement on their official website, less than an hour-and-a-half after their 3-0 loss to Fulham left them languishing only outside the relegation zone on goals scored.
“Aston Villa Football Club can confirm that head coach Steven Gerrard has left the club with immediate effect,” read the statement.
“We would like to thank Steven for his hard work and commitment and wish him well for the future.”
Villa have won just one of their last nine Premier League games, scoring only five goals in that time to leave them 17th in the table.
Gerrard, who took over as Villa boss last November, leaves with a win ratio of just 32.5%, having won 13, drawn eight and lost 19 of his 40 matches at the helm.
Thursday’s 3-0 defeat to Fulham saw his side concede a penalty and an own goal, while Douglas Luiz was shown a straight red card for a headbutt on Aleksandar Mitrovic.
A number of away fans were calling for Gerrard to leave as he walked off the pitch, but the Liverpool legend vowed that he would not step down in his post-match interview, just over an hour before his exit was confirmed by the club.
Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has been touted as the favourite to succeed Gerrard at Villa Park, while Unai Emery is also thought to be on the club’s shortlist.