Newcastle have parted company with manager Chris Hughton, the Premier League club has confirmed.
The 51-year-old leaves the club just seven months after guiding them back into the top flight and with them sitting 11th in the table.
They were beaten 3-1 at West Brom yesterday, a result which looks to have brought Hughton’s time with the club to an end, just over a month after they beat bitter rivals Sunderland 5-1 and won 1-0 at Arsenal.
Hughton was named as the club’s permanent manager in October 2009 after a number of caretaker stints in charge, and the club said in October that they would be looking to renegotiate his deal in the new year after speculation he was about to be sacked.
That no longer applies, though, with the St James’ Park outfit confirming Hughton’s departure on their website.
A statement read: “The board would like to place on record their thanks to Chris for his considerable efforts during the club’s transition from Championship to Premier League football.
“Chris has shown exceptional character and commitment since being appointed manager in October 2009.
“The club wishes him well for the future. Regrettably the board now feels that an individual with more managerial experience is needed to take the club forward.
“The task of appointing a new manager now begins. An announcement will be made shortly regarding transitional arrangements pending the appointment of a successor.”
Hughton has been working without an assistant manager since Colin Calderwood joined Hibernian in October, and is followed out of the exit door by goalkeeping coach Paul Barron.