Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean has been "forced to resign" with immediate effect due to his position becoming "untenable".
Following intense speculation surrounding the future of Kean, the Scot confirmed in a statement through his lawyers on Friday night that he is to part company with Blackburn and the club's owners Venky's.
Kean has been in charge at Ewood Park since December 2010 but has struggled to win over the Rovers faithful, after failing to avoid relegation from the Premier League last season.
Blackburn have started their campaign in the Championship with four wins from their opening seven matches, but a 2-1 loss against Middlesbrough added to the pressure on the boss.
Kean's statement read: "For reasons that I cannot discuss on legal advice, it is with deep regret, given my hard work and service for the club for a number of years, that I have been forced to resign as manager of Blackburn Rovers Football Club with immediate effect, due to my position as team manager becoming untenable.
"I wish to thank all the players and coaching staff for their great support and the majority of the fans, who now see their club heading towards an automatic promotion position back to the Premiership. I wish the club all the very best for the future.''
Recent reports have suggested that Venky's have been actively seeking a replacement for Kean, with a view to appointing his successor during the forthcoming international break.
ESPN sources have indicated the Kean camp were unhappy about what they saw as global advisor Shebby Singh's attempts to interfere in team matters. It is this that is believed to have pushed Kean in believing his position was untenable.
The club's managing director Derek Shaw added later on Friday: "Steve has, after a great deal of thought, resigned. It was completely unexpected. He travelled down with the team ahead of our game at Charlton tomorrow, but he must have been giving it an awful lot of thought owing to the pressure he's been under.
"With the things that have gone on, over weeks and months, he's decided it's in the best interests of himself and the club that it's time to move on.
"I have spoken with spoken with Anuradha Desai (the club owner) and she is very disappointed as she was close with Steve. Owing to time differences, I don't have anything else."
On Kean's claim that he was forced to stand down, Shaw added: "I can't comment on that. He's decided tonight to call it a day, and the thoughts on why are with Steve.
"As everybody knows, every day of the week we're waking up to a fresh Steve Kean story. I think he has done remarkably well to keep plugging away under the pressure he has been under."