Kilmarnock have confirmed that manager Kenny Shiels has left the club by mutual consent with immediate effect.
The outspoken Shiels led the East Ayrshire club to a ninth-place finish in the SPL last season, but speculation over his future had grown in recent days after he was last week handed a four-match touchline ban - two of which were suspended - for comments made in the media about champions Celtic.
"The Club thanks Kenny for his service over the last three years, firstly as assistant to Mixu Paatelainen, thereafter as interim manager and subsequently as manager," a club statement read. "His tenure as manager was marked most notably by the Club's League Cup success in March, 2012 and his place in the Club's history is thereby assured.
"Back to back victories over Rangers in season 2011-12 and a historic win at Celtic Park in season 2012-13 will live on in the memory of the Club's supporters. "Kenny's work ethic and his determination to introduce young players into the first team were evident throughout his time with the Club.
"Unfortunately season 2012-13 saw the Club exit the League Cup at the first hurdle and go on to record our poorest home record since season 1980-81, culminating in seven matches without a victory at Rugby Park to exit the Scottish Cup and miss out on the 'top six' and then drop to ninth place with five defeats in our final six SPL fixtures.
"A difficult relationship with the Scottish F.A. resulted in several touch-line bans and recent comments regarding a fellow SPL club and the Scottish F.A. Judicial Panel incurred a further suspension which would have seen Kenny commence next season in the stand, rather than the dug-out.
"As a result, the Club was also prosecuted by the Judicial Panel's Compliance Officer at a hearing on 6 June and will discover the penalty to be imposed on 21st June
"For these reasons, both footballing and regulatory, it was mutually agreed that his contract as manager should end.
"The Club wishes Kenny every success in the future and thanks him for delivering the League Cup to Rugby Park in 2012."