Jim Jefferies has been removed from his role as manager at Hearts, the Tynecastle club have confirmed.
It has been reported that Jefferies has departed after refusing the role of director of football while Brown has been stood down with immediate effect. It is also believed that Gary Locke, the club's first team coach, has been asked to take over in an interim basis with rumours of a new management team on their way to Edinburgh.
But a Tynecastle spokesman said: ''Jim Jefferies has been removed as manager, and has been offered a director of football role which he is currently considering.''
Former Hearts defender Alan McLaren summed up the frustrations of the Jambos supporters who turned up at Tynecastle looking to find some answers from majority shareholder Vladimir Romanov.
He told Sky Sports: "I don't think we can be surprised because it happens so often. Dismissing the manager and assistant manager three hours into a new season tops anything he (Romanov) has done in the past, I think.
"It's a media black-out again from Hearts. We are here to get answers and no one is willing to give us answers. The club aren't putting out any statement so it is all ifs, buts and maybes.''
McLaren dismissed the suggestion that Romanov was right to take action following Hearts' poor end to last season.
"Not at all, he had all summer to do that,'' he said. "We are three hours into the new season. You have a good result away to the champions in the first game (1-1), you had a disappointing result on Sunday (lost 1-0 to Dundee United) but there were lots of chances.
"He has backed the manager with transfer targets in the summer then removes him after three hours - it is nonsense. I'm not going to second-guess the owner, I have no idea what he has in store but why wasn't it done in the summer?''