Birmingham City have confirmed the departure of head coach Lee Bowyer.
Bowyer was in charge for 16 months, steering the club to safety after his appointment in March 2020 and then guiding them to 20th place in the Sky Bet Championship last term.
But at a time when the club’s owners are seeking to sell up, Bowyer’s contract has been terminated.
Former Watford owner Laurence Bassini had been in talks over a deal, but his period of exclusivity has expired after he missed a number of deadlines.
Bassini had made clear he intended to replace Bowyer if he took over the club.
“The board of directors believe this to be the necessary course of action and have acted swiftly ahead of the 2022/23 campaign,” a club statement said.
“The board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Lee for all of his efforts during his time at the club.
“As a player and as a head coach, Lee’s commitment and dedication was never in question and we will always be thankful for his contribution both on the pitch and in the dugout.
“He will always be welcomed back to St Andrew’s.
“A replacement head coach and support staff will be confirmed in due course.”
Following the Blues’ 2-1 defeat to Blackburn on the final day of the season, Bowyer said he planned to speak to the hierarchy with regards to improvements ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
“I’m meeting with them on Monday and I’m sure we will talk about how we can improve going forward,” he said.
“I would like to hear they understand the situation I’ve had to face this season; we all have to be realistic.
“I want clarity in terms of what the plan is and how we can improve because I want to be the person challenging up the other end and winning things. But I know one thing, it is going to take time because there are contracts people are on and they’ve got years to run.”