DEREK McINNES has departed Aberdeen after eight years in charge at Pittodrie.
The Dons manager and his assistant Tony Docherty have left the club with immediate effect.
McInnes, who has also bossed St Johnstone and Bristol City, agreed to move on after increasing pressure from irate supporters who have seen their favourites struggle in recent months.
The north east outfit have won just two games in 2021, scoring five goals as the team slipped to fourth in the Premiership. They also lost to eventual winners Celtic in the delayed Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden last November.
Paul Sheerin, with back up from former Dons stars Barry Robson and Neil Simpson, will lead the side on an interim basis.
McInnes, speaking in a club statement, said: “This season has been unprecedented due to a number of factors and I am as frustrated as anyone that results haven’t been of the high standard which we set.
“My motivation to deliver success has never wavered and during my eight-year tenure my staff and I have worked hard to elevate expectations and set a minimum standard which should be demanded at a club like Aberdeen FC.
“I would like to thank all the players who have featured in my teams over the years, my current staff and players for their efforts and all the staff behind the scenes for their hard work and endeavour. To the supporters for their continuous backing and, of course, the Board for their support during my time at the club.”
Chairman Dave Cormack added: “During his time in charge Derek raised the bar and delivered a level of consistency not seen at the club for many years, qualifying for Europe each season, and delivering a memorable Scottish League Cup win at Celtic Park in season 2013/14 with 43,000 Dons fans in attendance.
“Clearly, results since the turn of the year have been disappointing and frustrating for everyone. Derek and I reviewed where we were and agreed that this was the right time for him to step down. The club now has the opportunity to appoint a new manager ahead of the new season where, with a number of players out of contract, we have work to do to build a competitive squad.
“Derek and Tony leave with our thanks and gratitude for what they have achieved during their tenure. We wish them well for the future.”
McInnes’ final game in charge was the goalless draw at home to Hamilton Accies on Saturday.
He also led the team to four second-place finishes in the top flight during Celtic’s nine-year reign.
The former Rangers midfielder was linked to a return to Ibrox to replace Pedro Caixinha in 2017, while he also rejected a chance to move to Sunderland.
Former Ross County gaffer Derek Adams and ex-Motherwell chief Stephen Robinson have already been linked with the vacant post.