Everton have sacked manager Marco Silva after a run of eight defeats in 11 matches left the club in the Premier League's bottom three.
The Portuguese has overseen a period of steady decline since early September and falling into the relegation zone after a humiliating 5-2 defeat in the Merseyside derby at Anfield proved the final straw for majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and the club's board.
Duncan Ferguson has taken temporary charge of the Toffees and will oversee Saturday's clash against Chelsea.
A statement from the club read: "Everton Football Club can confirm that manager Marco Silva has left the club.
Of Everton's six wins this season half have come in the Carabao Cup, reaching the quarter-finals with a forthcoming tie at home to Leicester.
However, even the lure of potentially challenging for a first trophy since 1995 was not enough to save Silva with their Premier League future coming under increasing threat.
The Toffees have spent just four seasons outside of the top flight in their 132-year history and have been an ever-present since 1954.