Sunderland have sacked manager Mick McCarthy after three years in charge on Wearside.

With the Black Cats rooted to the foot of the Premiership table with just ten points from 28 matches, the board terminated McCarthy's contract after a brief meeting at the Stadium of Light.

Assistant Academy coach Kevin Ball has been appointed as caretaker manager for the final ten games of the season, before the club make a permanent appointment during the summer.

"I would like to thank Mick McCarthy for his efforts for the club whilst at Sunderland," said chairman Bob Murray.

"We wish him and his family the best for the future."

The sacking comes just a day after Sunderland's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

"I feel deeply sorry that the excitement, optimism and aspirations of all Sunderland fans looking forward to a return to the Premier League have been rewarded in this way and I apologise for this," said Murray.

"It is especially tough on supporters who have turned out in numbers week in, week out, despite seeing so little to raise their spirits.

"It is hard to see such loyalty unrewarded and I am sorry that performances and results have not mirrored the tremendous level of support that the club has been given.

"The club did not return to the Premiership just to make up the numbers and whilst we fully expected it to be a tough first season back, none of us expected to be in the position we are today."

Ball, who made over 350 appearances for the Black Cats, will take charge of his first game at home to Wigan this weekend.