EVERTON have sacked Sam Allardyce less than six months after appointing him to get them out of trouble, the club have announced.

While the 63-year-old former Newcastle and Sunderland boss achieved his initial target of steering the club away from the threat of a relegation fight quite early in his reign, the rest of the season has not gone so well.

He was an unpopular choice with supporters at the time and a growing section of the fanbase became increasingly opposed to him continuing in the role, leading to a toxic atmosphere at Goodison Park in the latter stages of the campaign.

Allardyce was not major shareholder Farhad Moshiri's first choice, but he failed to lure Marco Silva from Watford, an approach which contributed to the Portuguese's sacking when results at Vicarage Road took a nose dive after the Toffees were turned down.

Silva is now favourite to take over at Goodison.

Denise Barrett-Baxendale, who was appointed the new chief executive on Wednesday in a boardroom reshuffle following the departure of Robert Elstone, said: "On behalf of the chairman, board of directors and Mr Moshiri, I'd like to thank Sam for the job he has done at Everton over the last seven months.

"Sam was brought in at a challenging time last season to provide us with some stability and we are grateful to him for doing that.

"However, we have made the decision that, as part of our longer-term plan, we will be appointing a new manager this summer and will be commencing this process immediately.

"Again, we'd like to place on record our sincere thanks to Sam for his work with us over the last few months and wish him well for the future."