Birmingham City have announced they have parted company with manager Garry Monk.
The former Swansea, Leeds and Middlesbrough boss took charge at St Andrew’s in March 2018 and penned a three-and-a-half year deal.
He became their fifth permanent manager in just 15 months and guided them to safety in his first full season in charge despite a 10-point deduction.
They finished 17th after their punishment for breaking EFL profitability and sustainability rules in March ended hopes of a late play-off push.
But growing concerns behind the scenes saw Monk hold talks with club chiefs at the training ground last week, where chief executive Xuandong Ren has recently taken an office.
Monk has now departed the club with assistant Pep Clotet appointed as caretaker head coach and the remainder of the backroom staff staying on board.
A club statement read: “Birmingham City has today parted company with manager Garry Monk.
“The Board of Directors believe this to be in the long term interests of the Club.
“We thank Garry for his efforts and we wish him the best for the future.
“Pep Clotet has been appointed caretaker Head Coach and the remainder of the coaching and backroom staff – including Sean Rush, Darryl Flahavan, Ryan Needs and James Beattie – stay in place.
“Pep takes charge of team affairs with immediate effect.
“The Board of Directors are hopeful that over time the team can adopt a fresh and modern footballing philosophy, whilst maintaining the Club’s core values.
“It is our intention to drive the Club forward and challenge for promotion.
“As part of an overall review of Club operations, we will also seek to enhance our recruitment and scouting strategy.
“We have faced significant challenges in relation to Profitability and Sustainability regulations and whilst we will improve our squad and be competitive in the market – the Club’s owners are committed to continued investment – we will do so sensibly and effectively.
“The Club has a pool of talented players and those emerging via the Academy and Under-23s will be embraced, even more so than before. We are certain these young players – as those in our first team already – will be hungry to succeed as we begin a new chapter.
“In addition to our excellent Academy, Birmingham City Women and our Regional Talent Club are also thriving.
“The Board of Directors feel that it is vitally important for everybody at the Club to be sharing the same vision and commitment to the plans and processes.”