Ayr United have sacked manager Lee Bullen as the club sits second bottom of the Championship after 20 games.
On confirming the departure on Monday, the Somerset Park side also issued a statement condemning fan abuse of the 52-year-old.
The club said Bullen was subjected to abuse online and in the stadium as they urged fans to challenge anyone displaying such behaviour.
The former Dunfermline, Falkirk and Sheffield Wednesday player leaves after two years.
It comes on the back of a five-match winless run for the Honest Men that includes three draws and two defeats.
Bullen’s last match was a 0-0 draw at bottom club Arbroath on Saturday.
In a statement released on their social media pages, chairman David Smith said: “It is undeniable that the club is unrecognisable from the one Lee walked in to over two years ago and this is testament to his work throughout his time as head coach.
“Lee embodies the #WeAreUnited and has been a terrific ambassador for the football club.
“He has delivered the on-field targets set by the board throughout his time in charge from avoiding relegation in the 2021/22 season, to overachieving on expectations with a second place finish last season, in addition to generating a significant player sale for the first time in many years.
“The relationship with the academy has never been stronger and much of that is down to Lee’s time and effort in developing that link. Few will know the personal sacrifices he has made to make our club better.
“Despite having the obvious challenge of recruiting a new midfield given injuries at the start of the season, ultimately on-field results over a sustained period of time have not been good enough and it is with real regret that we have come to this decision.”
A statement from the club said: “We would like to thank Lee for all his hard work over the last two years and wishes him every success in the future.
“The club would also like to take this opportunity, once again, to highlight that abuse of any individual is not acceptable.
“Lee has been subject to abuse both online and in stadiums over recent weeks. Nobody deserves any form of abuse, it is never justifiable and we urge supporters to challenge this type of behaviour whenever they see or hear it.”
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