St Johnstone have announced that long-serving manager Tommy Wright has “parted company” with the club.
Wright joined the Premiership club in November 2011 as assistant manager before taking the hotseat in June 2013.
The Northern Irishman led the Perth side to their first-ever Scottish Cup success in 2014 and guided the club to several top-six places.
A club statement released on Saturday morning said: “Although Tommy still has a further two years of his contract to run, planning has been ongoing for some time between the board and Tommy in respect of the footballing side of the club.
“We all feel that we have been successful in creating a young and exciting squad and the club is well positioned for the future.
“Having been at the club for almost nine years, Tommy feels this would also be the most suitable time to allow him to take a well-earned break.”
It added: “The board will now have the unenviable task of finding a replacement for Tommy once the Covid-19 situation in respect of football is clarified.
“Having considered the possibility of Tommy leaving his position as manager at the end of the season, it was felt by both the board and Tommy that during the current lockdown, now would be an appropriate time.”
Wright reiterated his decision to quit has not been taken lightly and that the conversation had started long before the club knew anything about Covid-19.
He said: “I’ve had a fantastic journey with the club and I would like to personally thank Steve, Stan and Charlie for their continued support during my time as manager.
“I would also like to thank all the staff and players that have been on this journey during my time at the club.
“Finally, I want to take the opportunity to say that the support I have had from the fans has been incredible and contributed immensely to my experience with the club.
“So, to the club, its staff, players and fans – I’ll always hold a very special place for you all and I look forward to coming back to McDiarmid Park – I am so proud of what we have achieved together.
“We have an exciting group of young players and I look forward to seeing their progression with you all.”