League Two side Cheltenham Town have announced the departure of manager Mark Yates with immediate effect.
Yates was in charge for just under five years and was the third longest serving manager in the Premier League and Football League, behind Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Exeter's Paul Tisdale.
The 44 year old was promotion-winning captain during his playing days with the club, and returned to take charge at Whaddon Road on December 22, 2009 after leaving Kidderminster Harriers.
He has since overseen more than 250 matches, twice guiding the club into the League Two play-offs (2011/12 and 2012/13).
His final match at the helm was the 4-1 home defeat by Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday, which left Cheltenham 18th in the table and was their fourth straight defeat.
Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker, speaking on the club's official website, said “It was the most difficult decision I have had to make and the board has had to make in my time here,”.
“It’s a very sad day because Mark has done a huge amount for this football club and I would hate to think that people are going to think of his time here as the last 10 or 12 matches because his contribution to the club has been hugely significant."
“During his five years we’ve had some huge successes, but he also had to dig us out of a mess when he first arrived."
“That in itself, you could argue, was one of his best achievements. I have nothing but good words to say about Mark as a man and as someone who is passionate about this football club."
“That is why we originally brought him here because he understood the club and cared about it."
“Mark was understandably very upset and I was too. Everybody who knows him will have a lot of sadness with the decision we’ve had to take, but we have to look after the business and look at results and performances."
“Something is not quite right and the manager has to take responsibility."
“We are a family and we regard Mark as part of that family, but the decision has been made and we look forward to a new era.”