Toffees finally break their silence after axing Lampard
Everton have finally confirmed Frank Lampard's sacking after the news leaked out hours before an official announcement.
Arriving at Goodison Park in January 2022, the Chelsea legend led the Toffees to Premier League safety last season.
But amid a backdrop of growing fan unrest towards the club's board, who sanctioned the departure of star striker Richarlison last summer, 44-year-old Lampard was axed today with Everton sitting 19th in the table having picked up just 15 points from 20 games.
A club statement said: "Everyone at Everton would like to thank Frank and his coaching staff for their service during what has been a challenging 12 months.
"Frank and his team’s commitment and dedication have been exemplary throughout their time at the club, but recent results and the current league position meant this difficult decision had to be taken.
"We wish Frank and all his backroom team well for their future in the game.
"The club has started the process to secure a new manager and will provide updates on the appointment in due course.
"Paul Tait and Leighton Baines will take training until a new manager is appointed."
In a bizarre twist, national newspaper journalists reported Lampard's departure from mid-afternoon.
But there was no sign of the club's statement until late into the evening, prompting anger from Evertonians across social media.
Saturday's 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers West Ham proved to be the final straw, despite hopes earlier this month that Everton had turned a corner with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at champions Manchester City on New Year's Eve.
Lampard, a three-time Premier League winner, left Derby in July 2019 to take charge at Stamford Bridge, where he was replaced by Thomas Tuchel in January 2021.
And with the managerial merry-go-round in full swing, it could only be a matter of time before the former England star finds himself employed elsewhere.
Everton, meanwhile, will now begin their search for an eighth permanent manager in seven years, with former Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa believed to be in pole position.
Next up for the Toffees is a daunting encounter with league leaders Arsenal on February 4.