Preston have announced that manager Phil Brown has left the club with immediate effect.
Brown joined North End in January 2011 and failed to keep them in the npower Championship.
The club hoped they would be returning at the first possible attempt but are currently languishing in 10th, five points from the play-offs, having only won one of their previous 11 outings.
Brown's assistant Brian Horton has also left the club with Graham Alexander and David Unsworth being put in temporary charge.
He becomes the 11th Football League manager to lose his job this season.