Sunderland will step up their search for a new manager this week after Paolo Di Canio's turbulent tenure was brought to an end.
Di Canio kept Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League last season but that bought him no favour on Sunday evening when the club announced they and the Italian had parted company.
Given that Di Canio was eager to carry on and lift the team off the bottom of the Premier League table, it was clear Sunderland were the instigators of the decision.
The 45-year-old's departure was confirmed a little more than 24 hours after a 3-0 defeat at West Brom.
A statement said: "Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with head coach Paolo Di Canio this evening."
Former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball, currently on the club's coaching staff, steps in to lead the team on a short-term basis, with the club saying a permanent replacement for Di Canio will be announced "in due course".
Bookmakers immediately rated former Chelsea and West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo as favourite, narrowly ahead of Gus Poyet, previously boss at Brighton.
Di Canio arrived on Wearside amid a blaze of publicity in March as owner Ellis Short took a gamble on the former Swindon boss after deciding to end Martin O'Neill's spell in charge.
It proved a controversial appointment as critics cited reports of his alleged fascist sympathies, prompting the club to make a stout defence of their new manager.
He steered the club to Premier League survival but one point from five games at the start of the current season has convinced Short to make another change.