Perth Glory have sacked coach Ian Ferguson after a poor run of results which has seen them slump to the bottom of the A-League table.
Glory owner Tony Sage has held a press conference today where he confirmed Ferguson's departure and said bottom of the table with the strength of their squad "isn’t acceptable at any level of the sport".
"It's all about performance," Sage said. "We're an elite football team in this State and we have to perform against the (West Coast) Eagles, the (Fremantle) Dockers and the (Perth) Wildcats ... and being bottom of the ladder doesn't help us."
Glory's 2-0 defeat against Melbourne Heart on Saturday was a fifth straight loss for last season's beaten grand finalists and Ferguson admitted recently he was "in the firing line" because of the poor run.
The club are six points off the last finals spot.
Former Socceroos and Glory striker Alastair Edwards, who is an Australian youth coach and assistant technical director with Football Federation Australia, will take temporary charge of the side. Gareth Naven, another former Glory player, will be his assistant.
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Glory will advertise "worldwide" for a new coach tomorrow and Sage said Edwards was welcome to apply.
While Glory have said the Scot's departure was by "mutual consent", there is no doubt it was initiated by Sage, especially as Ferguson yesterday spoke about still aiming for the end of season finals.
"I had a long chat with Ian Ferguson after the game and we agreed to meet last night and again this morning," Sage said.
"It was mutually agreed he would leave the club.
"He is a man of high integrity and everyone questioning his ability, he felt it was time to call it quits."
Sage said he was unhappy that Ferguson last week revealed that the 52-year-old is undertaking heart surgery later this month, but insisted it did not influence today's decision.
"I wasn't happy," Sage said."It's a private matter about my situation, I didn't want it to be public. I go in for a procedure tomorrow and the doctor says I could be running by next week.
"That's how simple the procedure is and I didn't want that to get out in the public domain. I was pretty upset.
"(But) that had nothing to do with what happened today."
Edwards immediately expressed his sympathy for Ferguson and reflected on how a man who had led Glory to the grand final just 10 months ago could so quickly find himself out of work.
"It is a never a good situation when a fellow professional coach loses his position," Edwards said.
"The first call I made was to Ian. His contribution to the Perth Glory has been immense. It shows the perilous nature of football."
Former Glasgow Rangers star Ferguson, who was brought to Glory in 2010 as assistant to coach Dave Mitchell, signed a two-year contract extension last March.
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