Terry Butcher axed after Hibs fall out of top flight
Hibernian have sacked boss Terry Butcher just seven months after taking over at Easter Road, the club has announced.
Butcher replaced Pat Fenlon in November, but after a disastrous run of form, which saw them win just once in their last 18 league games, his side were relegated after a penalty shoot-out loss to Hamilton in the Scottish Premiership play-off final.
Hibs claim the decision to sack the former England captain was "unanimously agreed" by the Easter Road board and chief executive Leeann Dempster will now lead the search for the club's third manager in under a year.
She said: "I have to say that we all regret that this decision had to be made, but during conversation it became clear that a different approach was needed.
"Sadly, for a variety of reasons and perhaps including unfortunate timing, it hasn't worked out for Terry here. That is disappointing for all concerned. I am genuinely saddened that we have had to take this tough decision.
"Now we need to move forward and act to bring in a new manager with the aim of getting us promoted back to where Hibernian belongs, in the top league of Scottish football, from a uniquely competitive Championship."
Meanwhile the Scottish Football Association is believed to be considering a move away from Hampden, signaling the end of international matches and cup finals at the national stadium.
Hampden, the home of Scottish football for the last 111 years, is owned by League Two outfit Queen's Park.
However, the SFA holds a lease on the 52,000-seater arena which will expire in 2020.
The stadium was last redeveloped in 1999 at a cost of £59m and the SFA are now examining whether to commit themselves to another rental agreement, or to even acquire the free-holding of the ground.
It is understood that Celtic Park, Pittodrie Stadium, Ibrox Stadium, Easter Road and Murrayfield Stadium are all under consideration as venues for Scotland's home matches and Scottish Cup games.
Former England midfielder Joe Cole has joined Aston Villa on a free transfer.
The 32-year-old was a free agent after being released by West Ham.
Cole, who has also played for Chelsea and Liverpool in his career and won 56 caps for England, has signed a two-year deal.