Sunderland AFC news: Kyril Louis-Dreyfus explains Lee Johnson's sacking
Sunderland have announced that head coach Lee Johnson has left the club with immediate effect.
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said: “I would like to thank Lee for his commitment and endeavour over the past 14 months.
"We regret that we have had to take this decision, but felt immediate change was needed. We firmly believe that this is in the best interests of Sunderland AFC as we strive to earn promotion this season.
“Lee and Jamie will always be welcome at the Stadium of Light and they depart with our best wishes.”
The club also stated that the process to appoint a new head coach will begin immediately and stated that a further update regarding the club’s interim coaching set-up will be communicated to supporters shortly.
Former Bristol City boss Johnson took over at the Stadium of Light following the dismissal of Phil Parkinson in December 2020 and would lead Sunderland to the play-off semi-finals, where they would lose over two legs to Lincoln City.
The Black Cats, under Johnson’s guidance, did end their Wembley hoodoo and won for the first time in the national stadium since 1973 when they claimed the Papa John’s Trophy with a win against Tranmere Rovers.
Johnson guided Sunderland to 41 wins in 75 games was named League One Manager of the Month on two occasions.
However, Sunderland’s patchy form in League One this season has raised questions amongst supporters with the Wearsiders losing heavily against Sheffield Wednesday (4-0), Rotherham United (5-1) and most recently Bolton Wanderers away from home by six goals to nil.
Johnson apologised to the Sunderland support following the game against Bolton and said it was the worst moment of his footballing career.
The head coach insisted he still believed he could oversee a promotion campaign this season but said his side had fallen 'unbelievably short' in all aspects of their performance.
However, the decision has been made to relieve Johnson of his duties with Sunderland sitting just outside of the automatic promotion spots in League One in their fourth season in the third tier.