Tony Pulis’ seven-year reign as Stoke manager has officially come to an end after he and the club agreed to part company by mutual consent.
Widespread speculation had suggested the 55-year-old’s time was up after a meeting with chairman Peter Coates this morning.
However, it took the Potters several hours to finalise the details of his departure, with confirmation finally coming at shortly before 9.30pm tonight.
In a brief statement, the Premier League club said: "Stoke City and Tony Pulis confirm that they have mutually agreed that Tony will leave the Club with immediate effect."
Pulis, who following the retirement of Alex Ferguson and David Moyes’ move into the Manchester United hotseat was the second-longest serving manager in the country, leaves Stoke in a far better position than he found them.
Within two years of taking over for his second spell in charge in 2006 he won promotion to the Premier League, where they have never finished below 14th.
He also led them to their first FA Cup final and consequently into the Europa League.
However, a poor run in the second half of this season – during which the Potters won just three of their last 19 league matches and briefly diced with relegation – saw them finish with their lowest Premier League points tally.
Pulis’ style of football was also singled out for criticism, with his critics saying his sides were over-physical and too reliant on the long ball.