London - Roberto Martinez has been sacked as manager of
Everton, Sky Sports and other British media reported Thursday.
The Spaniard had come under increasing pressure during a run
that has seen the Merseyside club win just one of their last 11 Premier League
matches and lose to Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
With Leicester City winning the title in a season where the
English top-flight's established powers have all faltered, there is a deep
sense of frustration among many Everton fans at Martinez's failure to get more
out of a squad including rising England stars Ross Barkley and John Stones.
Last week's 3-1 defeat by Leicester was followed by
Wednesday's even worse 3-0 loss away to strugglers Sunderland -- who spared
themselves from relegation in the process of a comprehensive victory at the
Stadium of Light.
Also read: Martinez says Leicester exception to the rule
Afterwards, Martinez insisted he was "100 percent"
committed to remaining in charge of Liverpool-based Everton.
But Wednesday's result is believed to have been the final
straw for new majority investor Farhad Moshiri, with Martinez, who joined
Everton from Wigan in 2013, now set to be dismissed before Saturday's final
game of the season at home to Norwich.
Sacking Martinez might also stave off a planned protest by
supporters at Everton's scheduled Player of the Year dinner on Thursday.
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