Troubled Australian A-League club Sydney FC has terminated its coaching contract with former England captain Terry Butcher with a year left to run.
The defending champions, who crashed out of the title race in last weekend's minor semi-final to Newcastle Jets, officially cut ties with the embattled coach amid player and shareholder unrest.
"Sydney FC today confirmed that the contractual arrangement with Terry Butcher as head coach of the club has come to an end," the club said in a statement.
"The parties and their lawyers have had discussions. No further statements or comments will be issued or made at this stage."
Sydney FC said an interim coach would be hired for the club's six AFC Asian Champions League (ACL) matches which begin next month.
Butcher's fate was sealed after last Friday's acrimonious exit from the title race marked by a series of melees and the red-carding of striker Alex Brosque.
Reports this week said Butcher's departure was delayed by negotiations over the size of his contract payoff.
Appointed last May after German Pierre Littbarski's embittered departure from the club, Butcher only moved to Australia full-time in July after fulfilling British media commitments at the World Cup in Germany.
Three weeks later, marquee player Dwight Yorke left for Sunderland in England's second-tier league and Butcher was criticised for the style of football he instilled in his players which led to a drop in home crowds.
Shareholder and Hollywood actor Anthony LaPaglia last October tried to engineer his departure, without success.
Butcher's assistant Ian Crook left the club and there was player unrest, notably defender Alvin Ceccoli's exchange of insults with the coach during a match and striker Sasho Petrovski's claims his tactics were "killing" the team.
With the deadline for naming their squad for the ACL expiring at the close of business Friday, Sydney officials have been trying to finalise their playing list.
Sydney FC are grouped with Indonesia's Persik Kediri, Shanghai Shenhua of China and Japan's Urawa Reds in the ACL with Sydney's first match away to Shanghai Shenhua on March 7.