Essendon coach Ben Rutten has been sacked by the club's board, effective immediately on Sunday.
Following the club's failed pursuit of Alastair Clarkson and their 66 point round 23 loss to Richmond, the board met Sunday and made the decision to move Rutten on as coach of the club, despite a year remaining on his contract which will now be paid out.
"“We know this has been an incredibly tough time for Ben and his family, and broadly, our whole club. We wish to thank Ben, as well as wife Kylie and children Jack and Bernie for their contribution to the Essendon Football Club,” new club President David Barham said in a club statement.
“Ben’s commitment and care for this playing group was second to none, and we thank him for his dedication to what we recognise is an all-consuming role as senior coach.
“The unfortunate reality is, at various stages this season; we have simply been uncompetitive. And while we acknowledge that we have an emerging playing list, we were compelled to make the decision.
“Our members and supporters do, and should, expect better from a proud football club. We appreciate this has been a difficult chapter for our Club. But as I said in my President’s address pre-game yesterday, we will be a bold and courageous football club again. We need to return to being a successful football club."
It follows a tumultuous week for Essendon, with President Paul Brasher standing down and the club making a late bid for four time premiership coach Alastair Clarkson, who on Friday chose to sign with North Melbourne on a five year deal.
The search for Rutten's replacement will now commence, with the club stating they are looking for an experienced coach.
IMAGE: Triple M