The hunt is on for the man to lead Sheffield Wednesday in a new direction following the sacking of Stuart Gray.
Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri ended Gray’s 18-month spell in charge of the Owls last night, declaring it ‘in the best interests of our club.’
Speculation refused to die down since the end of last season that Gray may not be the man to lead Chansiri’s march towards the Premier League.
Yet the decision to part ways with the 55-year-old will have come as a surprise to staff at the club, including the players, the majority of whom hold a deep admiration for Gray.
Chansiri and his team of advisors are now looking to appoint the Owls’ 11th manager in the 15 years since relegation from the Premier League, with the clear goal of returning the club to the top flight.
Former Owls full back Dan Petrescu was earlier this week reported to have turned down an offer from a Championship club, believed to be Wednesday.
Petrescu offers an insight into the profile of head coach Chansiri’s team could be looking for: a name well known in European football.
Early favourites for the role with the bookmakers are Sam Allardyce - who left West Ham at the end of last season - and Slavisa Jokanovic, who guided Watford to the Premier League only to be shown the door at Vicarage Road.
Jokanovic was heavily backed last night, moving up the market to second favourite behind Allardyce, and could prove a popular appointment given his success with the Hornets. Gus Poyet and Paul Lambert were also high in the betting.
And former England boss Sven-Göran Eriksson also emerged a contender overnight.
Whomever takes the reins will be required to see the Owls through the new direction Chansiri has promised to take the club.
He will work in a system with a committee of sporting directors alongside Glenn Roeder, Paul Senior and Jonathan Hill.
Chansiri said: “This is not a decision I have taken lightly but one that I believe is in the best interests of our club ahead of the 2015/16 season.
“The club will be taking a new direction next season and it is my belief that the appointment of a new head coach will help achieve my desire of bringing Premier League football back to Hillsborough.
“I would like to thank Stuart for his hard work and diligence on behalf of Sheffield Wednesday and wish him all the very best moving forward.”