Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has been sacked following a series disappointing performances by his team.
The move came after Sunderland's defeat to Wigan on November 26.
Sunderland won just two of their opening 13 Premier League matches this season and are currently placed at 116th rank in the table, which is just two points outside the relegation zone.
"This has been a difficult time for everyone at Sunderland and is not a situation that any of us envisaged or expected to be in. It is my job as chairman to act in the best interests of our football club at all times and I can assure everyone that this is not a decision that I have taken lightly, The Sun quoted Black Cats chairman Ellis Short, as saying.
"Sadly results this season have simply not been good enough and I feel the time is right to make a change. Steve has acted with honesty and integrity throughout, which is testament to the character and commitment he has shown during his time at Sunderland," he added.
Assistant manager Eric Black will take charge of Sunderland until the arrival of a new successor.
Northern Irish manager Martin O''Neill, former Internazionale manager, Rafa Benitez, former Fulham manager Mark Hughes and former USA coach Bob Bradley are slated to be top contenders for the post