Hull face a race against time to recruit a new manager with the season just three weeks away following the departure of Steve Bruce.
The former Manchester United defender left the KCOM Stadium on Friday amid reports the club’s owners would not back his transfer plans and just days after he was interviewed for the England job.
Hull’s owners, who recently shelved discussions to sell the club in a bid to avoid uncertainty ahead of the new season, must now look for a successor to the man who was the most successful manager in the club’s history, leading Hull to the Premier League twice and a first FA Cup final in 2014 when they lost to Arsenal.
Bruce’s assistant Mike Phelan, his former United team-make, has been placed in caretaker charge and is among a list of contenders to replace him along with Roy Keane, Steve McClaren, Ryan Giggs, Karl Robinson and Neil Warnock.
Confirming Bruce’s departure the club issued a statement which read: “Following four incredible seasons with the Tigers including two promotions and our first ever FA Cup final, we can confirm that manager Steve Bruce has left the club by mutual consent.
“The board of directors would like to thank Steve for all his efforts since his appointment in 2012 culminating in a glorious day at Wembley in May which saw the club bounce back into the Premier League. Steve has excelled in his role – both on and off the field – and will be remembered for being the most successful manager in our history to date.
“Steve Bruce wishes the club and the owners all the very best for the forthcoming Premier League season. Steve also wishes to place on record his thanks to the club’s supporters for their unwavering support and also to all the players and staff who have worked with him during his time at the KCOM Stadium.”
Bruce’s departure came after he failed to take training on Friday morning and following a meeting with the club’s owners.
Bruce, interviewed on Monday for the England job which has been handed to Sam Allardyce, is understood to have sought assurances from chairman Assem Allam over the club’s future and player recruitment.
No major new signings have been made and Bruce’s frustration at the club’s failure to strengthen their squad has grown with goalkeeper Allan McGregor, Michael Dawson, Moses Odubajo and son Alex all ruled out through long-term injury.
Hull launch their new Premier League campaign at the KCOM Stadium on August 13 against champions Leicester.