Cardiff City sack manager Dave Jones

Cardiff City have decided to terminate the contract of manager Dave Jones, ending his six-year spell in charge.

The south Wales club carried out a season review after the Bluebirds missed out on promotion through the play-offs for the second year running.

Cardiff chief executive Gethin Jenkins said: "We would like to thank Dave Jones for his considerable efforts.

"A search will now begin for a new manager, which will be led by [myself] and director Alan Whiteley."

Jones had been the Championship's longest serving manager, after being appointed by the Bluebirds in May 2005 on an initial three-year deal.

The former Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers boss led Cardiff to the FA Cup Final in 2008, where they lost to Portsmouth , and under his guidance they also reached the final of the Championship play-offs last season.

They lost 3-2 against Blackpool in the May 2010 final, but looked likely to better that this season as the Bluebirds occupied second place - and an automatic promotion spot - for much of the season.

But a 3-0 home loss to Middlesbrough allowed Norwich City to overhaul them and Cardiff had to again settle for a place in the play-offs.

Analysis

"I'm being told from within the club that the news wasn't designed to come out today, to scupper the Swansea City party.

"Apparently the news had already started to leak out and they thought they may as well put it right and issue a statement.

"There have been discussions with the Malaysian backers since that play-off semi-final defeat.

"I don't think Dave Jones was ever a fans' favourite, but you'd have to say he was arguably the most successful manager the club has ever had.

"He's taken them to heights they have really not known for a generation.

"But he's paid the price because the expectations rose so much when Craig Bellamy arrived this season, and really Cardiff had to deliver."

This time there was not even a trip to Wembley as Cardiff failed at the semi-final stage, where a 0-0 draw at Reading in the first leg was followed by a 3-0 home loss at the hands of the Royals.

To rub salt into the wounds at the Cardiff City Stadium, their Welsh arch-rivals Swansea City beat Reading 4-2 in the play-off final on Monday to win promotion to the Premier League - the same day that Cardiff decided to announce that Jones had taken them as far as he could.

"Dave Jones... leaves his post in the knowledge that he has left the club in a far better position than when he arrived," continued Jenkins in a statement released on the club website.

"Dave's tenure has seen Cardiff City Football Club develop from a standpoint of Championship stability through to becoming regular promotion contenders, while also having taken the team to a FA Cup final.

"His efforts in the recruitment and development of players also meant that the sale of these players at times enabled the club to survive.

"He has also had a significant contribution in the development of training facilities and the stadium during his Cardiff City career.

"We thank him for all that he has done and achieved with the club and wish him well for the future."

Jones' time in charge of team affairs was punctuated by turmoil off the field, with Cardiff City facing winding-up orders , transfer embargoes and takeovers .

But Cardiff appeared to have come through the other side with the construction of a new stadium and training facilities, and the arrival of new Malaysian investors to help the club negotiate its debts, estimated at £30m.

An already strong squad was boosted this season with the arrival of high-profile loan signings from the Premier League, with Craig Bellamy, Jason Koumas, Seyi Olofinjana, Tom Heaton and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas arriving.

But Cardiff again faltered as the season entered its crucial, final stage and their campaign ended in disappointment after it had begun with such high expectations.