Hibernian sack Terry Butcher following club's relegation

Hibernian manager Terry Butcher
Terry Butcher and assistant Maurice Malpas signed contracts in November taking them to the summer of 2016

Hibernian have sacked manager Terry Butcher following their relegation from the Scottish Premiership.

The 55-year-old replaced Pat Fenlon in November following a successful period at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

But a run of only one win in their last 18 league games resulted in relegation after defeat on penalties by Hamilton in the play-off final.

"I am genuinely saddened that we have had to take this tough decision," said chief executive Leeann Dempster.

Dempster and chairman Rod Petrie met Butcher on Monday. The club's board convened on Tuesday morning and agreed unanimously to end the manager's tenure.

In a statement on the club website,external-link Dempster added: "For a variety of reasons, perhaps including unfortunate timing, it hasn't worked out for Terry here."

Butcher, who signed a deal until the summer of 2016, inherited a side sitting seventh in the top flight.

Initially, results were positive, with four wins from his first seven games.

However, there would be just one more victory in the regular season - a 2-1 home win over Ross County in February - before a last-day home defeat to Kilmarnock consigned them to the play-offs.

Despite taking a 2-0 first-leg lead at New Douglas Park, Hibs lost the return at home by the same score and were then beaten in the resulting penalty shoot-out.

Hibs fans protest after relegation

Dempster continued: "It may have taken longer than we all would have liked, but I felt it was appropriate that we met properly and had a full discussion before any decision was made.

"Now we need to move forward and act to bring in a new manager with the aim of getting us promoted back to where Hibernian belongs, in the top league of Scottish football, from a uniquely competitive Championship.

"Our first aim must be to try to win the league and gain promotion automatically."

Following relegation, Butcher had expressed his desire to continue, but Hibs will now enter their first season in the second tier since 1999 with their third manager in less than a year.

"The search now begins to find and appoint the next manager, and while we will try to keep supporters updated regarding the process as much as we can, I know they will understand that we need to be professional in all that we do," said Dempster.

"Unfortunately, assistant manager Maurice Malpas is abroad on holiday at present and I want to meet him on his return to explain the situation."