Jaap Stam: Reading manager leaves with club 20th in Championship
Championship club Reading have parted company with manager Jaap Stam after a run of just one win in 18 league games.
Former Manchester United and Netherlands defender Stam, 45, led the club to the Championship play-off final in his first season at the club.
But poor results this term have seen Reading slip to 20th, within three points of the relegation zone.
Saturday's 3-2 defeat by Norwich City left the Royals without a win in their past nine Championship matches.
"Sometimes there's a new direction necessary in a club and the tide has to change," Stam told Dutch football publication Voetbal International.
"This can happen once in a while in a young manager's career and especially in the Championship, where clubs are changing managers more and more often."
Majority shareholders Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai said in a statement the club had "wanted to give Jaap every opportunity to turn around what has been a difficult and challenging Championship campaign".
"After careful consideration, the decision has been made that a change is now necessary," it added. "We will now focus on identifying and recruiting the right person to take the club forward."
Reading gave Stam his first coaching role in English football and he signed a new contract running until the end of the 2018-19 season in July after being linked with potential vacancies in the Premier League.
But, his departure eight months later leaves the Royals seeking their fifth managerial appointment since Brian McDermott's first spell at the club ended in March 2013.
Reading's next match is on Friday, 30 March against QPR at the Madejski Stadium and the club are yet to appoint a caretaker manager.
"Last season, we did exceptionally well and we tried to stand out in the Championship with our style of play," former Ajax assistant manager Stam said.
"This season, we wanted to make further steps, but due to various reasons, this didn't happen. It's a real shame as Reading is a wonderful club and I really wish them well."
Tim Dellor, BBC Radio Berkshire sports editor
We have been waiting for this news for a while as the form has been dire in the past three months.
I think most Reading fans would have anticipated this news a long time ago. The club, the board and the owners have been incredibly slow to react.
Most clubs would have got rid of their manager way before now had the form been as bad as this.
Finally the decision has come. Whether it was too late or the correct decision, time will tell.