Morton 'saddened' by Ray McKinnon's departure for Falkirk
Ray McKinnon has "left Morton prematurely" and abandoned "something great" to join Championship rivals Falkirk, say the Cappielow club.
In a "sad" statement "tinged with a little resentment", Morton chairman Crawford Rae expressed disappointment at McKinnon's exit after just three months, with the club in second place.
The former Dundee United boss, 48, replaces Paul Hartley at bottom side Falkirk, signing a deal until 2020. Assistant Darren Taylor follows McKinnon to The Falkirk Stadium.
In an emotive statement on both the club's website and Facebook page, Rae said he believed his relationship with McKinnon to be "fantastic" and said he had been "blown away by the camaraderie and dedication of the players" towards the manager.
"I left the training ground today on an absolute high," he wrote. "On my way to my car I received a call from Falkirk to ask permission to speak with our manager.
"Six hours later, Falkirk announce Ray McKinnon as their new manager. To me it is clear there could have been discussions with our manager ahead of their call to me.
"We will be speaking with the appropriate counsel on our options, and we will keep our support up to speed as we look to fill our vacant managerial position."
Head of youth development Derek Anderson and Under-20s boss John Sutton will take charge of Morton for Saturday's game against Partick Thistle.
McKinnon did not address the reasons for his move in an interview with the Falkirk club website, instead describing his new job as "a very attractive position".
"It is quite clear that this is a club with a passionate support and excellent facilities," he said.
"In recent times those fans have not had the success they deserve. It is now my job to bring that success and I am determined to do so."
Meanwhile, 20-year-old striker Jai Quitongo, who was with Morton last season, has joined fellow Championship side Partick Thistle.
And Falkirk have added Rangers youth striker Zak Rudden on loan until January.