Nigel Clough will part company with League One Burton Albion as the club tries to come to terms with the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.
Clough, along with his assistant Gary Crosby and chief scout Simon Clough, will step down in the coming weeks when he will be replaced by current club captain Jake Buxton.
Clough becomes the second EFL manager to lose his job at least partly as a consequence of coronavirus shutdown, after Graeme Jones left Luton by mutual agreement last month.
❗️ BREAKING NEWS: Nigel Clough steps down as Brewers manager
Jake Buxton to become player/manager
— Burton Albion FC (@burtonalbionfc) May 18, 2020
Burton chairman Ben Robinson said: “Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all football clubs, meaning we have to make difficult financial decisions going forward in order to safeguard the club and ensure it still exists for the supporters and the benefit of the community for generations to come.
“At present we have no idea when football will be safe to re-start and whether we will be able to play in front of crowds or behind closed doors, which brings a high degree of financial uncertainty.
“It’s therefore with a heavy heart that after talks with Nigel, Gary and Simon we have agreed that their departure will help us meet these challenges.”
Clough first took charge of Burton when they were a Southern Premier Division club in 1998 and guided them to the top of the Conference before departing for nearby Derby.
He returned for his second spell in charge in 2015 and subsequently guided the Brewers into the Championship, where they remained for two years.
Clough said: “We hope that by stepping away it helps the club with the financial pressures in these unprecedented times, and that it will also help the club secure the jobs of as many of the staff as possible going forward.
“We are sure Jake will benefit from the experience and continuity of having as many of the current backroom staff as possible supporting him.”
Buxton was part of the Burton side that won promotion to the Football League and returned to the Pirelli Stadium in 2017.
The 35-year-old said: “It’s an immense honour to follow in the footsteps of Nigel Clough who has achieved so much in the game, especially here at Burton Albion, and who has helped me progress throughout my career.
“I hope that I can now help bring more memorable moments to Burton Albion in the seasons to come.”