Paul Lambert has departed as manager of Ipswich Town as the club move closer to a change of ownership.
Lambert, who took over at Portman Road in October 2018, guided Ipswich to victory against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, a result that left them eighth in League One and two points off the playoffs with a match in hand. His assistant, Stuart Taylor, has also left the club.
The Scot, who took charge in 2018, had to operate under stringent constraints imposed by Marcus Evans, the businessman who has owned the club since 2007. The relationship between the pair was fraught with difficulty in recent months and Lambert questioned Evans’s interest in the club during a robust exchange between them at a meeting on Thursday.
In a statement on Ipswich’s website, Evans said: “I have enjoyed a healthy working relationship with Paul in our time together and he has brought a lot of positive aspects to the club.
“It has however become clear after holding discussions over the last few days that there are significant differences of opinion as to the order of immediate priorities and we agreed it was best for us to part company. I would like to wish both Paul and Stuart the best in the future.”
Although Evans is now close to selling the majority of his stake in Ipswich, Lambert believes making way will give the new owners a clean slate to appoint a manager of their choosing. Evans is believed to be set to retain a small holding in the club, of around 5%.
The Guardian understands the takeover, which could go through as early as this week, is being led by a five-man consortium featuring three co-owners of the USL club Phoenix Rising. A former board member of a current Football League club has been instrumental in arranging the deal.