Sherwood pays the price for abysmal form
Aston Villa have begun the search for Tim Sherwood's replacement after losing patience with their former boss.
The 46-year-old was dismissed on Sunday following a dismal start to the season which has seen Villa plummet to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.
They slipped to the foot of the table hours after Sherwood was sacked thanks to Sunderland's 3-0 win over Newcastle.
Press Association Sport understands Sherwood will net a 12-month pay-off after leaving just eight months into a three-and-a-half year deal.
He was axed along with assistant Ray Wilkins, first-team coach Mark Robson and performance analyst Seamus Brady following Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Swansea.
Villa's Under-21 boss Kevin MacDonald has been placed in caretaker charge and is expected to manage the side for Wednesday's Capital One Cup trip to Southampton as well as next Monday's league game at Tottenham.
MacDonald was previously caretaker boss in 2010 after Martin O'Neill quit and was brought back to the club by Sherwood in February after a coaching spell at Nottingham Forest.
It is understood four or five names are in the frame to succeed Sherwood with former Lyon manager Remi Garde the early bookies' favourite.
The ex-Arsenal midfielder, who held talks with Newcastle last season, is a free agent after leaving Lyon in 2014 saying he wanted a break for personal reasons. He spent three years in charge at the Stade de Gerland and won the Coupe de France in 2012 having previously won the Premier League in 1998 as a player with Arsenal.
Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, Brendan Rodgers, available after leaving Liverpool, and David Moyes, currently in charge at Real Sociedad, have also been backed.
Villa have lost their last six league games with their only win coming on the opening day at Bournemouth.
Sherwood leaves the club four points from the safety line having managed them for just 28 games, winning 10, losing 16 and drawing two.
The club said in a statement: "The board has monitored the performances closely all season and believes the results on the pitch were simply not good enough and that a change is imperative.
"However, the club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Tim for all his efforts during a difficult period last season and for the many positive contributions he has made to the entire football set-up during his time with the club. We wish him well in the future."