Oscar Garcia has resigned as the head coach of Brighton and Hove Albion.
The club issued a statement at 6pm today (Monday 12 May) to say that Albion have accepted the resignation of the 41-year-old Spaniard.
Garcia met club officials earlier to offer his resignation formally to the board and then told the players of his decision.
He said: “The club has been aware of my thoughts for several weeks and during this time I have had discussions with both the chairman, Tony Bloom, and chief executive, Paul Barber.
“I have enjoyed my time with the club but, although I do not have any immediate plans, I have decided to move on.
“I’m very proud of this season with Brighton. The Championship is a very difficult and competitive league but our record this season has been very good.
“I wish Brighton every success for the future.”
Chairman Tony Bloom said: “We are extremely grateful to Oscar for his efforts this past year and for providing us with another exciting and memorable season at the club.”
Chief executive Paul Barber said: “On behalf of the club I would like to thank Oscar for his efforts and to wish him all the very best for the future.
“The chairman and the board will now begin the search for Oscar’s successor.”
The club website carried an open letter from Garcia to the club’s fans.
“Dear Supporter, I would like to thank the Brighton and Hove Albion fans for their tremendous support throughout the past year. I have been proud to be the head coach of your club.
“Yesterday we gave it our best. We didn’t have the best of luck, but regardless we were simply beaten by the better team.
“Overall, when all things are considered, particularly our terrible luck with injuries both yesterday and since the very start of the season, I think it has been an excellent year for the club.
“The Championship is undoubtedly one of the most challenging leagues in the world. It is highly competitive and it is made up of a wide range of clubs with very different budgets.
“Parachute payments for eight of the clubs in the league and new Financial Fair Play rules make it even harder.
“Despite these issues, I feel we have performed well.
“As such, I am incredibly proud of the players – they have given everything for me, the club, and you, our fans.
“I have also been pleased to have been able to help a number of the club’s young players develop and progress into the first team, and I hope they will play many, many games for Brighton and Hove Albion in the future.
“I would also like to thank staff at the club. The club has a tremendous group of people at all levels – both at the training ground and in the stadium, who care passionately about the Albion and who are desperate for the club to succeed and to progress further. They too have made me very proud.
“Finally, I would like to thank Tony Bloom for giving me this opportunity, and especially Paul Barber, for his support. I have enjoyed a close working relationship with Paul during my time in Brighton.
“I have enjoyed my first experience of English football and I would like to wish Brighton and Hove Albion and the fans of the club the very best for the future.
“The club will always have a place in my heart and I hope very soon they will be competing at the top level in English football.”