Published: 18:00, 13 October 2013
| Updated: 18:08, 13 October 2013
Gillingham have sensationally sacked manager Martin Allen this afternoon.
It follows Gills' 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury but after the club's fortunes had recently turned around after back-to-back wins.
There didn't seem to be any immediate threat to Allen's position so the news will come as a shock to fans.
The club said this afternoon: "It is with great regret that the Club announces the contract of Manager Martin Allen has been terminated with immediate effect.
"The Club would like to place on record its deepest gratitude to Martin for all his hard work over the past period and indeed for achieving promotion to League One as Champions last season, however in the long term interests of the Club it was felt a change now was essential."
Chairman Paul Scally said: "It is always a hugely difficult time when a managerial change occurs and this moment is no exception, and whilst the decision taken was made unanimously by the Board, it was an exceptionally difficult one, but one which after long deliberation was felt absolutely necessary.
"I would like to wish Martin every success in his future career, I have no doubt he will be back managing very shortly and I have very much enjoyed the experience of working with him, on both a business and personal level over the past 16 months"
Allen was working as a pundit for BT Sport at the Barnet v Wrexham Skrill Premier clash when news of his departure broke.
Allen was appointed by Mr Scally in July 2012 and led the club to their first title in 49 years and his first promotion in nine seasons as a manager.
Known in the game as 'Mad Dog', Allen began his managerial career at Barnet in 2003/04 before two years at Brentford, a season at MK Dons, a short spell at Leicester, a season at Cheltenham and two brief stints back at Underhill, either side of an ill-fated period at Notts County.
Allen's playing career saw him play 11 seasons combined at QPR and West Ham before spells with Portsmouth and Southend.
Former Gillingham manager Peter Taylor has been installed as the bookies' favourite to take over. His odds had already shortened to just 2/5 on Sunday evening. Taylor, who has been spotted at recent Gillingham matches, was previously in charge at Priestfield in the 1999/2000 season. During that spell he guided the Gills to victory over Wigan in the Division 2 play-off final, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.