Brian Laws has expressed his disappointment at leaving Sheffield Wednesday and believes he had built "the nucleus of a very good side" at Hillsborough. Owls chairman Lee Strafford confirmed Laws, 48, had departed the club "by mutual consent" on Sunday after defeat at Leicester saw them slide into the bottom three of the Championship.
Academy manager Sean McAuley has been placed in temporary charge of Wednesday, who have failed to win any of their last nine league games, and have not won since playing Coventry on 17 October. In a statement released on the League Managers Association's website, Laws said: "From my perspective it's obviously disappointing to be leaving my post as manager of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.
"I felt that we had the nucleus of a very good side; we experienced a good pre-season and enjoyed a relatively good start to the season.
"I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all of the players and to my assistant, Russ Wilcox, first-team coach John Dungworth and the rest of the backroom staff. I would also like to thank the fans for their support. Sheffield Wednesday is a brilliant club and I have enjoyed every minute of my time there." Despite the poor run, Laws remained popular among fans and was given a rousing show of support by 3,000 travelling fans in his penultimate game in charge, at Doncaster last week.
It was generally accepted by Wednesday fans that until recently, Laws had done as well as could be expected on one of the Championship's more modest wage bills. The former Burnley, Huddersfield and Middlesbrough defender, who made his name in Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest side in the late 1980s and early 90s, insists he still has plenty to offer as a manager.
Laws, who had been the Football League's 16th longest-serving manager, said: "It's disappointing to be leaving to be fair. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Hillsborough, but you just have to move on.
"It's one of the disappointing things about our business, but I'll be back, I'm sure of that. I've experienced a lot of highs in football, as a player and as a manager and I've still got a lot to give." LMA chief executive Richard Bevan said: "Brian has been a credit to the club. He has the distinction of being the first Wednesday manager for 96 years to do the 'derby double' over neighbours Sheffield United. Brian should be praised for achieving the three highest league positions since the club's relegation."
Laws, who took charge of his first club Grimsby in 1994, was named Scunthorpe manager in 1997 and twice steered The Iron to promotion from League Two, via the play-offs in 1999 and automatically in 2005.
He replaced Paul Sturrock at Hillsborough in November 2006 and at the end of the 2006-07 season had steered the Owls to a ninth-placed finish. Wednesday finished 16th the following season and were 12th at the end of the last campaign.
Plymouth executive director Keith Todd has confirmed the Championship strugglers have been hit by a transfer embargo – but expects the matter to be resolved before the January window opens.
The Football League has imposed the punishment because of unpaid debts although Todd insists the club will not be facing administration and the ban was put in place on a technicality because of a delay in paying creditors.