Lee Bullen has been sacked by Ayr United - as the club condemned those who have aimed abuse at the 52-year-old.

The former Sheffield Wednesday player and coach has left the club after two years at Somerset Park.

The Honest Men are deep in relation trouble. They currently occupy the play-off spot in ninth, just two points ahead of bottom-placed Arbroath. 

A club statement reads: "Ayr United confirms it has parted company with Head Coach Lee Bullen after two years in the role.

"The club would like to thank Lee for all his hard work over the last two years and wishes him every success in the future.

"The club would also like to take this opportunity, once again, to highlight that abuse of any individual is not acceptable.

"Lee has been subject to abuse both online and in stadiums over recent weeks. Nobody deserves any form of abuse, it is never justifiable and we urge supporters to challenge this type of behaviour whenever they see or hear it."

It's a far cry from last season's successful campaign that saw Ayr finish runners-up in the Championship. They also reached the quarter-final of the Scottish Cup.

They were defeated in the promotion play-offs by Partick Thistle, who would eventually lose to Ross County.

Ayr have struggled for any sort of consistency this term though, with their home form suffering badly. 

The 0-0 stalemate at Arbroath on Saturday proved to be the final straw, as owner David Smith was forced to take action.

Ayr hosts Kelty Hearts in the cup on Saturday before pivotal league clashes with Arbroath and Queen’s Park.

READ MORE: Premiership sides must prioritise quality over quantity

Smith said: "It is undeniable that the club is unrecognisable from the one Lee walked in to over two years ago and this is a testament to his work throughout his time as Head Coach.

"Lee embodies the #WeAreUnited and has been a terrific ambassador for the football club. He has delivered the on-field targets set by the board throughout his time in charge from avoiding relegation in the 2021/22 season, to overachieving on expectations with a 2nd-place finish last season, in addition to generating a significant player sale for the first time in many years.

"The relationship with the Academy has never been stronger and much of that is down to Lee's time and effort in developing that link. Few will know the personal sacrifices he has made to make our club better.

"Despite having the obvious challenge of recruiting a new midfield given injuries at the start of the season, ultimately on-field results over a sustained period of time have not been good enough and it is with real regret that we have come to this decision."