By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer
Everton chief executive Trevor Birch has resigned after only six weeks.
Birch has left before implementing any of his plans
BBC Sport understands that Birch's exit has nothing to do with a reported showdown with manager David Moyes over a lack of transfer funds this summer.
Birch was brought in to Goodison Park with the brief of overhauling the club's finances and long-term position.
But it is thought he quit after a perceived lack of boardroom support for some of his proposals, one of which may have been to look for new owners.
A statement on the club website confirmed on Friday: "Everton football club is disappointed to announce that Trevor Birch has resigned as chief executive officer.
"But we are continuing discussions with Trevor about the possibility of an advisory role going forward."
Everton chairman Bill Kenwright and the board will immediately start the search for a replacement for Birch, who is currently away on holiday and not intending to make any immediate comment.
His departure follows hot on the heels of comments from Everton director Paul Gregg suggesting changes were needed in the club's structure to encourage much-needed investment.
The Goodison club had turned to Birch - who previously held similar jobs at Chelsea and Leeds - at the end of May as they sought to eat into an estimated £30m debt.
But the summer's transfer problems have only compounded the pressure already on the club's hierarchy following a poor end to last season.
A bid for Birmingham midfielder Robbie Savage broke down this week and moves
for Dominic Matteo and Sean Davis also failed.
Marcus Bent is the only new face so far and manager Moyes - currently on a
pre-season tour in Austria - has been growing increasingly frustrated with the
lack of progress.
Moyes, and Birch, have also had to contend with Tomasz Radzinski's refusal to sign a new contract and comments attributed to the striker suggesting Wayne Rooney should leave to better himself.
Only last week, Birch tabled a new five-year, £50-000-a-week contract offer to star striker Rooney in attempt to keep the youngster from the clutches of Europe's top clubs.
In his short time at the club, Birch also sought talks with Liverpool over the possibility of sharing a new ground, but was swiftly rebuffed by Reds counterpart Rick Parry.