Walsall have terminated the contract of manager Colin Lee after he held talks with Division Two Plymouth.
Lee held talks with Plymouth
Lee stated after meeting Plymouth that he would not leave Walsall - but chairman Jeff Bonser was unhappy with the behaviour of his manager.
"The uncertainty that has been caused has had to be dealt with and I believe this decision to be in the best interests of Walsall," said Bonser.
Paul Merson and Simon Osborn will take charge for Saturday's match at Norwich.
Bonser added: "The decision by Plymouth to delay the announcement of their new manager has created an atmosphere of intense uncertainty at this stage of the season.
"The situation was created by Colin Lee being prepared to talk to Plymouth about their managerial vacancy just six months after pledging his long-term future to Walsall."
First-team coach Paul Bracewell has also left the Saddlers.
"Colin Lee brought me to the club to work with him and it seems right that if he departs, I should go too," said Bracewell.
Bonser's decision to part company with Lee comes just hours after the manager pledged his future to the club.
"I'm not walking out, I'll never walk out and I've no intention of
walking out on my contract at this football club," said Lee.
"I've not behaved in any way incorrectly, and I'd never do anything behind
the owner's back like speaking to another club without Walsall's permission.
"I'm very disappointed that's been made public by Walsall because we had a
private agreement and I would also like to make it clear my staff are fully
behind me, understand the situation and are committed to the cause."
Lee was appointed as Walsall manager in January 2002.
Walsall are currently two points above the relegation zone.