Gillingham part company with Peter Taylor after fourteen months in charge
A statement on the club’s website said Taylor, who turns 62 on Saturday, has been “relieved of his duties with immediate effect.”
Former Gills boss Andy Hessenthaler, 49, has been placed in caretaker charge by chairman Paul Scally for Saturday’s League One game at Port Vale.
The Gills are currently sitting in 20th place in the table, having collected six wins and seven draws of their 23 games.
The Kent club are one place and two points clear of the relegation zone.
Mr Scally told BBC Radio Kent he “hadn’t intended to sack” Taylor on New Year’s Eve but that a phone call with the one-time England boss had prompted him to act.
The chairman said: “He called me as a result of that conversation I wasn’t prepared to let him carry on with the team.
“There are a number of things that aren’t right and we think we should be doing differently. There is never one reason why a manager loses his job.
“He was doing a decent job but I do believe it is right to have someone else running the team now.”
Taylor was appointed interim Gillingham manager in October 2013 following the dismissal of Martin Allen and was handed the job until the end of the 2013-14 season a month later.
The former Leicester City, Hull City and Crystal Palace boss agreed a two-year deal with the Kent club in the summer.
Taylor targeted a mid-table finish in pre-season but the Gills have found themselves in the lower reaches of the table since September.
Taylor previously led Gillingham to promotion to the second tier after spending the 1999-2000 season in charge of the club.
Mr Scally added: "I told him on Monday I was concerned about the huge adverse public response to him. He was getting some serious abuse.
"I think Peter was finding the fan pressure quite intolerable. It's very sad for me because I like Peter and he is a good friend of mine."
Hessenthaler, who was player-manager of the Gills between June 2000 and November 2004 and had a second spell in charge between May 2010 and May 2012, was assistant manager at Priestfield Stadium.
Mr Scally, who has been Gillingham chairman since 1995, has put no timescale on the appointment of a new boss but says the club need "a younger, more flamboyant manager".
He said: "I don't think Hessy would want the manager's job but I haven't had that conversation with him.
"I'm fairly clear as to the type of person I want. Just because I fancy a person doesn't mean they want to come and work at Gillingham.
"What is important is not the time it takes but trying to make sure we get the person we feel is most appropriate for the team we have got.
"You look at the likes of Gus Poyet and Gianfranco Zola who have played the game and gone on to become good managers. We need that type of person and I will certainly be giving it some thought."
Article published by BBC Sport: www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30642796