West Ham confirmed the exit of Sam Allardyce just minutes after losing 2-0 to Newcastle United on the final day of the 2014/15 season.

The result, one which secured safety for the 60-year-old's former club after second-half goals from Moussa Sissoko and Jonas Gutierrez, left the Hammers 12th in the Premier League with Crystal Palace gatecrashing the top half following victory over Swansea.

A constant degree of uncertainty had surrounded Allardyce's future in recent months with his contract due to expire this summer and a statement released in the aftermath of the full-time whistle confirmed the club are now set to being the search for his successor.

"He (Allardyce) leaves the club in a considerably better state then when he arrived and, for that, the Board are truly grateful," co-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold said on West Ham's official website.

"However, we have made the decision not to renew his contract, so we now have the chance to appoint a new manager with a new philosophy to lead us into two of the most exciting years in our great club's history.

"Our target is to recruit a manager that will build a team capable of saying a fitting farewell to the Boleyn Ground next year and do justice to the outstanding surrounds we will call home from August 2016.

"We have already been impressed with the quality of candidates that have expressed an interest in the role and fully expect to appoint a manager with the credentials to take this club on to new heights."

While the club obviously gave no clue as to who they currently have in mind to replace Allardyce, recent speculationhas suggested that former Everton and Manchester United boss David Moyes could still be in the frame amid a relatively positive stint in La Liga with Real Sociedad.

Former West Ham defender Slaven Bilic also appears to be a contender as he prepares to depart Besiktas but Napoli's Rafael Benitez is not thought to be in the running with reports suggesting that the Spaniard may be in line to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid.

As for Allardyce, his wealth of experience in the top-flight should ensure that he is not left out of work for too long.

He was linked extensively with a managerial job back in the North East at Sunderland in March, although it remains to be seen whether Dick Advocaat plans to take the job on a full-time basis after securing survival for the Black Cats with one game to spare.