Notts County have said that they sacked former Republic of Ireland international John Sheridan as manager because of the verbal abuse of officials that earned him a five-match touchline ban.

Sheridan, who has since rejoined Oldham for a third time as boss, was sent to the stands during a defeat to Wycombe on 10 December before being dismissed by the League Two strugglers on 3 January.

It emerged earlier this week that Sheridan had called fourth official Matthew Donohue a "f****** c***" and threatened to knock him out, before telling referee Eddie Ilderton "my kids aren't going to get any f****** Christmas presents because of f****** you".

Sheridan later said he had apologised immediately after the game, telling the Sun: "I was managing a team near the bottom of the league and fighting for their lives and I think three big decisions were totally wrong.

"I was just very frustrated, but at the same time I don’t accept my language."

Notts County moved to sack Sheridan over three weeks later, following a ninth successive league loss, but chairman Alan Hardy today told the club's website that it was the Irishman's behaviour, rather than results, that prompted the decision.

"I wish to make it clear that this sort of behaviour by any employee of this club will not be tolerated," he said.

"It was our decision to terminate the contract based on what I read in the referee's report regarding the incident. This is a family-friendly club which aims to be a pillar of the local community.

"Comments of the type made by Mr Sheridan were utterly appalling and wholly unacceptable, completely undermining the community spirit and focus we are striving to develop here.

"In light of the recent disclosure of the referee's report, I thought it appropriate to communicate the exact reasons behind the course of action we took."