CHRIS Wilder has resigned as Oxford United manager, according to chairman Ian Lenagan.
The 46-year-old is believed to have informed the players of his decision minutes after their 1-0 win against Torquay United this afternoon.
It has come after Lenagan rejected an approach from Northampton Town yesterday to speak with Wilder about their vacant manager's position.
The U's chairman has not received a resignation letter, something he described as "bizarre" but has asked Mickey Lewis to act as caretaker boss.
Lenagan said: "My understanding is Chris Wilder has in the last half an hour told the players that he is going and will not be back at Oxford after today.
"That is all I've heard. I'm not sure, I've just looked in his office and he's not there, but it would appear that he has resigned.
"It seems a very peculiar way to do it, but he has told the players.
"He told me yesterday and the day before that he would resign at the end of the match."
Wilder took over at United in December 2008 and his five-year tenure made him the third longest serving manager in English football's top four divisions.
When he took over the club were in the bottom half of the Conference and he went on to lead them back into the Football League after a play-off final victory at Wembley in 2010.
Today's win moved United up to sixth in League Two.
Lenagan said: "Chris has done a good job for us and this is a strange way to conclude the matter at the very end.
"But he obviously feels very strongly that with five and a bit months to go on his contract he wants the security of somewhere else and the fact that he probably believes he would get offered the Northampton job has triggered this sequence of events."
The U's chairman hinted there may still be the possibility of legal action, but would take time to assess the position.