Leicester City have fired their manager Claudio Ranieri, less than a year after winning the Premier League title.
The decision comes after Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat in the Champions to Sevilla.
The club confirmed on their website that Ranieri would leave with immediate effect.
The Foxes have endured a woeful defence to their crown, dropping to 17th – just one point and one place above the Premier League relegation zone.
They have not tasted victory in their last nine outings, since a 2-1 away win at Everton in the FA Cup on January 7th, with their last league victory a 1-0 win over West Ham on December 31st.
Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. But we are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.
“Claudio has brought outstanding qualities to his office. His skilful management, powers of motivation and measured approach have been reflective of the rich experience we always knew he would bring to Leicester City.
“His warmth, charm and charisma have helped transform perceptions of the club and develop its profile on a global scale. We will forever be grateful to him for what he has helped us to achieve.
“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign.
“But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”
Ranieri, who was appointed the manager at the club before the start of the 2015/2016 season, led the team to the English Premiership title in perhaps one of the greatest ever underdog stories in sport.
The Foxes were 5000-1 to win the Premier League at the start of their title-winning campaign last season, and produced one of the greatest fairytales in sporting history.
Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and Mike Stowell will take interim charge ahead of Monday’s Premier League game against Liverpool.