Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been sacked after a disappointing start to the season.
Less than five months after owners Fenway Sports Group gave their backing to the Northern Irishman after a woeful end to the 2014-15 campaign the Americans have done a U-turn.
Just a couple of hours after Liverpool’s 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park in the 225th Merseyside derby – another unconvincing performance – Rodgers was relieved of his duties.
“We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment,” said a joint-statement from principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon.
“All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game.
“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.
“Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.
“The search for a new manager is under way and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”
Rodgers has been dogged by speculation about his future since the humiliating 6-1 defeat at Stoke on the final day of last season.
FSG initially came out in support of their manager, although they did effect changes on the coaching staff with Rodgers’ close friend and assistant boss Colin Pascoe and first-team coach Mike Marsh being jettisoned in favour of England Under-19 coach Sean O’Driscoll and former midfielder Gary McAllister.
The Americans allowed Rodgers to spend £80million in the summer – much of which was recouped with the sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City for £49million – but performances have been far from what was expected, even if the side are still only three points off fourth place.
Injuries, most notably to captain Jordan Henderson, have prevented the Northern Irishman from fielding his strongest side so far this season while striker Daniel Sturridge has only just returned from a hip operation he had in May, but the owners have decided the club is not heading in the direction they want it to and have acted decisively.
Former Real Madrid coach Carlos Ancelotti and ex-Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp are both out of work and were linked with Rodgers’ position several weeks ago.