Billy Davies lost his job as manager of English Premier League basement club Derby County, the Midlands side's chairman Adam Pearson announced yesterday.
Davies arrived at Pride Park 18 months ago and took the club back into the Premiership via the post-season play-offs. But the Rams have won just one of their 14 league matches so far this term and are now four points adrift at the bottom the table.
"I have met with Billy Davies this [yesterday] morning and we have decided mutually in the interests of both parties that to go our separate ways is the correct decision at this time," Pearson said in a statement issued by Derby.
"Billy Davies leaves Derby County with our best wishes and our genuine gratitude in achieving a magnificent promotion to the Premier League, where everyone connected with the club wanted to be," he said.
Davies's last game in charge of County was Saturday's 2-0 league defeat at home to Chelsea.
Afterwards the 43-year-old Scot pleaded with Pearson, who said when taking over that Davies had his full support, to provide funds for new players come the January transfer window.
"We need to invest in the squad. I have not spoken to the new chairman Adam Pearson for over two weeks, but we need to bring in six new players. I have already identified three of them, but we cannot compete without investment," Davies said.
Davies took charge at Derby in January last year after opting to leave Preston, whom he had steered into the Championship play-offs for two successive seasons.
Having kept Derby in the second tier of English soccer, Davies' first full season in charge saw them narrowly miss out on automatic promotion before they beat West Brom in the play-off final at Wembley.
Derby were widely tippped to go straight back down again and last weekend's loss was their fourth in a row and meant they have gone eight games without a win.
Former England boss Steve McClaren, who made his name as a coach at Derby, was installed by leading British bookmaker Ladbrokes as the favorite to replace Davies at odds of 5/2.
McClaren was sacked last Thursday, less than 12 hours after a 3-2 defeat against Croatia at Wembley, combined with Russia's 1-0 win over Andorra, meant England failed to qualify for the finals of the Euro 2008 championships.