Embattled Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has been sacked, just months after leading the club to its first English Premier League title.
Earlier, the Daily Mail reported that Ranieri was fired after this week's 2-1 Champions League loss to Spanish club Seville, the latest setback in a season that has seen the ultimate sporting Cinderella story turn to ashes.
Soon afterwards, the club confirmed the move on its official Twitter site.
Since capturing the crown last May, Leicester plummet to a five-win/six-draw/14-loss record this season, one point off the relegation zone.
Ranieri, appointed manager in July 2015, led the Foxes to the greatest triumph in the club's 133-year history last seasonand his status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time was without question, said the club's statement.
However, domestic results in the current campaign have placed the club's Premier League status under threat and the board reluctantly felt that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, was necessary in the club's greatest interest.
"This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City," said vice chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.
"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."