Manchester United have sacked manager David Moyes ten months into his six-year contract at Old Trafford.
Defeat to Everton on Easter Sunday was United's 11th in the league this season and mathematically ended their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Moyes replaced Sir Alex Ferguson last July but has failed to manage the transition since the retirement of the Scot, with the club producing a tame defence of their Premier league title and are on course for their worst league finish for 23 years.
A club statement read: "Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role."
Despite enduring a torrid opening campaign since moving from Everton, the departure of Moyes comes as a major surprise given United's reputation for giving managers time.
Even though Moyes made just one substantial signing in the last summer transfer window in the form of Marouane Fellaini, the 50 year old had been promising substantial funds to return United to their former glory.
The addition of Juan Mata for a club record fee and retention of Wayne Rooney, who signed a reported £300,000-a-week deal to remain at United, suggested Moyes was being backed for the long term.
But amid a foray into the quarter final of the Champions League before eventually being knocked out by holders Bayern Munich, Moyes had seemingly brought himself time at the Theatre of Dreams.
However, heavy home defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City followed by loss to former club Everton on Sunday has seen American owners the Glazer family cut ties with the ex-Preston boss who was hand-picked by Ferguson as his replacement last May.
Assistant coach Ryan Giggs is expected to take temporary charge for the Premier League visit of Norwich City this Saturday, alongside Phil Neville.