Newcastle United have announced that they have sacked Steve McClaren after just nine months in charge.
The decision comes with the Magpies embroiled in a relegation battle, languishing in 19th position with ten matches remaining.
The official club website have released a statement stating: "After the defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday the Club has spent some time considering its position and has today concluded that Steve McClaren's employment with the Club will end with immediate effect.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Article continues below
"We acknowledge that reaching this decision has taken a number of days and that this has caused uncertainty for everyone involved, in particular for Steve and the players, for which we apologise. However we felt that this time was necessary to ensure the right decisions were reached with the best interests of the Club at heart.”
While managing director Lee Charnley said: "I would like to thank Steve personally for his services to Newcastle United. He is a man of integrity and class and he has conducted himself with great dignity during this difficult time.
Article continues below
"Steve worked tirelessly to try and bring success to Newcastle United. He has the utmost respect of all the players, staff and management and he leaves with our very best wishes and sincere thanks.
"We feel that a change is now needed in order to give the Club the best possible chance of securing its Premier League future.
"A further announcement on a successor to Steve will be made in due course.”
That successor is highly likely to be former Real Madrid and Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez. The Spaniard has been heavily linked with the job in the previous few days and is expected to arrive in Tyneside for talks.
Benitez began the campaign in charge of Madrid but was dismissed in January after a string of uninspiring performances from Los Blancos.
During his previous spell in England, Benitez earned hero status at Liverpool.
He won the Champions League during his first season in charge of the club after the Reds beat AC Milan in an incredible final, coming from 3-0 down to eventually win on penalties.
And a year later he led his team to an FA Cup triumph against West Ham. It was a similar story with Liverpool coming from 3-1 behind to draw 3-3, before winning on spot-kicks again.
He also reached his second Champions League final in three years in 2007 but Milan got revenge on his Liverpool side, winning 2-1.
But it's that sort of 'never say die' attitude that is needed at St. James' Park for the remainder of the campaign.
The Toon Army are one point from safety as they look to leapfrog Norwich and North-East rivals Sunderland into that precious 17th position.
If Benitez is appointed he will be thrown very much into the deep end. The Magpies travel to league leaders Leicester on Monday before two crucial relegation six-pointers against Sunderland and Norwich.
Newcastle fans: Who do you want as your next manager? Let us know in the comments box below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms