A week after reassuring fans of management support for Manager Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City yesterday took back its words and sacked him, nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.
The teams Tuesday comforting away goal in the UEFA in a 2-1 defeat by Sevilla was no comfort for the club owners as the Foxes are one point above the relegation zone with 13 matches left.
“The board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the club’s greatest interest,” read a statement.
Ranieri, 65, guided the Foxes to the title despite them being rated 5,000-1 shots at the start of the campaign.
His departure comes less than 24 hours after a 2-1 defeat at Spanish side Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The Foxes took the Premier League title by 10 points but have won just five top-flight games this season, and could become the first defending champions to be relegated since 1938.
They have lost their past five league matches and are the only side in the top four English divisions without a league goal in 2017.
Leicester’s next game in their fight for Premier League survival comes when they host Liverpool on Monday.
Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and first-team coach Mike Stowell will take charge of the squad until a new manager is appointed.
Ranieri’s compatriots Paolo Benetti and Andrea Azzalin, both key members of his coaching staff, have left the club.