Western Sydney have shown coach Markus Babbel the door, axing the German midway through his three-year contract.
It comes in the wake of Sunday night’s 1-0 A-League loss to an under-strength Perth Glory.
The former Liverpool defender becomes the third A-League coach to be sacked this season after Marco Kurz at Melbourne Victory and Ernie Merrick at Newcastle.
Quite a stat considering the league is only filled with eleven teams.
“It is unfortunate that we have needed to take this course of action because we have a great relationship with Markus,” Wanderers chairman Paul Lederer said in a statement.
“However we firmly believe that we have a great squad and the results are most definitely not reflective of the ability of the players at this club and certainly do not reflect the aspirations of the Western Sydney Wanderers Football Club.
We have total faith in the group of players here at the Wanderers and look forward to pushing on with renewed vigour towards the finals series.”
Babbel has led the Wanderers to just four victories in 14 games this season.
Overall, he leaves with a record of 10 wins, 23 losses and eight draws from his 41 games in charge.
This campaign had brought high expectations for the Wanderers with new training facilities and a move into the state-of-the-art Bankwest Stadium.
However, they remain ninth on the table, four points out of the top six and showing few signs of improvement.
Babbel has consistently denied feeling anything but support from the club, and when asked if Sunday night was his final game in charge of the Wanderers said: “Don’t worry, I’m a fighter.”
Following Sunday’s loss, Wanderers captain Mitchell Duke acknowledged a growing frustration within the playing group, who were aware Babbel’s time had come.
“There’s been a sense it came to the point a couple of weeks ago, he was like ‘I could either throw in the towel and give up or I can keep fighting’,” Duke told told Fox Sports.
“He said it’s not in his nature to give up. He wanted to keep going. He’s passionate, he loves football even now as a coach. He’s passionate and he doesn’t want to give up. He’s a fighter to the end. He’s made that clear and he wants us to look in the mirror and have that same demeanour about ourselves.
Unfortunately we’re not quite putting it out on the pitch and she’s getting frustrating.”