Manchester United boss David Moyes has been sacked.
A brief statement on the football club's website read: 'Manchester United has announced 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.'
Shares in the US-listed firm slipped by 1.2% overnight as rumours circulated that Man Utd’s owners, the Glazer family, had lost patience with the club’s new boss after just 10 months in charge.
The Premiership champions are on course for the worst defence of a title since 1996, with the club languishing seventh in the league and out of the race for the Champions League. Sunday’s tepid performance against Moyes’ (pictured) former club Everton, in which Man Utd lost 2-0, is understood to have been the final straw for the Glazers.
Man Utd’s absence from the Champions League could have severe financial implications, especially if prolonged.
In an interview with the Manchester Evening News in February, former Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill - who led the Red Knights which tried to buy Man Utd in 2010 – underlined why Champions League football is so important to the club.
‘I think the Glazers’ model is all based on persistent performance in the Champions League,’ O’Neill told the paper.
He added: There is a real possibility that United will not be in the Champions League, not just for one year but more than one year and that is a big problem because of the business model of the current ownership.
‘It is not good for the Glazers’ representatives, who want to tour the world and encourage potential sponsors to beat the value of whatever the previous deal they have done is.’
The decision to sack Moyes will cost the company several million in compensation as he was handed a six-year contract when he joined.
Dutch boss Louis van Gaal and Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp have been installed as favourites to replaces Moyes, with Ryan Giggs also said to be in the mix.
Bookies are also offering odds on former manager Sir Alex Ferguson making a stunning return.