Chelsea have sacked head coach Frank Lampard after growing concerned about the club's poor run of form.
The Blues have won just four of their last 11 games in all competitions - a run which has seen them drop down to ninth in the Premier League table and brought Lampard's quality as a manager into the spotlight.
News of his possible first emerged from the Telegraph, suggesting Chelsea had come to the conclusion that Lampard is simply not the right man to lead the club. The Blues' players were instructed to stay away from the Cobham training complex until later on Monday, giving the hierarchy time to sort things out behind the scenes.
Now a statement released by the club has confirmed his departure, stating: "This has been a very difficult decision, and not one that the owner and the Board have taken lightly.
"We are grateful to Frank for what he has achieved in his time as Head Coach of the Club. However, recent results and performances have not met the Club’s expectations, leaving the Club mid-table without any clear path to sustained improvement.
"There can never be a good time to part ways with a club legend such as Frank, but after lengthy deliberation and consideration it was decided a change is needed now to give the Club time to improve performances and results this season.
There was even a few words from owner Roman Abramovich, who said: “This was a very difficult decision for the Club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him.
“He is a man of great integrity and has the highest of work ethics. However, under current circumstances we believe it is best to change managers.
“On behalf of everyone at the Club, the Board and personally, I would like to thank Frank for his work as Head Coach and wish him every success in the future. He is an important icon of this great club and his status here remains undiminished. He will always be warmly welcomed back at Stamford Bridge.”
Sky Germany's Max Bielefeld claims that former PSG boss Thomas Tuchel is in line to take over, with an agreement with the German all but done.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after Chelsea booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 win over Championship side Luton Town, but that result was clearly not enough to convince the board that Lampard can turn things around.
The Blues were towards the top of the Premier League table in early December, but a run of just three wins in their last nine league games has seen the Blues tumble down the standings.
They now sit 11 points behind leaders Manchester United and five behind fourth-placed Liverpool, with owner Roman Abramovich growing concerned that Champions League qualification could slip away with a few more poor results.
The belief was that Abramovich would hesitate to pull the trigger on Lampard unless he found somebody he felt could get more out of the current squad, and it appears as though he may have found someone.