Leicester City have sacked manager Craig Shakespeare just four months into a three-year contract, the club have confirmed.
The former Premier League champions have suffered a poor start to the new season – claiming just one win from their first eight games.
Riyad Mahrez rescued a point for the Foxes’ as they drew 1-1 with West Brom at home on Monday night, leaving the team in 18th place in the top flight table.
According to reports, the manager met with club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha on Tuesday, where the Thai businessman made it clear the team’s start to the season was not acceptable, and Shakespeare paid the price with his job.
The 53-year-old was only made permanent Leicester manager four months ago, having initially taken charge on an interim basis in February following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri.
After keeping the Foxes in the Premier League last term, he was handed a three-year contract ahead of the current campaign.
However, with just one league victory and two wins in the EFL Cup to their name so far this season, their Thai owners have decided to make a change.
“Craig has been a great servant to Leicester City – during his spells as an Assistant Manager and since taking over as Manager in challenging circumstances in February,” said Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha in a statement.
“His dedication to the Club and to his work has been absolute and the contribution he made to the most successful period in Leicester City history is considerable.
“However, our early promise under Craig’s management has not been consistently evident in the months since and the board feels that, regrettably, a change is necessary to keep the Club moving forward – consistent with the long-term expectations of our supporters, board and owners.
“Craig is and will remain a very popular, respected figure at Leicester City and will be welcome back at King Power Stadium in future, both professionally and as a friend of the club.”
Shakespeare was given around £60million to spend on players in the summer transfer window – including £25m for striker Kelechi Iheanacho, £17m for centre-back Harry Maguire and £15m on midfielder Vicente Iborra – but Leicester’s only Premier League win came against newly-promoted Brighton in August.
Their only other points have been picked up in draws against Huddersfield, Bournemouth and West Brom, while Shakespeare oversaw wins against Sheffield United and Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.
Monday night’s 1-1 home draw with the Baggies saw Leicester’s winless Premier League run reach six matches – the same as when Ranieri was sacked earlier this year.