Troubled Spanish first division side Atletico Madrid said on Thursday that their coach Carlos Bianchi was sacked.
"The results of the team have been unacceptable this season", said club president Enrique Cerezo, "that's why we're taking this decision."
Taking over from Bianchi, on a caretaker basis to begin with, will be Pepe Murcia, coach of Atleti's youth team.
Curiously, it is a similar situation to that at neighbours Real Madrid, where nursery team coach Juan Ramon Lopez Caro was brought in to replace Vanderlei Luxemburgo in December.
Murcia's first game in charge will be away to fellow strugglers Betis on Saturday.
The big-name favourites to take over at Atletico - unless Murcia makes an immediate impact - are Javier Irureta, out of work since leaving Deportivo Coruna six months ago, and Victor Fernandez, sacked by Porto a year ago.
Bianchi had only been in charge at Atletico for five months. The club spent heavily during the summer on forwards such as Martin Petrov, Maxi Rodriguez and Mateja Kezman, but Bianchi's team has won just four games and is currently in 12th place.
On Sunday the Atleti fans started to chant for Bianchi's dismissal, during the 0-0 draw at home to Valencia. On Wednesday the chants became a cacophany, at the end of the depressing 0-1 cup defeat at home to Zaragoza.