Michael Laudrup's time was up at Swansea City when he lost senior players in the dressing room.
This news may come as a shock to many outside of the club but not to those inside who have grown increasingly concerned at the Swans' alarming drop in form that has seen them collect just 36 points from their last 38 matches.
The performance at West Ham was a particular disappointment where they seemed rudderless. Then, there has been the serious disillusionment among senior players over training ground methods, preparation for games and Laudrup's off-hand approach. That has led to tonight's decision."
Sportsmail can reveal the club's hierarchy believed the Dane was no longer capable of inspiring the struggling team, with questions also asked about the intensity of his training sessions and whether he retained the support of senior players.
We can reveal Laudrup's departure was met with a huge sigh of relief within the dressing room.
Although the Dane’s 18-month reign saw Swansea win the Capital One Cup, reach the knockout stages of a European competition and enjoy another impressive season in the Premier League, success on the pitch disguised complete chaos off it. There was a lack of discipline, dressing room bust-ups, cliques and Laudrup’s relationship with chairman Huw Jenkins had long since broken down when the axe fell on Tuesday evening.
The cliques at the training ground had become so bad that a rule had to be introduced that only three Spanish players were allowed to sit at each table when the squad had lunch.
Relations between Laudrup and the club have never been the same since ties were severed with the manager's agent in the summer, after Swansea became frustrated with Bayram Tutumlu's growing influence on outgoing as well as incoming transfers.
Although Laudrup and Jenkins vowed to put that episode behind them, it was clear that the two men were no longer singing from the same hymn sheet. In an interview with the Observer in November Jenkins outlined how unhappy he was with the mentality among some staff and players, whom he accused of adopting a defeatist approach against the better teams in the league. Laudrup was never mentioned by name but it was clear, from the language Jenkins used, that he was referring in part to the manager.
Laudrup was almost certain to move on at the end of this season, a year before his contract was due to expire. Yet it is a measure of how concerned the Swansea board became with the team's performances in recent months, together with the doubts they harboured about Laudrup's laid-back approach and his ability to motivate the players to engineer a turnaround, that they felt compelled to intervene.
Some of the issues with Laudrup have been longstanding but they have started to resonate more on the back of the team's travails this season. Questions have long been asked about how hard the players were working on the training ground under Laudrup and whether his regime was too relaxed –a point several members of the squad privately raised with the manager not long after he had taken over. This season fractures have started to appear on and off the pitch – last month Monk and Chico Flores clashed on the training ground.