Melbourne Victory have sacked coach Mehmet Durakovic on Friday morning, with club legend Kevin Muscat taking over as caretaker for this weekend's match against Newcastle.
Chairman Anthony Di Pietro and Managing Director Richard Wilson were in attendance at a press conference at AAMI Park in Melbourne where it was announced that Durakovic's contract had been terminated immediately.
Di Pietro paid tribute to Durakovic and the work he had done during his time at Victory.
"Mehmet is a wonderful person of high integrity," di Pietro said.
"He's a man that has high values and we respect on a personal and professional level."
"Mehmet will always be welcome at this club so of course it's always difficult, but it's a professional decision. These things are extremely difficult on a personal level. Our respect as a club for Mehmet as a person is very high."
Di Pietro said the decision to replace Durakovic had been made due to an inconsistent start to the season.
"We’ve been successful in the brand development and financial management, but unfortunately in relation to recruitment there's always risk," he said.
"No matter how good your due diligence there is always risk with appointments. But we’re being proactive about change."
"We have given Mehmet every opportunity to succeed this season, but we found (onfield) we were inconsistent and the team lacked direction."
"Our decision is based on the need to have consistency in our direction."
Muscat will take the reins at the weekend, with a new head coach expected to be announced within the next two days.
Despite a star-studded squad including the likes of Harry Kewell, Carlos Hernandez and Archie Thompson, Victory are languishing in eighth place with just three wins from 14 matches.
Durakovic was in the job for less than six months after taking over from Ernie Merrick at the start of the season.