After just ten months as manager of Manchester United, David Moyes was dismissed shortly after 8am this morning.
The decision was announced following a meeting with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at the Carrington training ground.
A statement published on the club's website this morning said:"Manchester United has announced that David Moyes has left the Club.
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"The Club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role."
The 50-year-old - dubbed the 'chosen one' was selected by the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson as his replacement at the end of last season as Manchester United finished top of the Premiership.
However, Moyes, who suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of former club Everton at the weekend, has managed to guide the Reds to a current seventh position, their lowest ever Premier points haul.
One of the most important reasons behind the club's decisions is thought to be the loss of Champions League football - a major financial blow.
There is also believed to be disquiet about his signings for an ageing team and a question mark over his ability to oversee a major overhaul in the summer - with Marouane Fellaini an unpopular buy and Juan Mata failing to deliver the expected results boost.
Player/coach Ryan Giggs, 40, is named as caretaker manager until a permanent replacement can be appointed.
Caretaker boss Ryan Giggs
Holland boss Louis Van Gaal is favourite to take over, with another potential candidate, Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, out of the picture.
United are determined not to make the same mistake as last summer when Moyes did not take over until the start of July, meaning a big chunk of the transfer window had already passed.
Van Gaal's credentials make it clear why he is a strong contender- he won the 1995 Champions League as coach of Ajax, has won Spanish league titles with Barcelona and reached the 2010 Champions League final as well as winning the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
He is also used to working with big-name players and attracting big signings - neither of which were part of Moyes' track record.
Van Gaal has also made it clear that he will be looking to move on from being Holland head coach after the World Cup.
Favourite for hot seat: Van Gaal
Former United star-turned pundit Gary Neville said he was disappointed with the way Manchester United had handled the sacking.
Reports of Moyes' departure emerged yesterday afternoon and Neville was sad that the Scot's exit proved undignified.
''The last 15, 16 hours or however long it's been, I don't like it, it's not the way in which the club should portray itself,'' the former right-back, who won eight Premier League titles with United, told Sky Sports News.
''But it's the modern world, it's how things seem to be dealt with now, but I'm a traditionalist and I think it could have been dealt with a whole lot better.
''I believe in managers being given time, I think they should be allowed to complete their work. The idea of giving people three and four and six-year contracts and then getting rid of them after 10 months is something that's foreign to me.
''However, there's no disguising that the football this season has been poor, the results have been poor, as a fan I've not enjoyed watching it - I'm sure David Moyes himself hasn't enjoyed watching it.
''And I can't think many Manchester United fans will have enjoyed watching it either.
He added: ''The players have to take massive responsibility. I never once during my 17/18-year career at United turned around after a game and thought 'you lost us that game boss'.
''It's always the players. Players have to take responsibility, accountability in football.
''Those players there are not as bad as they have been showing, I've played with a lot of those players
''These are players who were champions nine months ago and the decline has been surprising to say the least.''
''Football managers now just get tossed around, chucked about, disregarded, rubbished. Decent men, good men just get thrown away and that's not just David Moyes, that's all the way through football.''