Crystal Palace have sacked manager Patrick Vieira after a 12-match winless run, barely two years after employing the Arsenal Legend.
Palace have not won a match in 2023 and were beaten 1-0 by Brighton in the Premier League on Wednesday, their third defeat in a row.
They are 12th in the table but are only three points above 18th-placed Bournemouth, who have a game in hand.
Palace failed to register a shot on target in three consecutive games against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Liverpool – becoming the first Premier League to do so since Opta started recording data in 2003.
Palace chairman Steve Parish said in a statement: “It is with enormous regret that this difficult decision has been made. Ultimately, results in recent months have placed us in a precarious league position and we felt a change is necessary to give us the best chance of retaining Premier League status.
“That said, Patrick’s impact since joining us in the summer of 2021 has been significant, and he is held in the highest regard by myself, and all of his colleagues.
He led the team to a Wembley FA Cup semi-final and respectable 12th placed finish last season playing some exciting football, which was a challenging and crucial campaign for the club given the changes we made to the squad prior to his arrival.
“Patrick has given his all to the club, and we all thank him and his team for their service.”
Palace have confirmed that, alongside Vieira, Osian Roberts, Kristian Wilson and Saïd Aïgoun have also left the club. Dean Kiely will remain as goalkeeping coach while the search for a new manager is underway.
An announcement on who will take temporary charge of the club is expected on Friday afternoon. Palace have cancelled their planned press conference on Friday to preview their next game – a trip to Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium.
Former Crystal Palace striker Clinton Morrison speaking to Sky Sports News said: “For me, it’s not the right call – I don’t think he should have been sacked. I know the run they have been on is terrible – without a win since the New Year. But I speak to a lot of people at Palace, around the place there has been a lot of togetherness and that’s down to Patrick.
“I know it’s a results-based industry but the run of games they have had is ridiculous. After Arsenal, the next five or six games are all winnable. I would have stuck with him. I don’t know which other manager can come in and turn it around.
“It is a tough job and I don’t know who is out there. Someone like a Jesse Marsch? What Palace are used to under Patrick Vieira might be different to what a new manager comes in and implements.
“So it will take time and Palace don’t have time. They’re in a relegation battle, you need confidence and you need someone who is going to come in and lift the team. There will be someone, as you don’t make rash decisions like sacking Vieira without having someone lined up.
“I do believe the investment wasn’t good enough in January, Vieira needed help in strengthening other areas.
“The biggest problem with Palace is scoring goals. They are too reliant on Wilfried Zaha and he’s been injured for a bit recently. Other players need to step up, there are two players in Ebere Eze and Michael Olise who I think will go to the very top. I think Palace will stay up as they have talented players in the team.
“There are a lot of players who like Vieira, the harmony there is together. Zaha and Vieira had a brilliant relationship. I can’t speak for him but he might be disappointed.”