Leeds United have sacked head coach Marcelo Bielsa following their 4-0 drubbing at home to Tottenham on Saturday afternoon, with club chairman Andrea Radrizzani saying it was "the toughest decision" he has had to make during his tenure.
Bielsa was initially appointed Leeds' permanent manager in 2018 and quickly endeared himself to supporters with his entertaining, fast-paced style of play, which eventually took the team back into the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
The Whites achieved a top-half finish in an impressive 2020-21 campaign but slipped towards the relegation places in 2021-22, with a fourth successive defeat prompting the board to make a change in the dugout.
What have Leeds said about the decision?
Leeds broke the record for the most goals shipped in a single month of Premier League football (20) after conceding four against Spurs at Elland Road, and are now just two points above the drop zone in 16th.
Bielsa has paid the price for their poor form, with the Yorkshire-based club's chairman Radrizzani confirming his departure in an official statement on Sunday.
"This has been the toughest decision I have had to make during my tenure at Leeds United, taking into account all the success Marcelo has had at the club," said Radrizzani.
“With Marcelo as our head coach, we had three incredible campaigns and the good times returned to Elland Road. He changed the culture of the club and brought a winning mentality to us all.
“However, I have to act in the best interest of the club and I believe a change is required now in order to secure our Premier League status. Recent results and performances have not met our expectations.
“We find ourselves in a precarious league position and I feel now is the right time to bring in a new head coach, in order to have an impact in the decisive stage of the season.
“Naturally, myself, along with everyone else at the club would like to thank Marcelo for his efforts and achievements and we wish him the very best for the future.”
Bielsa's record at Leeds
Bielsa leaves Elland Road with a record of 81 wins, 30 draws and 59 defeats from 170 matches in charge.
The Argentine delivered the Championship title in 2019-20 to take Leeds back into the big-time and earned more widespread praise after guiding the club to a ninth-place Premier League finish the following season.
The Whites have been far less consistent this term, though, and injuries to key personnel such as Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips has left them short on quality.
Bielsa's successor will be expected to shore up Leeds' leaky defence to make sure they stay up for another year, with former RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch reportedly the frontrunner to take over.