Palermo have sacked coach Francesco Guidolin on Monday evening with just five games of the Serie A season remaining.
President Maurizio Zamparini took the decision after spending a day in crisis talks with numerous club officials and players. "This is a step taken in order to save our season," Zamparini said, who just weeks ago had insisted that the former Monaco man would remain until the end of the campaign no matter what.
"We needed to shake up the environment and that is why we have opted to go with this solution."
Guidolin will be replaced for the remainder of the season by his assistant Renzo Gobbo and youth team boss Rosario Pergolizzi.
"It was a tough decision to make, but one which was required to hand over some responsibility to the players," added Zamparini. "They need to give their very best over the last five matches to at least secure a place in the UEFA Cup."
Palermo, who lost 4-3 at home to Parma on Sunday, were the revelation of the season after even battling with Inter for top spot in the early part of the campaign. It had looked like they would easily finish up in the top four, but they’ve been on a disastrous slump since the 2-1 win over Catania on February 2.
They have failed to win a single game since then and have seen their 15-point advantage over fourth wiped out to such a degree that they are now seven points behind Milan – who now occupy the final Champions League spot.
Guidolin, who returned to the club last summer after a year away, is rumoured to be wanted by Napoli and Torino for next term.
[Serie A 2006-07 Managerial Changes]