Sunderland fired manager Paolo Di Canio following the club's disappointing 3-0 loss to West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday, as confirmed by the team's official Twitter account:
Sunderland AFC confirms that it has parted company with Head Coach Paolo Di Canio this evening.— Sunderland AFC (@SAFCofficial) September 22, 2013
The club also made an official statement on the matter:
Kevin Ball will take charge of the squad ahead of Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup game against Peterborough United and an announcement will be made in due course regarding a permanent successor.
The club would like to place on record its thanks to Paolo and his staff and wishes them well for the future.
The Black Cats only managed seven shots in the brutal loss and are now in sole possession of last place in the Premier League table with just one point through five matches.
Di Canio was brought on as the manager at Stadium of Light last March, succeeding Martin O'Neill.
The 45-year-old Italian picked up big wins over Newcastle and Everton early on at the helm of the club but is just 3-3-7 overall since taking over less than six months ago, recording a dismal 23.1 winning percentage.
Under Di Canio this season, Sunderland have been outscored 11-3 in league play. The struggling club beat Milton Keynes Dons in the second round of the Capital One Cup last month, but haven't won since, scoring only one goal combined against Arsenal and West Brom in September.
Sunderland finished 17th in the Premier League table last year, narrowly avoiding relegation. This year, the Black Cats appear set for relegation barring a major turnaround.
Before being appointed as manager at Sunderland, Di Canio spent nearly two years at Swindon Town, an English club currently in League One.
Di Canio coached nearly 100 games with the Robins, finishing with a mark of 54-18-23.
As a player, he starred for prominent Italian clubs like Lazio, Juventus, Napoli and AC Milan during a playing career that spanned more than two decades (Di Canio spent 1997-2004 in the Premiership with Sheffield Wednesday, West Ham and Charlton).
Sunderland will take to the pitch against Peterborough United on Tuesday in the third round of the Capital One Cup.