Sami Hyypia has been dismissed from his position as Bayer Leverkusen manager following a disappointing run of results, which has seen the club win just one of their last nine Bundesliga fixtures.
"After a lot of thought and because of the ongoing crisis we reached the conclusion that a change at this point could help us urgently turn things around."
Club sporting director Rudi Voller also commented on the matter, per the Bundesliga's official website:
It was a very difficult decision as Sami has done a fantastic job for us in the last two years. What he and his coaching staff managed to get out of our team in the first half of the season far exceeded our expectations and earned him widespread praise.
It makes this decision all the more difficult. However, the developments of the last few weeks gave us no other option but to go our separate ways. We have to do everything in our power to save our season.
The sacking comes in the wake of Friday's 2-1 loss to Hamburg, who had themselves been experiencing a torrid run of results in the latter half of the 2013-14 campaign.
BT Sport's Archie Rhind-Tutt points out precisely how bad the club's run of form has been, equivalent to that of relegation candidates Eintracht Braunschweig:
Leverkusen share the same points total in the second half of the season as bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig - might be the end for Hyypia— Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) April 4, 2014
Until a permanent successor is appointed, the Bundesliga report states that Sascha Lewandowski will take charge of the team in an interim capacity.
Hyypia was initially appointed co-manager of the Factory Squad in April 2012 alongside Lewandowski. However, the latter stepped down from the position at the start of this season to become more closely associated with the club's youth setup.
German football expert Jonathan Harding hints that despite Hyypia's success, it may have always been Lewandowski who deserved praise for Leverkusen's rise:
@LaureJames I'd be surprised. They might well give it to Sascha Lewandowski, the man who was clearly the brains at the club last year.— Jonathan Harding (@JonBloggs66) April 5, 2014
The season began well for Hyypia, who saw his Leverkusen team lose just twice in the league up until mid-November but having claimed just 11 points in 2014, the BayArena outfit now sit fourth in the table, six points away from third-placed Schalke.
Given the club's recent run of form, one can't blame Leverkusen's hierarchy for feeling that change was needed at the helm, but the decision will have been a difficult one considering Hyypia ended his playing career with the side and managed to guide them to a third-place finish last term.