Relegation haunted Salford City Reds have sacked head coach Karl Harrison after just three wins from their opening 14 Super League XII matches.
Harrison, who had been touted as a future Great Britain coach after guiding the Reds to a 5th placed finish last season, has left with immediate effect.
His last game came in the south of France, where Salford suffered a humiliating 66-6 defeat at the hands of Catalans Dragons.
"The club feels that with 13 fixtures remaining in the season, the time has come for a new direction," said Salford chairman John Wilkinson.
Director of football Steve Simms has taken over as caretaker coach until a new full time coach is appointed.
Karl Harrison said he left the club on amicable terms. He added: "The chairman has decided to take a different route and that's his prerogative. It's his club at the end of the day.
"We had a team meeting on Monday, when everybody was positive about getting the results we needed for the remaining part of the season.
"I'm really proud of my efforts and I've worked really hard over the last five years.
"We've changed the perception of the club, improved the playing staff, got a scholarship up and running and got a training base and gymnasium which they never had before.
"The club is going forward. Unfortunately, it is a results-based business and the results haven't been the best."
Much of Salford's bad form has been put down to injuries, but in truth they never recovered from losing two key men of last year's campaign – Andrew Dunemann and Sean Rutgerson.