West Ham United have sacked Manuel Pellegrini after 18 months in charge, paying the price for an alarming slump in the Premier League that has seen the team plunge from fourth place into a relegation battle. The announcement was made soon after the London club's 2-1 home defeat to Leicester City.
In a brief statement, the club thanked the Chilean for his service and Joint-Chairman David Sullivan said, "It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision. Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre."
The statement further went on to say, "However, it has become clear that a change is required to get the Club back on track in line with our ambitions this season. We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.”
West Ham’s expensively assembled team has won just two of the last 14 matches - losing the last four at home - and is a point and a place above the relegation zone.
After the match against the Foxes, although under intense pressure, Pellegrini was confident of his job and said that it was natural that there were talks of him being sacked, but he had enough experience to sustain through the period. The club did not announce an interim or permanent coach.
This season, the club has won fewer points at home than any other side in the Premier League and lost four consecutive times for the first time in more than 10 years.
The Hammers are scheduled to face Bournemouth on New Years Day.
Pellegrini was a high profile signing for the West London club, having managed the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City previously - winning the Premier League with the latter as well.