Melbourne Heart confirmed the sacking of coach John Aloisi with immediate effect, with the cub turning to former boss John van't Schip to lead it out of its malaise.
The club's board made the decision at a meeting on Saturday, "where it was clear a decision to relieve Aloisi of the Head Coach role was in the Club’s best interests," a club statement read.
"John has been an absolute professional at our club; as an inaugural player, as a coach of our National Youth League side and as head coach of our Hyundai A-League team," Heart Chairman Peter Sidwell said.
"No one can question his professionalism while at Melbourne Heart FC, nor his significant contribution to this club since its inception. I have spoken with John and he was gracious and understood the club's decision.
"We have the greatest respect for the commitment he made to Melbourne Heart FC and the dignified manner in which he has carried himself through a difficult period.
"We wish John and his family the best for the future and thank him for his valuable contribution to our Club."
Heart's 1-0 home loss to Wellington Phoenix was the final straw with the bottom-placed side winless after 12 rounds to start the season - an unwanted A-League record.
After a record of just eight wins from 39 games, and none in 17 outings it was inevitable that Aloisi would pay the price.
Club chairman Peter Sidwell said Van't Schip has been approached to take over on an interim basis and was expected to accept the role within 48 hours.
"Ultimately, success on the park is the major measure of a club and its success and very clearly we're not having that at the moment," Sidwell said.
Van't Schip, who guided Heart to the A-League finals in 2011-2012 in his second and most recent season in charge of the club, has been working at the club in a part-time capacity as technical director and mentor for Aloisi.
Sidwell denied it was a destabilising factor - along with the club's ongoing takeover negotiations.
Sidwell, with chief executive Scott Munn, addressed the playing group Sunday morning and said he shouldered responsibility for the team's non-performance.
"We all bear responsibility from top to bottom," Sidwell said.
"I addressed the players earlier today and told them we've all got some blood on our hands."
"None of us can walk away without saying 'did we absolutely give (Aloisi) the best of support?'"
While the club was confident of wrapping up a deal to have Van't Schip in charge prior to the Central Coast Mariners match on Sunday 5 January, it intends to take its time over a long-term appointment.
Munn said Saturday was one of the toughest days in the club's history, accepting personal responsibility for the turbulent period.
"I leave here today incredibly upset that a great man has gone from the club and I played a part in that."
"There's no question yesterday was one of the toughest days at the club."
Team training will continue this week while assistant coach Hayden Foxe has also left the club in the wake of Aloisi's termination.
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