Even as brutal football sackings go, Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal as Leicester manager has shocked the game.
The Italian was booted out of the King Power on Thursday evening less than a year after helping the Foxes to the greatest achievement in the history of sport.
The decision is bound to divide opinion, with Leicester now dangling perilously close to the relegation zone.
Here’s how some of Ranieri’s allies reacted to the news – as you might expect, Leicester fan Gary Lineker was among the first to express his anger at the club’s treatment of the 65-year-old.
After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 23, 2017
Gary Lineker's feeling the pain of Claudio Ranieri's dismissal. pic.twitter.com/TrAdYYsloI
— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) February 24, 2017
Same people saying Ranieri sacking is disgusting and a betrayal want another removed from his Job where a board shows the ultimate loyalty!
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) February 24, 2017
Claudio Ranieri sacked????
Most disgraceful decision in the history of football. pic.twitter.com/DLtmW9U4AN
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 23, 2017
It remains to be seen who takes over from Ranieri, with his predecessor Nigel Pearson and former Man City boss Roberto Mancini the early favourites.
Whoever it is will also have to balance the Foxes’ survival bid with a Champions League last-16 tie against Sevilla.
Leicester need a massive reaction from the players – many of whom were rewarded with new contracts in the summer – if they are to avoid becoming the first champions to be relegated since Man City in 1938.