Bayern Munich have sacked coach Louis van Gaal with immediate effect, the Bundesliga club confirmed on Sunday morning.
The German club had already announced that Van Gaal would be replaced by Bayer Leverkusen's Jupp Heynckes at the end of the season, but a draw at Nurnberg on Saturday has prompted them into action prematurely.
A 1-1 draw saw Bayern concede third place, and Champions League qualification, to Hannover with only five games remaining in the Bundesliga season.
Bayern chose to dismiss Van Gaal following the result, with his assistant Andries Jonker taking charge for the remainder of the season.
Board members Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeness and Karl Hopfner met with sporting director Christian Nerlinger and took the decision late on Saturday night.
"The board, director of sport and president of FC Bayern took this decision together,'' a statement from the club read. "After the 1-1 draw in Nurnberg yesterday and the renewed slide to fourth in the table, and with the threat of missing out on the minimum aim of a place in the Champions League next season, this decision was taken in FC Bayern's best interests.
"Louis van Gaal's assistants Frans Hoek, Jos van Dijk and Max Reckers have also been relieved of their duties.''
Though Van Gaal won the Double last season, and reached the final of the Champions League, Bayern's domestic form has been poor across the 2010-11 campaign and they now risk missing out on the lucrative European competition in a year in which the final will be held in Munich.
Bayern's next fixture is against Leverkusen, meaning Heynckes could well deal a further setback to the European aspirations of the team he will coach next season.
Hopefully with this change the team starts to play like they care again.
Bayern's Robben apologises for red card
MUNICH, Germany — Bayern Munich's Dutch star Arjen Robben has apologised to his team-mates and fans for receiving a red card after the final whistle following his side's 1-1 draw with Nuremberg.
Bayern's play-maker is now suspended for Bayern's crunch Bundesliga clash with second-placed Bayer Leverkusen next weekend having been sent off at Nuremberg by referee Knut Kircher on Saturday.
Robben was furious after his team conceded a late equaliser which saw them drop to fourth in the German league and slip further behind in their bid to finish second in the table to secure a Champions League place next season.
The Dutchman admitted he lost his head after exchanging heated words with Kircher, despite the game being over.
"I don?t know what I said any more," admitted the 27-year-old after the second red card of his career.
"I was very angry, very disappointed, but I should be sorting that out with my team-mates and not with the referee.
"I want to apologise to the fans and the team. I shouldn?t have done that."
Robben is reported to have apologised to Kircher at the Nuremberg stadium.
His last dismissal was in March 2006 while playing for Premier League side Chelsea against West Bromwich Albion.
Robben will now appear before the German Football Federation (DFB) disciplinary committee next week which will determine the exact length of his ban.
"Hopefully it won?t be too bad," he said.