Birmingham City have sacked manager Gary Rowett, the club announced via an official statement.
He departs with the club just three points off third place and level on points with Sheffield Wednesday in the final play-off place.
The Blues have won nine of their opening 21 Championship games, losing five.
Rowett’s contract, and those of his backroom staff – Kevin Summerfield, Mark Sale, Kevin Poole and Darren Robinson – have been terminated with immediate effect.
A statement on the club’s official website stated:
“Gary came in and immediately stabilised the team amid difficult circumstances and during his tenure improved the Club’s fortunes on the field.
“He has conducted himself professionally on behalf of the Club at all times and there is a genuine sadness at this course of action.
“However, new owners Trillion Trophy Asia Limited (TTAL) remains determined to lead the Club to a bright and exciting future.
“Supporters can rest assured that the decision has been taken with a strategic, long-term view and with the Club’s best interests at heart.”