Ronaldo Koeman was sacked by Barcelona before the wheels even touched down from their flight home after a dismal 1-0 defeat to Rayo Vallecano.
The Dutchman was finally put out of his misery on Wednesday night following another flat display in LaLiga that has left his struggling side ninth in the table, with president Joan Laporta left ‘very angry’ with the result, according to Spanish publication Sport.
Koeman – who was appointed 14 months ago – has led Barca to their worst start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign and his side are closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table.
Club supremo Laporta is said to have briefly consulted members of staff and fellow directors on board the flight before making his decision on Koeman’s future. The Dutchman was aware of his fate before the plane landed, the reports adds, and knew he would not be able to conduct training the following day.
Just hours after arriving back in Barcelona, the club made the announcement official, with the search now on for his replacement.
Legendary midfielder Xavi has already been installed as the favourite is said to be in talks over the role – although Laporta has previously indicated he was not ready for a big job yet.
However, Sportsmail understands both parties now believe the time could be right to save the season and build around the young players that have emerged in the last 12 months.
Koeman will reportedly be allowed to say his goodbyes to players and staff on Thursday before departing, while his stars prepare for their next game against Alaves.
Despite spending less than two years in the role, he is in line to pocket around 12million euros (£10m) in a lucrative severance package, despite the club struggling financially and being forced to bring in a host of free transfers this summer.
Koeman oversaw one of the most turbulent periods in the club’s recent history as long-serving talisman Lionel Messi left for PSG on a bosman, while Barca brought in his countryman Memphis Depay and former Man City striker Sergio Aguero.
But the new acquisitions have not been able to inspire Barca to success this season, with the team producing a number of lacklustre displays. They were beaten 2-1 in the first El Clasico of the season by Real Madrid and 2-0 by rivals Atletico.
Most concerningly they lost 3-0 to Benfica in the Champions League last month – a result that saw club directors debate Koeman’s future until 4am before allowing him a stay of execution, but it was clear he was a dead man walking.