LONDON — Manchester United soccer club has fired its manager David Moyes 10 months after he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, the British club has confirmed.
"The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he (Moyes) brought to the role," Manchester United said in a brief statement.
Veteran player Ryan Giggs is expected to be named as interim manager until the end of the season.
The club, one of the biggest and most high profile global sports franchises, previously refused to be drawn on reports in the British press that Moyes, 50, would be forced out before the end of the Premier League season.
Manchester United are currently in seventh place after having won the league last season. For the first time in 19 years Manchester United has failed to qualify for next year's Champions League competition.
Fellow Scot Ferguson retired from the club last year after spending 26 years in charge, during which he won 40 trophies including 13 Premier League titles. As a manager Ferguson was known as a strict disciplinarian firmly in control of the locker room.
Moyes was handpicked by Ferguson to be his replacement after the former spent 11 years at Everton soccer club, where he was praised for fostering an attacking style of play and where he brought success to the club despite a relative lack of funds to attract top players.
Moyes was given a six-year contract when he took over from Ferguson in July but frustration by supporters of the club has been growing for months with Manchester United on track to see its lowest ever points tally in the Premier League.
The poor results notwithstanding, soccer pundits have pointed out concerns over whether Moyes would be the right man to lead Manchester United in the summer transfer market, when the club is expected to spend as much as $350 million on new signings.
Others say that following Ferguson's reign the bar was raised impossibly high and that he should have been given more time to make his mark.
"Any successor to our current manager may not be as successful," the Glazer family, the club's majority share owners, warned potential investors in 2012, a year before Ferguson's retirement.
Manchester United is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the announcement was made before the market open on Tuesday. Pre-market shares in MANU were showing little reaction to the news.
After Moyes was appointed, Manchester United said: "His appointment is a victory for common sense and stability. United are in safe hands."
It is not immediately clear who may be on the list of candidates to be Moyes' long term replacement.