Zenit St Petersburg have sacked the club's Dutch coach Dick Advocaat because of a run of poor form since he announced he was going to become Belgium's national coach next year, the club said today.
Advocaat, whose contract ran until December, criticised the club's newly appointed sporting director Igor Korneev over player signings earlier this month.
"Unfortunately, after (Advocaat's) decision to lead Belgium's national team, Zenit's results have noticeably declined," Zenit said on its official site (www.fc-zenit.ru).
"Both fans and management are dissatisfied with the (team's) place ... in the current standings of the Russian League."
Zenit are currently in seventh place with 24 points after 17 matches.
Former Netherlands and South Korea coach Advocaat took over at Zenit in 2006, leading them to the Russian championship in 2007 and following that by winning the UEFA Cup last year.
Anatoly Davydov, Zenit's youth team coach, has been put in temporary charge of the first team, the club said.