Peterborough have sacked manager Mark Cooper after just two months in charge at London Road.
Cooper, 41, was the surprise choice to replace Darren Ferguson in November when he was recruited from Blue Square Premier side Kettering but won just one game in charge as he failed to lift Posh clear of the relegation zone in the Coca-Cola Championship.
Saturday's 2-0 defeat at cash-strapped Crystal Palace left Peterborough rooted to the foot of the Championship with just 18 points from 28 games.
A statement said: "Peterborough United and Mark Cooper are parting company with immediate effect following the termination of his contract.
"The club would like to thank Mark for his professional and dedicated service during his time at London Road and wish him all the best for the future."
The move to dismiss Cooper is the latest drama in an unsettled season for Posh after back-to-back promotions saw them climb from League Two to the Championship.
Confusion surrounded the decision to part company with Ferguson in November, with director of football Barry Fry claiming in a press conference that he believed Ferguson had been tapped up for another job.
Those claims were denied by Ferguson, who just last week took his new side Preston to London Road and left with a 1-0 win for North End.
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony released a statement before that game claiming that Ferguson had taken members of the Posh squad drinking over Christmas and had unsettled players with offers to join him at Preston.
Ferguson appeared embarrassed by the claims after the match, saying: "I'm not happy about what was said and I have to defend myself against allegations of tapping up the Peterborough players and other items.
"I got the club into the Championship for the second time in 75 years and we should just leave it like that. It seems like they're trying to ruin my reputation. I wish I didn't have to talk about those comments but I'm sure people appreciate my need to give my reaction."
MacAnthony also said just last Tuesday: "Nobody has given Mark a chance since he was appointed and he has had to deal with one fiasco after another.
"I am of course unhappy that results have not changed but at the same time I am not ready to throw the towel in as quick as others appear to be."
There were signs that problems had spread to off the pitch after Cooper confirmed that striker Izale McLeod was left out of the squad to face Palace on Saturday for "disciplinary reasons".
McLeod only joined Posh's relegation fight last month on loan from Charlton but after making just three appearances appeared to have fallen out with Cooper.
Cooper said: "Izale was left out of the squad at Crystal Palace for disciplinary reasons, but further than that I can't comment.
"The reasons will remain in-house."
Peterborough - who have won one game since October - are at home to QPR on Saturday and are hoping to have a new manager in charge to face Rangers.Reuse content