Former Deportivo La Coruna coach Fernando Vazquez says he feels betrayed after he was sacked by the club after a disagreement over transfer policy.
Vazquez, 60, was appointed as Depor boss in February 2013 and almost lead to the team to an escape from relegation that season. He stayed in charge for the 2013-14 campaign and oversaw promotion back to the Primera Division at the first attempt.
The locally born coach was widely expected to remain in the job for the coming season, however tensions in his relationship with Depor president Tino Fernandez became public in recent days when Vazquez criticised the club for not buying players he had recommended.
News of his firing still however came as a surprise when it was announced via a club statement on Tuesday morning, with Vazquez himself revealing his shock in an interview with agency Europa Press.
"I am astonished, it is like you steal a chorizo and they put you in jail for 50 years," Vazquez said. "The sacking cannot be understood and I suspect there are some other circumstances involved.
"I feel a bit betrayed by people I thought were friends. What did I do wrong? With blood and sweat I had earned the right to coach Depor in the Primera Division [working] almost for free."
Depor's statement said the decision had been taken now to allow time for a new coach to come in and prepare properly ahead of the 2014-15 season.
"The board of Deportivo has decided to dispense with the services of Fernando Vazquez as first team coach," the statement said. "This was communicated to the coach from Castrofeito by club president Tino Fernandez at a meeting this morning.
"The board's lack of confidence in the coach lead to the decision being taken at a moment when, with the preseason not yet having started, it is still possible to correct the situation to generate, in the first team squad and the professional structure of the club, the atmosphere of confidence necessary for the team to be competitive, on and off the pitch, in the Primera Division.
"Despite the situation which arose over recent days, Real Club Deportivo de La Coruna wishes to sincerely thank Fernando Vazquez for the work he did since his arrival, in what were difficult moments for the club."
The meeting referred to in the statement was called after Vazquez had publicly voiced his frustration at the breakdown of a move to sign goalkeeper Lucas Perez from PAOK Salonika.
"Option number one could be great, but generally we always go for option five, six seven... so we never end up with what we asked for," the former Celta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis coach had told Television de Galicia.
"That is the problem. It is clear that this year we have a decent amount of money to spend, not like last season, when we had to go from door to door begging."
Depor remain in deep financial trouble, with Fernandez's predecessor president Augusto Cesar Lendoiro having been forced out of the club following its relegation.
Tuesday's club statement also said a new coach was expected to be in charge when preseason training begins on July 14.