Hull City have sacked manager Nick Barmby over "wholly misleading" remarks made to the press about the club's ambition and transfer spending, with their ex-boss immediately stating he will appeal.
It is believed Barmby was suspended last week, which the club had previously refused to comment on, before deciding to axe him. Last week, Hull also fired their director of football operations, Adam Pearson.
A statement released by vice-chairman Ehab Allam on Tuesday read: "Following recent speculation in the media Hull City can now confirm that following a brief period of suspension Nick Barmby has today been dismissed from his role as first team manager of the club with immediate effect.
"The reason for the dismissal relates to certain comments made by Nick in recent interviews. The comments concerned were wholly misleading and implied that the board had not made funds available to Nick to strengthen the first team squad during the January transfer window.
"Such is not only completely untrue, the comments made by Nick contradicted the board's publicly stated position that funds would be made available to Nick during the January transfer window. As stated in previous interviews, the board accepted every transfer request from Nick and in fact actively encouraged him to strengthen the squad should he feel it was necessary.
"The board consider the comments made by Nick unjustifiably cast public doubt on the honesty and integrity of the board and its members. The relationship between the team manager and the board is of prime importance to the success of any football club. In making the comments Nick made, he completely undermined the trust and confidence that needs to exist between the team manager and the board.
"The club sincerely hopes that its fans will recognise that the decision to dismiss Nick was not taken lightly. The decision was taken following meetings with Nick where he had every opportunity to state his case and make representations. The club feels that it has treated Nick entirely fairly and in the same way that it would have treated any other employee in the same situation.
"Having been prepared to give Nick his first opportunity in football management, and for it to end like this, has been a particular disappointment to the board.
"Notwithstanding the circumstances of this 'parting of the ways' the board wish Nick every success in his future career and thank him for the service he has provided to the club since his return to his home town in 2004. The club can confirm that the search for a new manager will begin immediately."
Barmby said he intends to appeal against the sacking: "I am obviously hugely disappointed to have been dismissed. I maintain that my sacking was entirely without justification. In everything I have done for the club I have always acted in the best interests of Hull City.
"I was told today that I had seven days within which to submit an appeal against my dismissal, and yet the club has now made an official statement, on behalf of the board, stating publicly the alleged reasons for my dismissal, and indicating that the search for a new manager will begin immediately.
"I nevertheless intend to appeal. As the matter is subject to an appeal, and, if necessary legal proceedings, it would not be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this stage, despite the fact that the Club has seen fit to go public with its version of events. "I would like to pay tribute to the supporters, players and staff of Hull City Football Club for the huge support they have given me throughout my time at the club, and if my appeal should not be successful I would like to wish the club all the best for the future."
Pearson, who spent six years as chairman of the club from 2001, had his consultancy role terminated "without notice and without compensation''.
Ehab Allam said he and his father, Assem, had every right to be disappointed that the Tigers had failed to finish in the play-offs this season due to the club's £17 million wage bill. They finished in eighth, seven points outside the play-offs, after a run of five straight defeats in March derailed their challenge.
He denied he refused to sanction the signing of striker Billy Sharp, who was available in January and later joined Southampton for £1.8 million.
Barmby joined his hometown club as a player in 2004 following Leeds' relegation from the top flight and played a key role in the Tigers' rise to the Premier League in 2008.
The former Tottenham, Middlesbrough, Everton and Liverpool midfielder remained loyal to Hull following relegation at the end of the 2009-10 campaign and was made player/coach under previous manager Nigel Pearson the following season.
Local hero Barmby was installed as a popular caretaker-manager in November last year, steering the Tigers to an eighth-placed finish. Hull had appeared on course for the play-offs for much of the season before fading.