Mon, 26 Nov 2012 18:59:00 – Coach Mauricio Pochettino and sporting director Ramon Planes have left Espanyol with the club bottom of the Primera Division table following a miserable run of results.
Sunday's 2-0 defeat at home to Getafe left Espanyol with only two wins from their opening 13 games of the season.
Reports in Spain had said Planes was part of a meeting in which Pochettino was sacked following the match, but a statement on the club's website tonight said that both men had left the club following consideration by the board.
"This afternoon, the club and the coach agreed to terminate by mutual consent the contract that united them," the statement said.
"Ramon Planes has ceased his duties as sporting director of the club, having also reached an agreement for termination by mutual agreement.
"RCD Espanyol wishes to publicly thank the dedication and commitment of both professionals during their time with the club and wish them every success, both personally and professionally."
Despite being a fans' favourite due to his stellar playing career with the club - he made over 250 appearances at centre-half - former Argentina international Pochettino appeared to be on borrowed time after supporters turned during yesterday's game with calls of "resign" pouring down from the stands.
Pochettino joined Espanyol from Newell's Old Boys in 1994 and stayed for six years. He then returned, initially on loan, in 2004 after spells with Paris St Germain and Bordeaux.
The 40-year-old took over as coach in January 2009 and led them away from the relegation zone into mid-table safety.
Finishes of 11th in 2009-2010, eighth in 2010-11 and 14th last season enhanced his reputation before this season's struggles.
Reports suggest Marcelinho Garcia Toral is at the top of Espanyol's wishlist to fill the vacancy.
The 47-year-old made his name at Recreativo Huelva before guiding Racing Santander into the UEFA Cup in 2008.
A surprise switch to Segunda Division side Real Zaragoza came next and he led them back to the top flight before he was sacked in December 2009.
He returned briefly to Racing only to join Sevilla at the start of last season before being fired in February.