Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has been relieved of his duties after just four months in charge of Al Qadsiah in Saudi Arabia.
The 48-year-old was replaced by former Sevilla manager Michel Gonzalez despite leading the Al Khobar outfit to second place in the league after eight winning six and drawing two of their opening matches.
Fowler was last week named manager of the month after two wins and a draw from September.
Al Qadsiah’s run in the King’s Cup came to an end in September but it was another positive month for Fowler.
His shock dismissal comes just days before the top-of-the-table clash with Al Orobah in the Saudi First Division League, which is one level down from the Saudi Pro League.
Fowler moved to bring in the likes of former Wigan Athletic midfielder Max Power and ex-Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles to the kingdom in his first transfer window in charge.
The move to Saudi Arabia brought Fowler his fourth managerial job after spells with Muangthong United, Brisbane Roar and East Bengal – before his two-year hiatus ended with the opportunity to move to the Middle East.
In a tweet, Al Qadsiah wrote: “Al Qadsiah FC terminates its contractual relationship with coach Robbie Fowler. It thanks the coach for what he provided during the contractual period with the team.”
In an interview with The Times in August, Fowler said:
“I want to become a top manager and I know people will say, ‘you can go anywhere’, but I really can’t.
“Back in the UK, no-one really has a clue what I’ve done. I’ve been down the road of getting every conceivable coaching badge and diploma you need because I wanted to do it the right way and I’ve been a general success everywhere I’ve been.
“In Thailand, I finished third in the league. In India, I had 10 days pre-season and our remit was not to finish bottom and we did that, which was a huge achievement.
“I would liken it to getting into the Premier League with Accrington Stanley and punching above your weight. In Australia, I took a team that was second-last to fourth. Maybe English clubs just aren’t interested or bothered. Maybe I’ve been forgotten.
“I know people want to talk about the money [in Saudi], but that’s not what it’s about for me. Of course, the money helps and I’m getting paid, but I’m on less than I was in India and I’m certainly not in that [Pro League] bracket,” he added.
“I’m here because I’ve got the chance not only to grow myself as a manager, but to grow a club that could potentially be huge, so when people ask me why I’m here, my question to them is: ‘Why not?’”