Mark Hughes has been sacked as manager of QPR after failing to win any of their opening 12 Barclays Premier League fixtures this season.
Despite votes of confidence to the contrary, there had been mounting speculation that Hughes was coming under increasing pressure from owner Tony Fernandes and the QPR board, especially following last weekend's 3-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Southampton.
The club refuted suggestions the Welshman had refused to budge after being asked to resign in a meeting at the club's training ground on Monday evening.
But now they have issued a statement confirming the 49-year-old, who took over at Loftus Road in January, has had his contract terminated.
The statement read: "Queens Park Rangers Football Club has today (Friday) terminated the contract of manager Mark Hughes with immediate effect.
"This decision has been taken after careful consideration by the Board of Directors, following numerous meetings over the last few days.
"The Board of Directors wish to thank Mark for his commitment, hard work and dedication in his 10 months in charge. Mark has shown integrity and professionalism throughout his time here, but ultimately the circumstances we find ourselves in have left the Board of Directors with very little choice but to make a change."
The sacking comes just 24 hours before QPR travel to face Manchester United at Old Trafford and, with ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp the overwhelming favourite to step in, the club confirmed they are looking at appointing a new manager as soon as possible.
"The Board will now be working actively to put a new managerial structure in place as soon as possible," the statement continued.
"Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki will take charge of the R's trip to Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
"The club will be making a further announcement in due course."
Rangers then cancelled their pre-match media conference which was scheduled for Friday.
Fernandes, who backed Hughes significantly in the transfer market over the summer, had continually taken to Twitter following recent bad results to voice his support for the manager.
But the derision among the crowd at Loftus Road during the 3-1 loss to Southampton suggested Hughes had lost the backing of the majority of Rangers' fans.
Crisis talks were held at the club's Harlington training base on Monday evening but Hughes continued as manager, preparing his side for the tough test at Old Trafford this weekend.
But the decision was taken by the board to end Hughes' tenure as boss with the board aware that any increase in the five-point gap between QPR and Reading in 17th would make it harder to find a new boss to take charge.
Redknapp was this week linked with the vacant manager's job with the Ukrainian national team and is believed to be interested in talking to the country's football association.
That speculation could also have forced Fernandes' hand if he does indeed view the 65-year-old as the solution to QPR's situation.
The club's chief executive Philip Beard was seen talking to the players during today's training session following Hughes' departure.
Former Manchester City boss Hughes oversaw 34 matches as manager at Loftus Road, winning just eight of those fixtures.
He managed to keep the club in the Premier League last season despite a 3-2 defeat at City on the closing day of the campaign, picking up memorable victories over Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham along the way.
Marquee signings such as Park Ji-sung, Junior Hoilett, Julio Cesar, Jose Bosingwa and Esteban Granero were brought in before the transfer window closed but Hughes could not bring the best out of his expensive talent.
QPR and Redknapp are to begin talks "shortly" about the vacant manager's position at Loftus Road.
A spokesman for Paul Stretford's Triple S Sports and Entertainment company said: "Contact has been made between QPR and us as Harry Redknapp's representatives.
"Talks will be beginning shortly."
When asked by the BBC whether he will be a guest of the club at QPRon Saturday , Redknapp said only: "We will have to wait and see."