Barnsley have sacked manager Keith Hill after they dropped to the foot of the Championship following a 3-1 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers.
The 43-year-old ex-Rochdale boss was in charge at Oakwell for 18 months, having succeeded Mark Robins in June 2011.
The Tykes have only won five games this season and Saturday's defeat was their seventh at Oakwell.
Hill's assistant David Flitcroft has been asked to take charge for the New Year's Day game at Peterborough United.
Flitcroft, who was also Hill's number two at Rochdale, has promised the board a response on Sunday.
The decision to relieve Hill of his job was announced in a brief statement on the club's website.
"We've had a pretty rough time results-wise over the last few months and the board decided we have to do something positive in order to try and retain our status in the Championship," general manager Don Rowing told BBC Radio Sheffield.
Overall, former Blackburn, Plymouth, Rochdale, Cheltenham and Morecambe defender Hill was in charge of Barnsley for 75 matches, winning only 19, with 41 ending in defeat.
They finished just one place above the relegation spots last season, his first in charge, after a dismal run of results in the second half of the campaign following the departure of forward Ricardo Vaz Te to West Ham.
Operating with one of the smallest budgets in the division, Hill pursued a policy of signing players from lower leagues.
Some like striker Craig Davies, who scored four goals in a 5-0 win at Birmingham in September, made the step-up successfully, but others found it harder to adjust.
In the summer, Barnsley took a chance on former Tottenham and Middlesbrough striker Mido, but the Egypt international only played half an hour of first-team football because of fitness issues before the club decided to part company with him.
And despite the occasional good result, including September's 5-0 win at Birmingham, Hill has been unable to bring about an upturn in fortunes this term despite recently bringing in Marcus Tudgay,Jonathan Greening, Akos Buszaky and Emile Sinclair on loan.
The defeat by Blackburn was their third in a row - and sixth in their last seven games - at home.
They have scored just 25 goals in 25 league matches, the lowest total in the Championship, and only Ipswich have a worse goal difference than Barnsley's -16.
Barnsley will now begin the search for their 10th manager since Dave Bassett led them to the Championship play-off final in 2000.