Northampton Saints have confirmed the sacking of director of rugby Jim Mallinder following the dismal performance of the Aviva Premiership club this season.
The Saints were at the top of the Aviva Premiership table at the end of September but have suffered five consecutive defeats in the tournament that has pushed them down to the 10th position.
Even in the European Champions Cup, they are on the brink of elimination after losing all the three games so far including the recent most 32-43 defeat to Ospreys last weekend. It was also the Saints' ninth defeat from last 10 games spread across all the competitions.
The news was confirmed by the statement released by the Saints.
"Northampton Saints can confirm that director of rugby Jim Mallinder will be leaving his position at the club with immediate effect.
"Having taken the reins at Franklin's Gardens in 2007, Mallinder was the longest-serving director of rugby in the Aviva Premiership, but due to the recent string of results the Saints board agreed that a change in management was in the best interest of the club."
Meanwhile, Northampton Saints chairman John White paid tributes to the 51-year-old and said the decision was taken following a discussion with the board members and the share holders.
"Jim has been an outstanding director of rugby. We have been very lucky to have him at Franklin's Gardens, and he will always be a part of the Saints family.
"This is not a decision that has been taken lightly, but the board and major shareholders felt that the time was right for some change."
Mallinder joined the Saints in 2007 after stints with Sale Sharks and England Saxons and helped the team to the Premiership title in 2014. This followed success in the Amlin Challenge Cup final against Bath Rugby the previous week representing a historic double trophy-winning season for the club. He also guided the team to Anglo-Welsh triumph in 2010.