Eric Tinkler resigned as SuperSport United coach, the club announced late on Friday.
It comes as no surprise following a string of horrendous results, which led to the Tshwane side managing just two wins in 14 matches and dropping deep into the relegation quagmire after their 2-0 defeat to Ajax Cape Town on Wednesday night.
Tinkler admitted soon after the loss that his job was now on the line.
“SuperSport have agreed to release Eric Tinkler from his contract with immediate effect following his resignation as head coach earlier today (Friday),” a statement from their Twitter account read.
Tinkler, who had incredible success with Cape Town City last season by winning the Telkom Knockout and finishing third in the Absa Premiership, was appointed SuperSport mentor in June last year, signing a three-year deal.
His start was far from average as he guided Matsatsantsa to the MTN8 title and also helped them reach the final of the CAF Confederation Cup, having arrived at the club when they had just made the quarterfinals of the tournament.
It’s shortly after they were pipped to the trophy by TP Mazembe that SuperSport began to capitulate – and haven’t recovered since.
Tinkler said: “I have been in discussion with club management about the poor performance of the team for a while now. In reflecting on the last few games, I have not been satisfied with the response out on the pitch.
"I believe we can turn things around but the only way of getting out of our current position is to have a fully unified and committed response from the players and I haven’t been able to get that from them, so it seems best for all parties that we part ways. I wish the club all the best and I am glad I could add to their trophy cabinet with MTN8.”
The coach was consistently critical of his players during the rough patch, and this may have led to him losing the dressing room.
Kaitano Tembo, who has been assistant coach at SuperSport over the year and was Tinkler’s second in command, will take over until the end of the season.
“We decided to accept Eric’s resignation today. Clearly, the league results achieved have not been up to the standards we set for ourselves,” said CEO Stan Matthews.
“We have had 17 consecutive top 8 finishes under our belt, so to be in the position we currently find ourselves is not easy to accept. We believe in the group of players we have, in their playing ability as well as their desire to fight for the club.”
SuperSport are in 12th place in the 16-league team after 23 matches – three points more than Polokwane City, who are in the relegation play-off spot.