Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been fired as Manchester United's manager after an embarrassing 4–1 loss to Watford on Saturday, with the club making official on Sunday what had been reported Saturday night by The Times (U.K.). The club had called an emergency board meeting to discuss the manager's compensation package during the second half of the match before making its decision.
It's reportedly believed that the severance pay will be roughly £7.75 million to end the manager's three-year tenure in Manchester. Michael Carrick will take charge as interim manager while the club searches for another interim manager to see out the rest of the season.
"Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision," the club wrote in a statement. "While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.
"Ole leaves with our sincerest thanks for his tireless efforts as Manager and our very best wishes for the future. His place in the club’s history will always be secure, not just for his story as a player, but as a great man and a Manager who gave us many great moments. He will forever be welcome back at Old Trafford as part of the Manchester United family.
"Michael Carrick will now take charge of the team for forthcoming games, while the club looks to appoint an interim manager to the end of the season."
Amid a struggle that has seen the Red Devils go winless in six of their last seven Premier League matches, Solskjaer has been on the hot seat for much of this season. But the away loss at newly promoted Watford was the tipping point.
"I work as hard as I can, as well as I can,” Solskjaer told the Associated Press after the match. “But at the moment we’re not getting the results so I understand your question. But as I said, I’m not going to discuss that with you here and now.
"We're embarrassed by losing the way we do. Sometimes you’ve got to say sorry. And that was a ‘sorry for the performance.'"
Solskjaer and players, led by Bruno Fernandes, went to the visiting end at Vicarage Road after Saturday's defeat to clap for supporters, with the Portuguese star appearing to put the blame on the feet of the players, not the manager.
The Times reported that the club's owners, the Glazer family, have told club officials to increase Manchester United's offer to convince former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane to take over the club. On Thursday, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers shut down rumors linking him to the United job.
Solskjaer, a former Manchester United forward, has led United to only four wins in the club's last 13 games across all competitions. The Norwegian coach has not won a trophy while at Old Trafford, coming closest in last season's Europa League when United lost to Villarreal in the final.
United plays Villarreal this week in a pivotal Champions League group match, with the two level on top of their tight group. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored late goals in three consecutive Champions League matches to keep United on pace for the knockout stage.
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