Just weeks after nearly walking out of the club to take over at Fulham, Steve Clarke finds himself out of the door at Reading after the club decided to sack him.
The club issued the following statement just a few minutes ago.
The board of Reading Football Club have this morning relieved Manager Steve Clarke of his duties.
The club met with Steve in person earlier today and we would like to place on permanent record our thanks to him for his hard work and diligence since his appointment in December 2014.
Following Thursday night's defeat at home to QPR, added to a recent run of poor form which has seen the team pick up just one win in the last eight Sky Bet Championship fixtures, the board feel that a change in manager is now necessary.
As part of this process, Assistant Manager Kevin Keen will also be leaving the club, and we would like to thank him for his efforts.
The board of Reading Football Club are committed to taking this club forward and will immediately begin the recruitment process in search of a new manager.
In the interim period, Under-21s Manager Martin Kuhl will take temporary charge of first team affairs and will lead training at Hogwood Park this morning.
Clarke had been in charge for less than a year, having succeeded Nigel Adkins last December. While he did little to improve our league form, the former Chelsea coach did guide us to a first FA Cup semi-final in close to a century and within a whisker of causing a major upset against Arsenal.
This season got off to a mediocre start before a run of six wins in seven games elevated us to second in the table and seemingly in with a great shout of automatic promotion.
Sadly that form didn't hold up as a combination of sloppy play, injuries and low confidence saw the club win just one of the last eight games, with that victory coming against a woeful Bolton side who threatened to take a point.
Last night's last minute defeat to QPR proved the final straw for the club's owners who have wielded the axe for the second time since taking over the club in the summer of 2014.
Clarke leaves Reading with an overall record of just 13 league wins in 44 games and with the club 9th in the Championship and a point off the play-off places.
My initial reaction here is one of relief for all parties. While you can argue that a year is no time for a manager to transform a club in decline, recent weeks had shown few signs of life and the club has at best moved sideways when you consider the money he was given to invest in the summer. While our own Will argued that the manager is just one of a number of issues, as a figurehead for the football club he seemed a sitting duck. The Fulham saga erroded the confidence and support from a large group of the fanbase and with performances and attendances dropping sharply, I can't find too many issues with this decision.
As for Martin Kuhl (father of Royals midfielder Aaron), he's done fantastic work with the Under 21s in recent seasons in guiding them to a Premier League U21 Cup triumph in 2014 as well as winning promotion to the top tier of U21 football last season. Whether he's a contender for the job permanently remains to be seen.
We'll bring you much more reaction to the news as we get it here on The Tilehurst End.