Sunderland have sacked chief scout Bryan 'Pop' Robson.
The Sun says owner Ellis Short ruthlessly sacked the veteran and his entire scouting network prior to the Black Cats' humiliating 6-1 defeat at relegation rivals Aston Villa.
The Texas tycoon has been unhappy at recent Stadium of Light recruits.
Out of that crop only top scorer Fletcher, who is currently injured, has seriously impressed.
So Robson, 67, and his team were being lined up for the chop even before Martin O'Neill was ditched as manager in March.