Toronto FC have parted ways with president and general manager Kevin Payne.
The owners of the Canadian club, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, have sacked the former DC United chief less than a year after he arrived at BMO Field.
Payne admitted it was a shock but accepted that it was a part of the business of modern day soccer.
"I'm disappointed, but this is the way this business works," Payne told Toronto Star.
"I was a little bit surprised, but I understand that (MLSE chief) Tim (Leiweke) wants to move - not in a dramatically different - but in a somewhat different direction."
Payne took over at TFC in November 2012 but the Ontario club have battled to just four wins from 26 outings to sit second bottom in the league.