John Aloisi’s time as Melbourne Heart coach is over after the club’s board pulled the plug on his tenure at the A-League club.
Aloisi, a foundation player at the Heart, leaves the senior coaching role after eighteen months in charge, overseeing the lowest points tally of any club.
A miserable start to the 2013/14 season with no wins and just four draws from 12 games has Heart last on the A-League table.
Chairman Peter Sidwell confirmed the decision on Sunday morning, ensuring that players knew before a formal announcement.
“I have spoken with John and he was gracious and understood the club’s decision,” Sidwell said in a statement.
Aloisi was 18 months into a three-year deal and the club may have to pay out the remainder of his contract.
His status – Aloisi scored 27 goals in 55 appearances for the Socceroos – may have bought him more time in the role but the miserable 1-0 home loss to second bottom Wellington Phoenix on Friday night was the final straw.
While Heart’s poor results were behind the decision, it’s unclear how Heart’s ongoing sale talks impacted the axing.
The club has confirmed ongoing discussions with one group – rumoured to be headed by New Zealand businessman Bart Campbell – to sell the club.
Following the 1-0 loss to Phoenix, Aloisi allegedly was confronted by angry Heart fans in the stadium’s car park.
After weeks of “Aloisi Out” chants reverberating around AAMI park, the fans now have their wish.
His departure will begin a search for a successor, with current backroom staff Hayden Foxe and Gerard Nus or part-time technical director and former boss John van’t Schip likely to step in until a full-time replacement is found.