London: Queens Park Rangers fired manager Neil Warnock on Sunday, with the club admitting it feared for its Premier League future.
QPR have lost six of their last eight league matches to sit 17th in the standings, one point above the relegation zone in their first season back in the topflight after 15 years.
Announcing the departure of the manager who led QPR back into the Premier League, the club said: "The board's commitment to retaining our Premier League status ultimately led to this decision."
Warnock's last match in charge saw the west London club held to a 1-1 draw in the FA Cup on Saturday by MK Dons of the third tier. Key midfielder Alejandro Faurlin was injured during that match and QPR's survival hopes were dealt a blow on Sunday with the Argentine announcing on Twitter that he had been ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, the Malaysian businessman whose Tune Group bought the club in August, said watching the team "slip alarmingly down the table" had forced the board into sacking Warnock.
"Neil has acted with honesty, professionalism and integrity throughout his time at the club, and I would personally like to thank him for his significant contribution," Fernandes said.
The 63-year-old Warnock had been in charge at the London club for just under two years after previous stints at Crystal Palace and Sheffield United, winning 33 of his 84 matches.
"Obviously I'm very disappointed, but having achieved so much, I leave the club with a great sense of pride," Warnock said. "I have enjoyed my time here more than anywhere else and the QPR fans have been brilliant with me - they deserve success."
"My biggest regret is that the takeover didn't happen earlier, because that would have given me the opportunity to bring in the targets I'd pinpointed all last summer and probably given us a better chance to succeed in the Premier League."
Assistant manager Mick Jones first team coach Keith Curle have also left the club.
"I've been involved in the game a long time and I will be spending the immediate future with my family and friends before deciding my next career move," Warnock said.