Kenny Shiels has been dismissed as manager of Irish Premier League club Ballymena United.
Kenny Shiels had been Ballymena manager for four years
Shiels had been in charge of the Sky Blues since January 2001 when he took over from Nigel Best.
"I am totally shocked. It beggars belief where this decision has come from," said Shiels.
"Newspapers stories said my job was being scrutinised but I never thought the board would let themselves be influenced by that sort of thing."
There had been bitter disappointment at the club when they were beaten 1-0 by Larne in the semi-finals of the Nationwide Irish Cup.
On the final day of the season they missed out on a place in the Inter-Toto Cup.
"We could have been preparing for an Irish Cup final now but it was not be be," said Shiels.
"We were ravaged by injuries this season but, even so, I have taken the club to the verge of challenging for a place in the top four.
"I do not know what my future is now. I have never been out of football in my whole life."
Ballymena, who finished the Premier League campaign in eighth place, said they would be advertising for a new manager.