Football: Leicester City sack manager Nigel Pearson

Nigel Pearson's colourful reign as Leicester City manager finally came to an end.
Nigel Pearson's colourful reign as Leicester City manager finally came to an end. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Despite saving them from relegation, Nigel Pearson's colourful reign as Leicester City manager finally came to an end on Tuesday when he was sacked because of a breakdown in his relationship with the club's owners, the Premier League side said on Tuesday.

His second spell with the Foxes was fraught and littered with controversial incidents but the timing of his departure was still a surprise given his success in keeping them up.

The 51-year-old Pearson's blunt personality and no-nonsense approach to management had divided the fans but the majority were behind him after his role in their team's great escape

They were bottom at Christmas, five points adrift, but won seven of their last 10 games to avoid the drop to finish 14th and Pearson seemed to have bought himself some time, but the club's management did not think so.

It said in a statement: "...it has become clear to the club that fundamental differences in perspective exist between us. Regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the Board is no longer viable."

Leicester are owned by Thai billionaire father and son Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.

The statement added that the owners had always acted in the best interests of the club and remained "wholly committed" to development and investment so that Leicester would remain competitive in the Premier League.

Assistant managers Craig Shakespeare and Steve Walsh will take charge of the first team while the club look for a new manager.

Among the several incidents involving Pearson last season include a clash with Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur in the closing minutes of Leicester's 1-0 home defeat earlier in February.

He grabbed McArthur by the throat while the midfielder was on the ground in a bizarre sideline spat. The incident was followed by widespread reports that Pearson had been sacked.

A month later, after a 3-1 loss to Chelsea, Pearson was angered by a question about criticism of his squad and called the reporter "an ostrich" before leaving the news conference.