Apoel coach Giorgos Donis has become the ninth manager this season to be given the boot by his club.
The champions have already booked a place in the semi-finals of the Cyprus Cup and are just three points off the top of the table with seven games remaining, but the club’s hierarchy decided to terminate the services of the Greek coach.
Apoel’s 4-2 defeat at the hands of leaders Apollon last week, their second four-goal drubbing against the Limassol team in the space of a couple of months, seemed to be the straw that finally broke the camel’s back.
Donis will be replaced by assistant coach Giorgos Kostis and AEL’s former coach Bruno Baltazar at least until the end of the season.
Donis was appointed as coach of Apoel in July 2017, replacing Dutchman Mario Been and was hailed a saviour by the team’s supporters as he steered the club to the Champions League group stages a few weeks later.
This was Donis’ second spell as Apoel coach, with the first one beginning and ending in similar fashion.
He was first appointed in October 2013 to replace Paolo Sergio who managed to stay in the Apoel hotseat for just three months.
Donis led Apoel to league and cup triumphs in the 2013-2014 season and guided them to the Champions League group stages the following season.
He was sacked in January 2015 after a draw with bottom club Ayia Napa despite being top of the table.
This was Apoel’s eighth managerial change in five years, without including three interim coaches in the same period. Since 2013, only last season’s coach, Dane Thomas Christiansen, managed to survive a full season at the Nicosia club.
On Wednesday the other big Nicosia club, Omonia, sacked their manager Ivaylo Petev after just three months in charge.
Under Petev, Omonia went on an eight-game winning streak that finally ended at the hands of their arch-rivals Apoel.
From there on things began to turn for the worst. Doxa Katokopias dumped them out of the cup and then Petev banned three Omonia players from training with the first team.
Due to contractual reasons, he was forced to bring them back into the first team but further player unrest and indiscipline made his position untenable and he has now been let go.
He will be replaced by Dane Jesper Fredbergh who up until now was head of Omonia’s youth department.
Apollon, Anorthosis, AEK, Alki and Doxa remain the only teams that have not replaced their head coach this season.