Gold Coast Titans have sacked Neil Henry but insist reports of a rift between the coach and Jarryd Hayne were not a factor in the decision.
Henry leaves the club with two matches of the regular season remaining, the Titans third from bottom in the ladder and well out of play-off contention, having won just seven of 22 games this year.
Monday's announcement brings an end to Henry's three years with the Titans, following spells with North Queensland Cowboys and Canberra Raiders.
The club's CEO Graham Annesley faced reporters and denied claims that a breakdown in the relationship between Henry and the squad had led to his departure, insisting that quite the opposite was true.
"What we said to the senior players this morning is that the club, or the board, had to make a decision taking all of the information into consideration, including the views of the senior players," Annesley said.
"There is a view that this is a player-driven outcome. Well if it was a player-driven outcome, Neil would still be the coach.
"The board has a wider responsibility and they have a legal obligation as company directors to take what they believe to be the right decision in the circumstances for the club.
"It has nothing to do with personalities or particular points of view of individuals. It's about assessing all of the information and hopefully making the right decision. Time will tell.
"We wish Neil nothing but the best for the future, and made it very velar to Neil that he'll be welcome around this club. Everyone is hurting a little bit today."