Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner has explained the decision to part company with manager Barry Smith.
The former Dark Blues player has failed to steer the club away from relegation danger in the SPL, sitting 15 points from safety with 12 games to play.
Smith managed to accumulate just 14 points from 26 top flight matches with the club, after they were promoted at the last minute to the league after Rangers failed to have their member share transferred between companies.
His future was first under scrutiny in January, with Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner promising to back Smith in the transfer window in a bid to turn the club's fortunes around.
He told STV: “Following on from Friday’s game there was a board meeting which Barry and myself also attended.
“That led to another meeting this morning and obviously the announcement at lunch time that Barry is no longer with us as manager.
“No I don’t think you can say it came a surprise. We are under tremendous pressure all the time as a club, as a business.
“Football is a very cruel game and no crueller than today when a man like Barry Smith has to leave the club that he loves.”
The club are currently 12 games without a win in the league, but are through to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup against city rivals Dundee United, having defeated Greenock Morton 5-1 last month.
Smith took over the manager's job in October 2010, replacing Gordon Chisholm as the club entered administration.
He defied the odds to keep the club in the First Division in 2010/11, overcoming a 25 point deduction by embarking on a 23-game unbeaten run.
Smith took his side to second in the league the following campaign, before they were given an unexpected promotion to the top flight shortly before the season was due to commence.