PAUL Lambert has finally paid the price for poor results and Aston Villa's relegation form with his job.
Former sidekick and Ireland No 2 Roy Keane was immediately installed as third favourite to replace him with Tim Sherwood leading the betting.
The club confirmed the move late last night: "Aston Villa Football Club has parted company this evening with manager Paul Lambert.
"First-team coach Scott Marshall and goalkeeping coach Andy Marshall will continue to prepare the squad for Sunday's FA Cup tie with Leicester City at Villa Park.
"The club would also like to place on record its thanks to Paul and take this opportunity to wish him every success in the future. The club will announce a new manager in due course."
Increasing unrest among fans which included banners calling for his removal finally convinced Randy Lerner to cut him loose at a time when Villa are languishing in the bottom three with just 13 games left in the season.
Keane (inset) walked away from his dual role as Villa and Ireland No 2 due to the pressure of work and according to reports, some in Lambert's dressing room were happy to see him go.
As a result of dressing room leaks suggesting a bust-up with Gabby Agbonlahor and Fabian Delph, Keane paid a widely reported visit to Tom Cleverly's house although Lambert claimed that the incident was exaggerated and that the Corkman left on good terms with everyone at Villa Park.