The only thing more shocking than Leicester maintaining their Premier League place last season having been marooned with 19 points after 29 games was that Nigel Pearson remained their manager for the entirety of the campaign.
His dismissal was reported as a formality in February, with then-rival Gary Lineker claiming that he was sacked by one of the family in charge before being reinstated by another. Then, even midway through their heroic escape in late April, he put further pressure on himself with a needlessly vicious verbal attack on a journalist in a press conference.
However, the divisive tactician who led the Foxes from League One to the Premier League across two successful spells survived all of that controversy to end 2014/15 championed as a manager of the year candidate, only to be axed little over five weeks later.
Leicester’s line is that “regrettably, the club believes that the working relationship between Nigel and the board is no longer viable“. This has led many to speculate that it is the fallout of the decision to sack his son James Pearson for his involvement in a supposed ‘racist sex tape’ that has triggered the departure.
As the angry reaction of former nemesis Lineker (choice cuts include “could you kindly reinstate him like the last time you fired him?” and “Are the folk running football stupid? Yes”), there is no way that his exit can be justified from an on-pitch perspective.
Tellingly, they have been backed into a summer low of [4.2] to be relegated, having previously traded as high as 5.6 to suffer the effects of second season syndrome.
Because Pearson’s removal was so unforeseen, there is no strong early market inclination as to who will replace him.
Initial names in the frame include fan favourites like Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill, who led them into the Premier League and kept them there at the close of the 20th century, lifting the League Cup twice too, and one of his on-field favourites Neil Lennon, who is currently in the Bolton dugout.
Others touted include walking relegation repellent Sam Allardyce, Burnley coach Sean Dyche, reigning player of the year Esteban Cambiasso and of course Harry Redknapp, whose desire for one last Premier League job may lead him north of London for the first time in his career.
Click here for a complete look at the nascent next Leicester manager market
Selected Next Leicester Manager Odds
Sam Allardyce [3.9]Neil Lennon [6.4]Esteban Cambiasso [5.0]Harry Redknapp [14.0]Martin O’Neill [14.0]Sean Dyche [14.0]
As of 30/06/15 at 21:40