Sacked Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri.
Sacked Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri. Paulo Duarte

EPL champion Leicester sacks manager Ranieri

FOOTBALL: Leicester City's Thai owner King Power has shocked the football world, sacking Claudio Ranieri less than a year after the manager delivered the club a maiden English Premier League title.

The Foxes sit one place and one point above the relegation zone with a game against Liverpool to come on Tuesday morning (AEST).

They have lost seven of their past nine matches, including their midweek UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg against Sevilla, while they've only managed just five wins in 25 league matches.

The owners backed Ranieri to turn things around just over a week ago but have now run out of patience with the 65-year-old despite a more encouraging display against Sevilla in midweek.

"Claudio led the Foxes to the greatest triumph in the club's 133-year history last season, as we were crowned champions of England for the first time," a statement from the club's owners said.

"His status as the most successful Leicester City manager of all time is without question.

"However, domestic results in the current campaign have placed the club's Premier League status under threat and the board reluctantly feels that a change of leadership, while admittedly painful, is necessary in the club's greatest interest."

Vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha added: "This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City.

"But we are duty-bound to put the club's long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be."

Assistant manager Craig Shakespeare and first team coach Mike Stowell will take over the managerial duties until a new coach is found.