Brentford have announced that manager Mark Warburton is to leave the Championship club at the end of the season.
Assistant manager David Weir will also depart at the end of the campaign and Sporting Director Frank McParland has been placed on gardening leave with immediate effect prior to his end-of-season departure.
The news is likely to dismay Brentford fans, who have watched Warburton lead the club to promotion from League One last season and into the thick of the promotion race this term, in their first season back in the Championship.
However, it was reported last week that Brentford were not planning to renew Warburton's rolling contract at the end of the season and, although the club issued a statement supporting the manager, it did not deny the reports.
It was also claimed that Brentford have been in talks with highly rated Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez about possibly taking charge at Griffin Park and that Bees owner Matthew Benham was disappointed McParland and Warburton did not invest heavily during the recent transfer window in an attempt to boost their promotion chances.
The Bees have slipped to seventh in the table since those reports surfaced, following a 2-1 loss at home to Watford and a 3-0 defeat at Charlton.
I am a passionate Brentford fan and every decision I take is intended to be in the best long term interests of the club. Some of the decisions taken to date have been easy and some, like this one, have been extremely hard.
Brentford have released a lengthy statement in which they say that owner Benham "has decided to make changes in order to ensure the long-term prosperity of the club".
The statement continued: "Matthew and members of the Board have been in discussions with manager Mark Warburton and other football staff about the future direction of the club for many weeks, prior to stories appearing in the media last week.
"As part of a remodelling of the club’s football management, a Head Coach will be appointed to work alongside a new Sporting Director.
"There will also be a new recruitment structure using a mixture of traditional scouting and other tools including mathematical modelling.
"As part of the new recruitment structure, the Head Coach will have a strong input in to the players brought in to the club but not an absolute veto.
"The club wish to implement these changes in time for the next transfer window that opens this summer.
"The club want the new structure to be a long-term way of working which is independent of whoever is in the Head Coach role.
"Frank, Mark and David have decided, following long discussions with Matthew, that they feel unable to work under the changed structure and approach as it differs from their football philosophy."
Benham added: "I am a passionate Brentford fan and every decision I take is intended to be in the best long term interests of the club.
“Some of the decisions taken to date have been easy and some, like this one, have been extremely hard.
"Under Mark’s stewardship, Brentford have achieved a high league position and played football which is a joy to watch.
In my remaining time at the club we shall move heaven and earth to get the promotion that the players, fans and Matthew deserve and, going forward, I wish the club every success in its ongoing adventure.
“It is difficult to seek to implement change, particularly when things appear to be going so well, but I am single minded in my resolve that we can leave no stone unturned in our quest for sustainable Premier League football.
“Everything has been perfectly amicable between all parties and we remain friends."
Warburton himself said: "I will be forever grateful to Matthew for giving me the opportunity to be manager of this fantastic football club and for what he has done for the club since I have been here.
“It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to do the job and I have had the pleasure of working with a fantastic group of players and staff and have enjoyed the backing of a magnificent set of supporters.
“While I am disappointed that we have been unable to reconcile some key philosophical differences, I’m relieved we now have clarity.
“In my remaining time at the club we shall move heaven and earth to get the promotion that the players, fans and Matthew deserve and, going forward, I wish the club every success in its ongoing adventure."
Mark Warburton will be on Wednesday's The Morning View, which will be on Sky Sports News HQ from 10am.