Outgoing Espanyol boss Mauricio Pochettino has admitted the team's results meant a change had been inevitable as he said an emotional goodbye at Cornella-El Prat on Monday evening.
Pochettino told reporters after emerging from a long meeting with newly-elected club president Joan Collet that Espanyol's results - they are bottom of the Primera Division table with just nine points from 13 games - meant he and sporting director Ramon Planes had agreed to leave.
The Argentine, who represented the club on a record 480 occasions as first a player and then coach since early 2009, said he was confident the team would now do better without him.
"This seems the same press conference as in 2006, when I left the club and said I would always be willing to return, that it would always have my support," Pochettino said.
"For someone like me it is sad to leave this institution, but these decisions are made for positive reasons. The numbers are bad, but I have no doubt that the team will turn things around. There have been very adverse circumstances and many negative things. We have not had that touch of good luck."
Pochettino initially impressed with his tactical acumen and confident demeanour and guided a promising young team to an impressive eighth placed finish in 2010-11, when he was spoken of as a possible future Real Madrid coach.
Since then financial issues at the club and a series of disagreements with key players have seen an exodus of important figures and results have suffered.
An at times emotional Pochettino admitted to being frustrated at how things had turned out. "You feel frustrated and powerless, not just on a personal level, but for your people, the players, the fans," he said.
"We are a big family and when things do not go as we want we all suffer together. When results do not go your way you must assume your responsibilities, and that is what we have done. We have taken a responsible decision, thinking it would be positive. We reached an agreement and the financial side was easy. Knowing my contract situation that was never going to be a problem."
Pochettino's successor as Espanyol boss now faces a tough task to turn things around. Last week's presidential election, won by Collet, has been heavily criticised by fans groups, while the club remains approximately €150m in debt and reportedly up for sale, meaning funds for squad improvements in January look likely to be scarce.
The former centre-half said it was time for all 'pericos' to pull together. "There was a difficult situation in 2009 and it was not just me who saved the club," Pochettino said.
"First, there were the players who were on the pitch and then the fans who lifted us. Four years have passed with lots of effort and stress, I will remember the good side, and it is normal that when results are bad the coach must leave. Now we can give lots of excuses, but you must understand football as it is, and the message must be sent that we need to rediscover that unity and energy that I felt in 2009 to straighten out the path."