FRANCIS Awaritefe has been axed by Melbourne Victory just four months after taking the job as the club's Director of Football in a blaze of publicity.
Awaritefe today said the decision to quit was his after deciding the job was not for him while Victory merely said his contract with the club had "concluded".
But it's understood he was the victim of backroom wrangling, with key figures inside and outside the boardroom demanding changes in the management structure at the ailing club.
Victory have flopped so far this season despite a star-studded attacking line-up, topped by the marquee signing of Harry Kewell.
But for all the talent in the squad, the team has failed to fire on or off the pitch, with Victory in seventh spot with just one win from the opening seven games.
And behind the scenes Awaritefe also took the blame for the bungled appeal over Foschini's red card that saw the player hit with an extra week's ban because the club had misunderstood the rules.
However it's understood certain people involved with the club had been pushing for a new football director weeks ago, with Argentinean Abel Balbo one of the names proposed for the role at the time.
Today the club confirmed Awaritefe's exit from Victory in a statement, saying: "Francis felt that the position wasn’t right for him and he has decided to return to Sydney."
Awaritefe was quoted by the club as saying: “I approached Richard Wilson and told him that after much deliberation, I didn’t want to pursue the role any further.
“While I have enjoyed working with the staff at Melbourne Victory, I have decided to return to Sydney for personal reasons.”
Melbourne Victory’s managing director Richard Wilson added: “We appreciate Francis’ efforts and his honesty and wish him well in the future.”