Birmingham City chief executive Xuandong Ren has launched a scathing attack on Garry Monk just days after the manager was sacked by the club, accusing him of 'not caring about his job'.
Monk took over at St Andrew's in March 2018 and last term guided the club to a mid-table finish, despite starting the season with a nine-point handicap and being subject to a transfer ban.
Earlier this week the 40-year-old was fired by the Midlands side, however, and now CEO Ren has claimed that his dismissal came about as a result of disagreements over transfers and playing style.
"There was only one thing that triggered this. I made it clear that we did not want his agent involved in every single deal," Ren told The Times. "I'm not 100% sure he was trying to get fired, but I know he didn't really care about this job.
"Everything changed when the transfer embargo was lifted. Garry wanted his agent involved in every single deal, which is not something we were comfortable with. When we were under a transfer embargo, we still managed to agree with the League to bring in five players. Most of them were done by his agent, James Featherstone.
"But this transfer window is going to be different, I said, because we have had a full season and we need to have a proper business plan and a pre-season plan. And what hurt them, or really seemed to get them worried, was when I said I was not going to allow them to get involved with every single transfer anymore. I think the fall-out started from there. His agent is a mature guy. I have to give him that. He said that's fine. But Garry was really upset about this.'
"[After the season finished] our owner gave me clear instruction that we need to play clear, possession-based attacking football. That wasn't an order. I said to Gary 'what do you think?'. I told him on the 18th of May. You know what Garry's reaction was? He said whoever said that doesn't have a f*****g clue about football.
"We last met on May 18, when he spent three or four days in Birmingham after coming back from Ibiza, and then went on another holiday. We only met once after the season finished. Last week there were stories [in the media] that Garry would be leaving, but he did not even call. He didn't care. But at the end of the day it wasn't about the philosophy and what kind of football we played. It was about us stopping the transfers and having his agent controlling all the deals.'
"Garry has lost his focus on football. I don't know if he still has the desire to be passionate about football rather than controlling things, all these transfers. Maybe the problem is Garry? He has never managed a football club longer than two seasons. Every time he gets sacked he gets richer. He was sacked by Middlesbrough, won his case and got compensation. Football management is crazy. Every time you get sacked you get richer."
At the time of his dismissal Monk was thought to have two years remaining on the contract he signed last year.