Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo confirmed on Wednesday morning that sporting director Nick De Santis has been relieved of his duties and will remain with the club in an administrative role.
Current manager Frank Klopas, who Saputo confirmed will stay on in 2015, will also assume the role of director of player personnel.
"In business, the most difficult decisions to make are those made involving emotions," Saputo said in a club statement. "This is why, today, I am forced to make this decision with a heavy heart.
"After 20 years of being part of the technical team as a player, successful coach and GM, it gives me great sadness to announce that Nick De Santis has been relieved from his functions. We are in a results-based business. Since July 2013, the results are not at the level of our expectations."
De Santis played for the Montreal Impact in the lower divisions of North American soccer from 1993-98 and then again from 2000-03. After retiring in 2003, he became Impact head coach until midway through the 2008 season, when he moved into the front office as general manager and was later elevated to sporting director in 2011, months before the Impact's inaugural MLS season.
After making the playoffs last year, the Impact currently own the worst record in MLS with a mere 14 points from their first 20 matches, and they sit in last place in the Eastern Conference. They did capture the 2014 Amway Canadian Championship, qualifying for the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.
The Impact face rivals Toronto FC in their next league match on Saturday (5 pm ET, TSN/RDS in Canada, MLS LIVE in US) in a desperate bid to make a dent in the 10-point gap separating them from the fifth and final playoff spot in the East.
Nick De Santis relevé de ses fonctions à titre de directeur sportif. / Nick De Santis relieved from his functions as sporting director #IMFC— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 30, 2014
De Santis will remain with the club in an administrative role, but will not be involved in the management of the technical team #IMFC— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 30, 2014
Frank Klopas remains the head coach through the 2015 season and will fully assume his role of director of player personnel #IMFC— Impact de Montréal (@impactmontreal) July 30, 2014