(Reuters) - Former Norway international Stale Solbakken was sacked as Wolverhampton Wanderers manager after the English second tier team slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat at minor league Luton Town in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
“Wolves announce that Stale Solbakken has left with immediate effect,” the club said on their website (www.wolves.co.uk).
Solbakken’s side are seventh from bottom of the Championship standings having won only three of their last 16 league games.
The 44-year-old Norwegian, who took charge in July last year, won 58 caps for his country between 1994-2000 and briefly played in the Premier League with Wimbledon in the late 1990s.
Solbakken retired from playing after suffering a heart attack in training in 2001.
He led FC Copenhagen to Danish league and cup titles during a five-year spell at the club and took them into the Champions League for the first time where they became the first Danish team to qualify for the knockout stage.
Although Solbakken’s success in Denmark made him one of the most sought-after coaches in Scandinavia, his miserable run of results since leaving FC Copenhagen are a cautionary tale for any manager seeking a greater challenge.
In November 2009, the Danish club announced that he was not renewing his contract because he was taking over as manager of his native Norway but his success saw other suitors come calling and Solbakken’s head was turned.
Then-Bundesliga side FC Cologne paid compensation to the Norwegian FA and Solbakken joined the German club in May 2011.
His troubles there began almost immediately as his side struggled in the league, with their form falling off alarmingly in the second half of the season.
Solbakken was put on a leave of absence in April 2012, but his replacement Frank Schaefer fared little better. Cologne were relegated and Solbakken left the club.
Wolves appointed Solbakken as they sought to bounce back after relegation from the Premier League but they have struggled for consistency and Saturday’s shock FA Cup defeat persuaded the club’s owners to part company with the Norwegian.
Writing by Tony Jimenez; additonal reporting by Philip O'Connor in Stockholm; editing by Ken Ferris