MICHAEL Voss' tenure at the Brisbane Lions has come to a sudden end after the club decided not to renew the senior coach's contract for 2014.
AFL.com.au understands the Lions board came to the decision on Tuesday morning, at which point it was decided that Voss should be told immediately.
Players and staff were called to an unscheduled meeting at the club at 3.30pm, where they were told of the news.
"I don't know how I feel to be honest," Voss told Channel Seven on Tuesday evening.
"Tomorrow I'll wake up and I don't go to work, and that's all I know.
"The club's dear to me, but what I get a kick out of is I've gone every day and there's been something to improve in our players.
"I think that's what I'll miss the most.
"I'm not angry, I'm not sad. There's a little bit of disappointment there, but more because we've put five years of work into this."
Voss' management at Velocity Sports declined to comment on the day's events.
Voss took to Twitter to thank fans for their support, while his Lions premiership teammate Craig McRae was among those to offer their sympathy.
Three-time Lions premiership coach Leigh Matthews said it seemed clear that the club already had a potential replacement in mind.
"The Lions have been going fairly well the last couple of months, so on that basis it seemed a strange decision," he told Channel Seven.
"You just tend to think if they're letting Michael Voss go, they must have a very good candidate that's very much in the frame.
"I guess time will tell on that.
"Everyone is thinking the coaching messiah and that's Paul Roos. Everyone is thinking if you're looking for a new coach, Roosy is the top of the list.
"I've got no idea whether he's got any interest in the Lions, but I'm pretty certain the Lions would have interest in him.
Voss was unlikely to get another chance at a senior coaching job, though, Matthews said.
"Most times in our game, if you don't have a lot of success in your first stint, you don't usually get a second one," he said.
Former teammate Chris Johnson said he was "very shocked" by the sacking of his old skipper.
"I thought 'Vossy' had done enough in this back end of the year with some of the results going the Lions' way," he told radio station 3AW on Tuesday night.
"Obviously in the front end of the year things weren't looking great for him, but I thought he'd done a fair bit of work with the playing group to get them up to be somewhat competitive at the end of the year...
"He's had the players on-side the whole time he's been coaching the Lions, but it has (a lot) to do with the actual list he has too. (It) hasn’t been a great list, and I thought Michael has done a fantastic job to get out (of it) what he has."
"It's certainly going to take a while to settle. Some supporters will be happy, some supporters won’t be happy."
Voss was out of contract at the end of this season but there was been speculation the Lions were poised to offer him a new deal.
Earlier on Tuesday evening, The Age reported Voss' sacking and linked Sydney Swans premiership coach Paul Roos to the job, saying he had been unofficially approached a month ago.
The Lions have won eight games this season and are 13th on the ladder.
Voss held a press conference earlier on Tuesday, where he declared the Lions would jump at the chance to play finals
if the opportunity arose as a result of possible penalties handed to Essendon over the Bombers' controversial supplements program.
Voss, who never served as an assistant coach at an AFL club, took over from Leigh Matthews at the Lions the end of the 2008 season.
He took the club to the finals in his first season but after an aggressive 2009 trade period that backfired, the Lions have not played in September since.
Their best finish since 2009 has been 13th. Voss has a 40 per cent winning record as coach.
MICHAEL VOSS AT THE LIONS
AS A PLAYER
Grand Finals: 4 (2001, 2002, 2003, 2004)
Premierships: 3 (2001, 2002, 2003)
Games as captain: 210 (1997-2006)
Brownlow Medals: 1 (1996)
Total votes: 150
Club champion: 5 (1995, 1996, 2000, 2001 (equal), 2003
All Australian: 5 (1996, 1999, 2001 (VC), 2002 (capt), 2003 (capt)
Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee: 2011
AS A COACH
Pre-season games: 14
TOTAL GAMES: 429