Jeremy Bates' reign as Great Britain Davis Cup captain came to a predictable end last night in the wake of his team's slump to their lowest position for almost a decade.
Bates tendered his resignation to Lawn Tennis Association officials after the 3-2 defeat to Israel at Eastbourne which leaves them facing a September relegation play-off in Ukraine.
Bates, whose three-year reign yielded just two wins from six matches, will stay on in his other role as the LTA's interim performance director.
Bates said: "It has been a privilege both to do the job and to work with the players.
"I would like to thank all the players who have been in the team for the tremendous work that they put in. Nobody can doubt the effort and commitment that they showed, particularly in Eastbourne over the weekend."
Bates picked last year's away win in Israel as his highlight and it was his brave decision to blood Andy Murray in the Tel Aviv doubles for which his tenure will be best remembered.
Murray teamed up with David Sherwood to beat the world-class Israeli pair of Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram to put his team in an almost unassailable lead with two rubbers remaining.
Ironically it was Murray's failure, alongside new partner Jamie Delgado, to overcome the same Israeli pair in Eastbourne which ultimately sealed Bates' downfall.
LTA chief Roger Draper must now look to replace Bates before September's trip to Kiev, which could send Britain into the bowels of the Euro-African Zone Group II for the first time since 1996.
At that time, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were in the early stages of hauling Great Britain out of the mire. With the obvious exception of Murray, this time the immediate future looks distinctly bleaker.
Draper said: "The tie against the Ukraine will come around very quickly and although we hope to make a permanent appointment shortly, I would consider appointing an interim captain should that be necessary.
"There is a huge job to be done and part of this will be through re-focusing LTA resources on supporting our elite players."
Former Davis Cup captain David Lloyd, who has recently returned to the LTA fold, and his younger brother, former British No 1 John Lloyd, have emerged as early favourites for the post.
John Lloyd said that he would be an "idiot" not to be interested if such an opportunity were to arise.
Lloyd said: "The Davis Cup is something I've loved and I would be an idiot if I wasn't interested.
"The defeat to Israel marks a new low," said Lloyd. "We have to rebuild and put in some untried younger players alongside Andy Murray."