LONDON (AP): Claudio Ranieri was fired as the manager of English champion Leicester yesterday, nine months after guiding the club to the most improbable title triumph in Premier League history. Leicester’s Thai owners took the drastic measure with the team just a point above the relegation zone having 13 games remaining in a dreadful title defence. “We are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment,” Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said, “no matter how strong that might be.” Leicester, with a team of journeymen, cast-offs and previously unheralded players, won the Premier League last season at odds of 5,000-1, a feat generally viewed as one of the greatest in all sports. Ranieri was last month voted as FIFA coach of the year. However, the Italian manager has come under heavy pressure in recent weeks as Leicester slipped closer to the bottom three in the Premier League and reportedly fell out with some of his players.